question about 'rant'

Adam Hughes

Message 29754 · 27 Feb 2002 16:40:09 · Fixed-width font · Whole thread

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Lots of people wrote:
> Rant is Scots for dance (or words to that effect).

Rant is no more or less a synonym for Dance than Reel or Jig or Polka
is. It is also just as good a word for dance in England.

I think this is a music question, not one of dance or etymology!

As Richard Goss mentioned (quoted below for those who can't read hs
posts) in Scottish Dance, we dance some rants as strathspeys, and some
as reels. In English Dance, there are subtle differences between a
polka, a rant and a reel. I know traditional musicians south of the
border consider me a heathen for not understanding.

My limited understanding is that while a polka, a rant and a reel are
written in the same time signature, they are played with different
emphasis (in the same way that a strathspey tune isn't just a reel
played half speed).

I think musicians north of the border also make a distinction in the way
they are played, but I don't know.

Alan Paterson wrote:
> So, are the tunes
>
> Miss Macpherson's Reel (Marshall)
> Miss MacPherson's Rant (unknown)
>
> therefore one and the same?

No more than they are each the same as Miss MacPherson's Jig (if there
is such a tune). I'm not saying they are the same or different - just
that there is no logic implied by the name.

Adam
Cambridge, UK.
--
Richard Goss wrote:
>
> As far as I can tell, there is no direct relationship
> between "rant" and "ranting and raving...."
>
> Rant appears in dance tunes which the RSCDS tends to call
> reels.
>
> 1. Note: the Society invented what we call "strathspeys"
> as a longways country dance form as opposed to a tune,
> which explains why some strathspey tunes have rant in their title.
> 2. Note: the verbs: to jig/reel/rant all have been used as synonous with "to dance" irrespective of their tempo. So,
> it is not ungrammatical to say, I am jigging Petronella.
> 3. In the North of England, there is a specific style of
> two-step call ed the rant step, which, to me, has a rhythm
> not unlike a Polka, hop hop step as opposed to hop step
> hop.
>
> So the answer to your class should vary depending on the
> context of their question.

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