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Michael Turner

A name known to many through a particular tune - Michael Turner's Waltz. It is an unnamed waltz in one of his manuscript books which was included in an EFDSS book in 1982 which is where most people have learnt it.

Michael was born in 1796 in Warnham, Sussex and became parish clerk and led the choir, playing a Fiddle. He also played dance music for village celebrations and entertained with a comic song.

He left behind two manuscript books from the 1840s and 50s with a total of 44 dances including polkas, waltzes and quadrilles. He lists others but they are not notated.

It is reported that the waltz is actually a composition by Mozart - the second of 6 German Dances (Paul Davenport in English Dance and Song magazine, Summer 2003. It is actually the melody phrase introduced by the flautino in 6 Deutsche Tanze No. 2 K.536. It is likely that this was heard by Turner and used in folk dances, as was oft the case.