Bibliography & Discography


Heritage Dances of Early America

Published in 1976 by the Lloyd Shaw Foundation, this book gives directions for dancing and some background information on 25 contra dances which Ralph Page discovered in books and manuscripts published between 1788 and 1817. Written out are unaccompanied melodies for 16 jigs, reels and hornpipes which Ralph deemed suitable for these dances.

An Elegant Collection of Contras and Squares

This book was published in 1984, again by the Lloyd Shaw Foundation. There are a total of 63 dances described, divided into the following headings: No Problem Contras, Nice and Easy Contras or The Next Step, Traditional Contras, Contemporary Contras, Some New England Squares, Some Singing Quadrilles, and Lancers (10 Lancers figures). Unaccompanied melodies, 48 of them, including 4 composed by Ralph Page, are written out. Several of the contras and squares are also Ralph Page originals.

The Ralph Page Book of Contras

In 1969 The English Folk Dance And Song Society published this book as a companion piece to a long-playing record of contra dance music which was issued at about the same time. Twenty two dances are described, 11 of them traditional and 11 contemporary. There are 36 tunes written out for these dances, of these Ralph Page composed 18. Inquiries about availability of this book may be made to the Lloyd Shaw Foundation. See Page 128 for address.)

The Country Dance Book, by Tolman and Ralph Page

First published in 1937 by Countryman Press it was re-published In 1976 by Stephen Greene Preys, Brattleboro, Vermont. Unfortunately the book appears to be out-of-print and the publisher cannot be located. If a supply should exist, please let me know where copies may be purchased. Late news!-- There are about 10 copies of this book now for sale at Maple Leaf Music, 49 Elliot St., Brattleboro, VT 05301 at $6.50/ copy, postage & handling included.

The following two titles were not included in the original Index, but have been added for the sake of completeness.

New England Contras and Town Hall Squares

This book was published in 1957 by the College of the Pacific in Stockton, California from a syllabus Page produced at the Folk Dance Camp there in 1957.

Contras as Ralph Page Called Them, Compiled and Edited by Roger C. Knox.

This book was published in 1990 by the compiler of the original Northern Junket Index and it contains photocopies of over 220 contra dances collected from both the above syllabus produced at the Stockton, California Folk Dance Camp in 1957 and from the pages of Northern Junket.


The following four groups of records were recorded by Ralph Page with three of his orchestras on Michael Herman's Folk Dancer label. Records with called dances are asterisked.

The record numbers listed are for the original 12", 78rpm discs. Some have been re-made on 10" discs at 33-1/3rpm, standard groove, and a few on 45rpm discs.

Contra Dances with the Ralph Page Trio

  • MH 1024* Chorus Jig / Morning Star
  • MH 1025* Lady of the Lake / Money Musk
  • MH 1026* Lady Walpole's Reel / Darling Nellie Gray
  • MH 1027 Chorus Jig / Rory O'More
  • MH 1028 Climbing Golden Stairs / Money Musk
  • MH 1029 Hand Organ Hornpipe / Reel of Stumpie

Contra Dances with Ralph Page's Boston Boys

  • MH 1062* Beaux of Albany / Hull's Victory
  • MH 1063* Opera Reel / Old Zip Coon
  • MH 1064* Petronella / Glover's Reel
  • MH 1065 Garfield's Hornpipe / Hull's Victory
  • MH 1066 Opera Reel / Old Zip Coon
  • MH 1067 Petronella / Canadian Breakdown
  • MH 5001 Up Jumped The Devil / Old Joe Clark
  • MH 5002 Shake Up The Coke / Piper's Lass

Contra Dances with Ralph Page's New Hampshire Orchestra

  • MH 1068* Fisher's Hornpipe / Merry Dance
  • MH 1069* Arkansas Traveler / Fallen Timber Reel
  • MH 1064* Petronella / Glover's Reel
  • MH 1070* Monadnock Reel / Green Mtn. Vols.
  • MH 1071 Fisher's Hornpipe / Come Up The Backstairs
  • MH 1072 Arkansas Traveler / Reilly's Own
  • MH 1073 Glise A Sherbrooke / Wright's Quickstep
  • MH 5003* Chassez By The Corner / Lamplighter's Hornpipe (Side A only with calls)

Square Dances with Ralph Page's Boston Boys - 10" Records

  • MH 1030* Chinese Breakdown / Crooked Stovepipe
  • MH 1031* Odd Couple Promenade / Page's Nightmare
  • MH 1032* Honest John I / Honest John II
  • MH 1033 Chinese Breakdown / Crooked Stovepipe
  • MH 1034 On The Road To Boston / Gold and Silver
  • MH 1035 Honest John I / Honest John II

Square Dances - Ralph Page - On "Disk" Label

(Out of print, but a few sets may still be available)

  • 5035* Red River Valley / Disgusted Brides
  • 5036* Odd Couple in the Center / Monadnock Muddle
  • 5037* Star The Ring / Ladies' Whirligig

Southerners Plus Two Play Ralph Page

This 12 inch, long-playing record was recorded in 1970 by the augmented Southerners Orchestra for the English Folk Dance and Song Society. This followed the very successful calling and teaching tour Ralph made in England with this group in 1966. There are 11 Ralph Page tunes played. All selections are long enough for dancing contras or squares.

Book and Record Information

Since Michael Herman's death in 1996, The Kentucky Dance Foundation has become the owner of the Folk Dancer record label. CD copies of Ralph Page recordings (renumbered) may be purchased from them.

A complete collection of Ralph Page's 78rpm, 33 1/3rpm, and 45prm recordings is also held in the New Hampshire Library of Traditional Music and Dance at the University of New Hampshire Library in Durham, NH and may be listened to there free of charge.

An Elegant Collection of Contras and Squares may be purchased from The Lloyd Shaw Foundation.