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LDT
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So this is a question my mum asked me..and well I didn't have a clue.

What's the difference between a jig, reel, waltz etc. How many types are there? And how does the music relate to the dance I.e. which tunes goes with which type of dance? and where can she learn the dances? :unsure: :blink:

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So this is a question my mum asked me..and well I didn't have a clue.

What's the difference between a jig, reel, waltz etc. How many types are there? And how does the music relate to the dance I.e. which tunes goes with which type of dance? and where can she learn the dances? :unsure: :blink:

 

Most certainly the music relates to the dance, and the different tune types you have mentioned are (or were) dance types. The waltz goes BETHlehem BETHlehem BETHlehem BETHlehem - think (or search on youtube, perhaps, for ) Waltz for some examples.

The reel goes sort of WAnnamaker WAnnamaker WAnnamaker WAnnamaker - there are many localised variations to reels and these are discussed in threads here, so have a hunt about, but this is the basic rhythm to listen out for.

The jig goes knittery-nattery knittery-nattery knittery-nattery knittery-nattery - once again this is subject to local variation but all agree on the basic rhythm.

By the way, Youtube may be a way for your mum to start learning to dance, too.

Hope this helps

Samantha

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Most certainly the music relates to the dance, and the different tune types you have mentioned are (or were) dance types. The waltz goes BETHlehem BETHlehem BETHlehem BETHlehem - think (or search on youtube, perhaps, for ) Waltz for some examples.

My mum knows the Ballroom waltz English and Viennese...it that the same as a more 'folk' waltz? (she's been doing Ballroom and latin for 8 years)

 

Also whats the difference between a Ceildh, Barn Dance, country dance and contra dance?

Edited by LDT
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Also whats the difference between a Ceildh, Barn Dance, country dance and contra dance?

 

No difference really, although a ceilidh was originally a gathering in someone's house where everyone was expected to sing, play or recite. They're all now applied to folk dance events where dances of varying complexity are danced to instructions given by a "caller".

 

The sickest I've ever felt in my life was at an evening of French traditional dance when a girl I knew grabbed me for a "fast waltz". :blink:

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... What's the difference between a jig, reel, waltz etc. How many types are there? And how does the music relate to the dance I.e. which tunes goes with which type of dance? and where can she learn the dances? :unsure: :blink:

 

This is a lot you ask .

 

One difference between a jig, a reel and a waltz is the measurement (jig 6/8, reel 4/4, Waltz 3/4). There are more...

 

How many types are there? A lot. Here are a few: Gaillard, bravade, gavote, an dro, hornpipe, polka, branle, horlepiep, stokkedans, mazurka, hora, reinlander, gigue, bourree, scottish, scottiche, slip jig, laridenn, jimnaskazou, tarantella, reuzendans, marche, I'll stop for today, this is just a selection.

 

The difference is not only the measurement, but also the dance belonging to it. Bourrees may differ per country (as may the dances to the same tunes).

 

and where can she learn the dances?

To find a folk dance club in your region, ask folk music people in her area or google for `folk dance club essex` (if she is in Essex).

 

I hope you will find something.

Edited by marien
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OK. What, precisely, defines a hornpipe,...

"Precisely"? Hornpipes are a lot like concertinas. Nothing can define them "precisely".

What are currently called hornpipes are in duple meter (2/4 or 4/4) and generally characterised by a long-short dotted rhythm sequences. (The short-long dotted pattern, sometimes called the "Scotch snap", is characteristic of strathspeys.) And for dancing, the speed is generally slower than reels, though I find that many "session" musicians play them much too fast for dancing.

 

On the other hand, tunes that were known as "hornpipes" in the 17th-century were generally in 3/2, and often had what today would be considered a "syncopated" feel.

 

...and should it really be accompanied 'bass, chord chord silence'?

No.

Well, that's my opinion. I think that if you're going to accompany hornpipes at all, a bit more subtlety and creativity is in order. I.e., your stated pattern may be fine in moderation, but I think that it's too heavy as a steady diet. And I suspect that many contemporary Irish musicians would prefer no accompaniment at all to a steady Boom-chuck-chuck-/- .

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OK. What, precisely, defines a hornpipe,...

"Precisely"? Hornpipes are a lot like concertinas. Nothing can define them "precisely".

What are currently called hornpipes are in duple meter (2/4 or 4/4) and generally characterised by a long-short dotted rhythm sequences. (The short-long dotted pattern, sometimes called the "Scotch snap", is characteristic of strathspeys.) And for dancing, the speed is generally slower than reels, though I find that many "session" musicians play them much too fast for dancing.

 

On the other hand, tunes that were known as "hornpipes" in the 17th-century were generally in 3/2, and often had what today would be considered a "syncopated" feel.

 

...and should it really be accompanied 'bass, chord chord silence'?

No.

Well, that's my opinion. I think that if you're going to accompany hornpipes at all, a bit more subtlety and creativity is in order. I.e., your stated pattern may be fine in moderation, but I think that it's too heavy as a steady diet. And I suspect that many contemporary Irish musicians would prefer no accompaniment at all to a steady Boom-chuck-chuck-/- .

 

Thank you.

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Also whats the difference between a Ceildh, Barn Dance, country dance and contra dance?

No difference really, although a ceilidh was originally a gathering in someone's house where everyone was expected to sing, play or recite. They're all now applied to folk dance events where dances of varying complexity are danced to instructions given by a "caller".

I guess the differences appear depending on where you're located. I'm in New England (USA) where we don't have ceildhs (or whatever the plural of that is), though what I heard that they are in the British Isles is what we would call a house party where people gather for potluck and tunes (sometimes singing as well). I've also heard them called "jams" and "sessions" over here though those usually don't have the potluck part and sessions are more often held at a bar (what folks in the BI call a "pub"?).

 

We don't use the words barn dance though when I was visiting England I went to a couple and they appear to be what we call a square dance which is primarily 4-couple dances to a live band and caller, pretty loose and rowdy crowd. Our square dances tend to be more rigid in that the attire is a bit affectated and people usually come with their partners and dance primarily with that person. Also, our square dance callers usually have a "patter" going and often sing the instructions.

 

Country dance here is short for English country dance (or ECD) which is Playford and similar type dances (stuff harking to the 1700's) in many forms (2,3,4, couple sets, line sets, circles, double circles, etc.). I've also been to several ECD's in England where the dance seems identical to the American counterparts. People tend to dance with more reserve, display etiquette, and dress more formally. Live band and caller though I think of the person more as a "prompter". This person usually talks though the figures just before the dance commences and rarely calls them out during the dance though sometimes the dance is so well known no talk though is needed, and sometimes at dances with a fair amount of beginners the caller may talk through the dance as it's being danced.

 

Contra dance in the US is primarily line set formation (what the English call a duple minor) to live music and caller. The dance is fairly spirited and "looser" than square or ECD. Clothing is eclectic, loose-fitting and comfortable. Dancing primarily with your "significant" is frowned upon. The caller usually talks (and sometimes walks-) through beforehand and talks directions during the first couple of changes of the dance, leaving off when the dancers are comfortable with the pattern.

 

Barn, country and contra dances might be similar in your area Dave, but the dancing I've done in England didn't reflect that and the dancing in the US certainly doesn't. Still, I'm sure dances called those vary from place to place. Just recently (here on concertina.net) there was a discussion of contra dances in parts of Europe which seemed to be primarily bouré form and music.

 

-- Rich --

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It is our modern dayy people want to parcel everything up in convenient boxes but traditions and our ancestors didn't work that way and were much more fluid and loose. For example, 'apple' meant any fruit one could eat without harm.

 

Thus I reckon the names for these dances were probably legion and depended whom you asked and where he lived.

 

Ian

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OK. What, precisely, defines a hornpipe, and should it really be accompanied 'bass, chord chord silence'?

 

Originally a hornpipe is something like in the picture. it plays melody only.

 

post-1783-1228555481_thumb.jpg

 

In the folk dance scene here it is a relatively slow dance, played slower than in many irish sessions. At the folk dance clubs I (rarily) visit, there are always chords played by a guitar or an accordian, also for the horn pipe dance. If you play it on your own without other instruments, well, you are free to play chords or not, or to play it faster if you like. It may be nice to play just the melody of a horn pipe, in the right pace for the folk dance club, something for a rainy saterday afternoon perhaps?

 

Here is an example of dancing the hornpipe (= horlepiep)

 

http://nl.youtube.com/watch?v=29M7cmz9pjI

 

Marien

 

(edited to add the youtube clip)

Edited by marien
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Richard's equation of "ceilidh" with the US "house party" is only partly true. That is the original sense of the word, and how it is used in Scotland, where it originates. However it has been appropriated by the English dancing community to mean something different. The differences in terminology are subtle, overlap, and vary locally. so it's all very confusing. But nowadays, in England, "ceilidh" means dancing, in a hall, with a live band and caller.

 

The distinction is partly due to historical differences in the UK folk movement. About 30 years ago the folk dancers tended to dance in a certain way - walking rather than stepping, more interested in complex figures and often doing "composed" dances rather than traditional ones. The music didn't seem to be very lively or even very important - often they would dance to records rather than live bands, the important figure was the caller.

 

A younger generation came along, often with a background in folk song and morris rather than social dance, saw these as old fuddy-duddies and wanted to liven things up. It was partly non-specialist dancers just wanting to have fun, but there was also a movement who wanted to rediscover the traditional dances and the old ways of doing them. So the "ceilidh" movement emerged, distinguished from "D4D" ("dances for dancers") by being more lively, involving more stepping, and crucially, relying on live bands. The bands themselves became hugely important, and the leading bands all have their own very distinctive styles, and followers. However callers are also important, and there are a number of "star" callers who are not tied to particular bands.

 

A useful rule of thumb is: if the band is sitting down, playing from music, and includes an accordion, it's probably D4D. If the band is standing, playing without music, and includes a melodeon (and possibly sax, electric guitar or other non-folky instruments) it's probably ceilidh.

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What are currently called hornpipes are in duple meter (2/4 or 4/4) and generally characterised by a long-short dotted rhythm sequences.

 

Sometimes, but not always. Many hornpipes are undotted.

 

The meaning of "hornpipe" varies over time and locality. Some are fast, some are slow. Rhythmically, tunes like the well-known "Sailors Hornpipe" and, say, "Gypsy's Hornpipe" have almost nothing in common.

 

Not very helpful if you're trying to grasp the differences between the rhythms or work out how to accompany them, but that's how it is.

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Also whats the difference between a Ceildh, Barn Dance, country dance and contra dance?

 

In England, "ceilidh" and "barn dance" are probably interchangeable. Someone within the folk scene would probably refer to a ceilidh (although the term is widely understood by non-folkies). Someone organising a dance for a non-folky audience eg a school PTA is very likely to call it a "barn dance". Apart from the barn dance being likely to attract a number of of people in checked shirts and cowboy hats, there's probably very little difference. My band describes itself as a "ceilidh band" but plays for events called by both names, but we don't alter what we do.

 

"Country dance" means a specific style of dancing eg Playford.

 

"Contra", as Richard suggested, is American in origin and similar to ceilidh in many respects.

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Perhaps it's a good idea to show rather than describe the differences between those dances.

 

Here's what I consider to be a typical contra dance (happens to be my local dance in Greenfield MA - and for the sharp eyed:- the caller is playing an EC).

 

Here's a very good example of

(US version) as it's snippets of many of the genre dances in one clip. And interestingly enough, you can hear a concertina now and then!

 

Unfortunately I'm having a hard time finding a good example of US square dancing. The ones I remember seeing (back in the early 70's to mid 80's) had live music and caller - but all the instances I can find on YouTube seem to have recorded music (at least the caller is live)!

clip seems pretty typical. Maybe that's the way things have changed to. Anyone have other experiences/examples of square dance?

 

-- Rich --

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