Jigs vs. Reels (was Re: Looking for Tunes)

Steve Wyrick

Message 60997 · 30 May 2011 20:24:10 · Fixed-width font · Whole thread

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Yes, I've had similar experiences. Last Summer we played a dance where the
program we were given included a "reel" which, when we looked it up, was
actually a jig. So I arranged a set of jigs that included the name tune,
played it at the party, and later mentioned to the MC/teacher that the dance
was a jig. His response was "well, I thought the set of reels that you
played worked well for the dance..."

I have been surprised at the number of dancers that couldn't distinguish
between a jig and a reel. I used to have a dance teacher that would play
recordings of one or the other during our warmups, stop the music and ask
the class which it was and often other dancers didn't know, or really had to
think about it, where it was always obvious to me. I assume that since the
steps are the same for the two forms, dancers often don't realize that they
instinctively adjust their rhythm to dance to one or the other until it's
pointed out to them. I've been called on as a class musician to play
alternating phrases of each, so that dancers can get a feel for the
differences. -Steve

On Mon, May 30, 2011 at 10:49 AM, <xx@xxxxxxxx.xxx.xxx> wrote:

> Yup; "Jack Broke" is there, with several variant spellings, so I'd
> suggest
> just asking for "Jack Broke" (with or without capitals). Friday
> Evening
> doesn't seem to be online anywhere. Does anyone have a copy to share with
> the
> rest of us?
>
> When I looked for it, I also looked for just "Friday", and the
> result
> reminded me of a funny anecdote. The Tune Finder turned up links to a set
> of
> tunes in my own collection called "Friday's Child". This set came about a
> few
> years ago, when a local caller (Priscilla Borden) asked if I could play
> it
> for a dance. When I told her that the suggested tune didn't seem to
> be
> quickly available, she said "Just use any good, lively jig, like
> Soldier's
> Joy." Of course, my reaction was "What??? Soldier's Joy is the prototype of
> a
> stereotypical fiddle reel." But then, I had the second thought that it's
> the
> sort of tune that should be trivial to jiggify. I tried it, came up
> with
> several quite acceptable jigs based on the reel, and transcribed one of
> them
> as the first tune in the set that I played at the dance. Nobody
> questioned
> the way I played the tune.
>

--
Steve Wyrick -- Walnut Creek, California

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