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  • Steve Wyrick

    Steve Wyrick May 29, 2006, 2:34 a.m. (Message 45418)

    Re: Reels and Hornpipes

    Bruce Hamilton wrote:
    > * In referring to rhythms (vs. instruments), the *term* hornpipe
    > changed meaning some time in the late 18C. Many sources mention this
    > change, but none that I've seen explains why.  Before about 1750 the
    > term "hornpipe" refers to a tune in 3/2 time (e.g. the famous theme
    > in the Water Music, "Alla Hornpipe"). After about 1800 the same term
    > refers to a tune in the rhythm Steve describes.  The tunes didn't
    > change, and the dances to them didn't change; the terminology
    > changed. So we have to be careful when we talk about what a hornpipe
    > is, to say which meaning of the word we are using. Steve and I are
    > using the modern meaning.
    I've been curious about the change from 3/2 to common or cut time as well.
    3/2 hornpipes show up in some of the old Scottish tunebooks and are great
    fun to play; there's a neat rhythmic thing going on because of the
    opportunities the time signature provides for syncopation.  I really wish
    there was a place for that tune form in modern SCD!
    Steve Wyrick -- Concord, California

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