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Triple Jig?


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Hi there to everyone. What an excellent time and fun I had yesterday! I, and other session members, had the good fortune and pleasure to play for Irish dancers last night - a very rare opportunity down here in Arkansas, believe me! The teacher was an Irish lady named Mary, she spoke Gaelic and had taught in Ireland so she was obviously knowledgable on Irish music. We were somewhat puzzled when she requested a 'triple jig' for the dancers?? 'Perhaps a slide?' -no- 'perhaps a slipjig?' -no. An example? 'Tobins favourite' So we commenced in on Tobin's jig but that was too fast! Slow it down says she. When we had got Tobin's down to a crawl the dancers started in. And a pretty dance it was!

But what, dear friends, is a triple jig?

 

Yours, Alan.

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But what, dear friends, is a triple jig?

Y'got me! For more than thirty years I've known "triple jig" to be a synonym for "slip jig". (I.e., "triple" meaning 3 beats to the measure; "jig" meaning each beat divided into eighth notes.) Did she try to explain to you what was "triple" about it?

 

An example?  'Tobins favourite' So we commenced in on Tobin's jig but that was too fast! Slow it down says she. When we had got Tobin's down to a crawl the dancers started in. And a pretty dance it was!

Interesting. I've never thought of Tobin's Favorite as a particularly fast jig (in the range of 70-85 dotted-quarter beats per minute). You make it sound as if she wanted a waltz. And still I wonder if your Tobin's Jig is the same as the Tobin's Favorite I know.

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We play a "treble Jig" for the kids.

We play a s-l-o-w jig and they dance like mad.

So, Bob (or somebody else), can you tell us what distinguishes that as "treble"? (Apparently not that it's being played on a "treble" English. :) )

I've always known "double jig" to mean one in 6/8 time, "triple jig" = "treble jig" = "slip jig" to mean one in 9/8, and "slide" (occasionally but rarely called "quadruple jig") to mean a 12/8 tune. (And "single jig" to mean 3/8, but I have since learned that some people give that term a different meaning.)

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But sometimes a treble jig is used to refer to one that has 48 bars, rather than anything to do with groups of triplets.

I can see the logic, though I've never run into that use before.

Wouldn't apply to Tobin's Favorite, though.

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I've always understood a triple jig and a slide to be the same thing. Irish music is incredibly regional though in terms of styles and names for things. I was chatting with a guy from County Clare who played "Off to California" on his melodeon. I said I liked the tune and I often played it, he was however adamant it was called "the Galway Hornpipe". As an aside a non-musical friend on hearing me play "off to california" asked me to play "the Trumpet Hornpipe" so to his untrained ear it is another hornpipe.

 

Slightly off topic the Morris Tune (6/8) "Sweet Jenny Jones" when played about half pace is called "Cadir Idris".

Edited by Peter Brook
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Irish music is incredibly regional though in terms of styles and names for things.

At Willie Week many years ago, my all-time concertina hero Tony Crehan said that they what they called 'Single Jigs' in Clare, they called 'Slides' in Kerry. He said that they were very slightly different, but you'd need to be from Clare/Kerry to tell the difference.

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I once asked Gearoid OhAllmuirhain what the difference was between the single jig and a slide and he said the main difference was the River Shannon. As far as treble jigs are concerned, a treble jig is a type of dance, not a type of tune. You can play most regular double jigs for the dance, but at a MUCH slower tempo. The treble probably referring to triple the number of steps per beat.

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  • 1 year later...

At Irish Arts Week in East Durham, Edel Fox told us that a triple jig and slip jig were the same. She taught us two tunes that were slip jigs. Hardiman the Fiddler was one, and is available on thesession.org. I will massacre the name of the other because she gave it to us only in Irish. It is something like teách an ól. Both of these jigs are in 9/8 time. Alan

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