The Dancing-Master's Toolkit: a Summary of the Pochette of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries and its Role in Society

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Abstract

The pochette or kit of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries survives in surprisingly large numbers in both specialist and general collections, and displays a variety of forms and designs, ranging from the plain and simple, to the rather exotic and unusual. Despite this large number of instruments, little has been discussed about its role or reason for its apparent popularity, nor the purpose of the more exotic pochettes, such as those with integral fans or sympathetic strings. As the principal element of the dancing-master’s toolkit, the pochette contributed to the rise of European polite society through its use for dance lessons in a domestic setting. This article seeks to explore the pochette of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, observing the society for which it played a pivotal role, elements of design, and ultimately its importance to the dancing-master and his prosperity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-79
Number of pages15
JournalThe Galpin Society journal
VolumeLXX
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2017

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