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  • John Chambers

    John Chambers May 26, 2006, 5:24 p.m. (Message 45401)

    Re: Reels and Hornpipes

    Steve Wyrick wrote:
    | Personally I don't really like this idea of not differentiating hornpipe and
    | reel tunes in SCD.  When I play hornpipes I always try to put at least a bit
    | more of a lilt in them, to try to keep the bouncy feeling.  I also don't
    | really like mixing reels and hornpipes in a set (or reels and Scotch
    | measures, for that matter).
    I'd agree.  While it's true that most of the SCD crowd can't give you
    a  coherent  description of the difference, quite a lot of the better
    dancers (and most of the teachers) do have a feel for it.  Generally,
    when  you see "hornpipe" in a dance's name, it implies that the music
    should be a bit slower (104-108) than the usual reel tempo (108-112).
    At this slower tempo, a subtle hornpipe rhythm works. You'd play more
    of a 3:2 ratio in the small notes, rather than the 2:1 or  3:1  of  a
    true hornpipe, but the "lilt" should be there.
    Of course, it's always good to watch the dancers, and try  to  get  a
    feel  for  whether it should be slower or faster.  Sometimes the term
    "hornpipe" is just a word, and it works better to play the music as a
    reel.   And sometimes you may realize that some of the crowd are step
    dancers who are doing hornpipey things, in which  case  you  want  to
    play the music to match what they're doing.
       O   John Chambers
     <:#/> <>
       +   <>
      /#\  in Waltham, Massachusetts, USA, Earth
      | |
      ' `

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