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strathspey@strathspey.org:45386

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  • GOSS9@telefonica.net

    GOSS9@telefonica.net May 26, 2006, 1:39 p.m. (Message 45386)

    Re: Reels and Hornpipes

    The dum-dum-dum ending of the phrase as a determiner is a myth. True 
    many hornpipes have this, but many do not. I think this came from the 
    step dancing tradition where every step starting to the left, had its 
    mirror image to the right. So if one starts on the right foot, the last 
    bar starting on the left, with a pause allows one to start the next 
    phrase on the left foot.
    
    To me the "hormpipedness" is not in the notes per bar, but in the 
    syncopation of these notes allowing for two strong beats on counts 1 & 
    3, with the other notes weaker as they are not on 2 & 4. Note that all 
    hornpipes are not in duple time. If you check Playford, Purcel, Blow, 
    Handel, and others you will find many in triple time. The common 
    denominator is the "limp".
    
    Another way of looking at a hornpipe as a transitional step between a 
    double jig, to a single,  jig to a hornpipe, and then a reel. A double 
    jig has notes to the bar, where a single has 4 with a ration of 2:1:2:1 
    moving into a hornpipe the ration becomes 3:1:3:1, and into a reel of 1:
    1:1:1 or 11111111, if you like, but no syncopation.
    
    Hornpipes-jigs-reels can all be the same melody, simply a change in 
    accent and lenght of note vallue. Strathspeys, however, are another 
    issue, since, as we dance them, they did not exist as anything more 
    then a slow reel. At the slower tempo, they can simply be a reel or 
    hornpipe, or both plus a jig if the bars are combined.
    
    There is a linguistic problem in that the words reel and jig can 
    simply mean "dance" without any reference to speed or rhythm. When it 
    comes to reel and hornpipe, the name can refer to a particular dance at 
    a point in time, when the tune at a later time has evolved into a 
    different rhythm. For continuity´s sake, the RSCDS is sort of stuck 
    with the published name, even when our modern concept no longer fits 
    the rhythm.
    
    NB: house still "en processo" so I have no clue as to where some books 
    are, but if you get a copy of Emmerson´s "Rantin´ Pipes ´n Treblin´ 
    Strings", though I do not agree with all of it, you will get a pretty 
    good explanation with examples. 
          

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