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strathspey@strathspey.org:45392

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  • James Tween

    James Tween May 26, 2006, 3:25 p.m. (Message 45392)

    Re: Reels and Hornpipes

    The way hornpipes and reels are played in the SCD style, there is no real 
    difference to me and I'd happily mix reels and honpipes in a set of tunes, 
    or dance a reel to a hornpipe track, or vice versa.  There are three paces 
    of dance -- reel, jig or strathspey -- and they may vary in speed, and 
    straths may be slow airs or more Highlandy, but there are only really these 
    three.
    
    A hornpipe in Scottish step dancing, Irish, Welsh and English traditions is 
    usually most like a Highland-rhythm strathspey.  It typically has a dotted 
    rhythm -- 4/4 with bars split into dotted quaver / semiquaver -- but does 
    not have the reverse comibnation (semiquaver - dotted quaver) as you find in 
    a lot of bouncy straths.  In the English ceilidh style, most hornpipes are 
    danced slower with a step-hop step, and is about the same speed as a decent 
    paced Highland strath, and if we've ever had nights with English ceilidh 
    dancers doing SCD, they often find it easy to think of a strath as a 
    hornpipe.  Saying all that, you can get hornpipes with straight, undotted 
    rhythms, but they are usually played at the same kind of steady pace.
    
    When I catalogued a load of SCD CDs, I just grouped hornpipes with reels.
    
    I wonder if any of that makes sense.
    
    - James - 
          

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