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strathspey@strathspey.org:45397

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  • Eike Albert-Unt

    Eike Albert-Unt May 26, 2006, 4:11 p.m. (Message 45397)

    RE: Reels and Hornpipes

    When I some time ago was trying to find out what hornpipe was then I copied
    this explanation to one of my files about music - maybe it is of some help.
    Not that I understand any of it, mind you :-)  PS! I wish I had written down
    where I found this description.
    
    With best regards, Eike 
    (I cannot send the file with pictures in this mail, so it will look a bit
    plain ;-)
    
    ...
    The name hornpipe dates back as far as the early 16th century, but originaly
    for a very different dance. The modern rhythm bearing the name evolved
    around mid 18th century.
    ________________________________________
    Basic hornpipe rhythm
    The modern hornpipe is usually notated in cut or in common time: 
    
    sometimes in 2/4 time with the 8th note as the beat: 
    
    ________________________________________
    Tempo and Feel
    A hornpipe is slightly slower than a reel (about 180 beats per minute) with
    strongly accentuated beats and very distinctive triplet or even dotted feel.
      Sometimes the eight note rhtyhm is notated with dotted notes: 
    
    sometimes they're notated as even ones: 
    
    This is just a matter of notation though. You play the hornpipe with the
    same feel in both cases.
      The 2/4 hornpipe notation is also just a case of notation. Everything is
    notated with half the note values - fourth notes in common time becomes
    eight notes in 2/4 time, eight notes become sixteenth notes and so on. Some
    musicians tend to play 2/4 horpipes with a slightly faster beat, but the
    difference isn't that big and it's not an absolute rule anyway.
    ________________________________________
    Rhythm patterns
    The two most useful basic strumming patterns for a hornpipe is the bass
    note-chord pattern: 
    
    the "Drunken sailor" pattern: 
    
    and a combination of the two: 
    or 
    just like the reel. 
    You may also want to add eight notes on the third beat: 
    
    ________________________________________
    Variations
    Of course you don't have to stick to the same rhythm pattern throughout.
    Don't be afraid to add or remove an egth note offbeat here and there.
    Triplets can be very effective in a hornpipe too - as long as they're not
    overdone.
          

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