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Light jigs vs. treble jigs

Marion 16 Nov 99 - 11:16 AM
Jacob Bloom 16 Nov 99 - 12:55 PM
16 Nov 99 - 01:44 PM
Marion 16 Nov 99 - 02:21 PM
lamarca 16 Nov 99 - 03:24 PM
sophocleese 16 Nov 99 - 04:23 PM
Jon Freeman 16 Nov 99 - 06:54 PM
Jon Freeman 16 Nov 99 - 07:16 PM
radriano 17 Nov 99 - 11:38 AM
paddymac 17 Nov 99 - 06:55 PM
Bruce O. 17 Nov 99 - 07:10 PM
Mick Lowe 17 Nov 99 - 08:20 PM
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Subject: Light jigs vs. treble jigs
From: Marion
Date: 16 Nov 99 - 11:16 AM

Hello all. I am learning Irish step-dancing, and we just started doing the (hard-shoed) treble jig, as opposed to the light jigs (or double jigs) we learned in soft shoes.

My teachers have told me that treble jig tunes are considerably slower than light jig tunes, but they didn't know if there is any other musical difference. So I come to you.

Can any 6/8 dance tune be used as either a treble jig or a light jig, depending on how fast they're played? Or is every jig tune meant to be either one or the other? If so, is there an easily definable difference?

Thanks, Marion


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Subject: RE: Light jigs vs. treble jigs
From: Jacob Bloom
Date: 16 Nov 99 - 12:55 PM

Here's the little I think I know.

Single jigs = 6/8, with the predominant rhythm being quarter note, eighth note, quarter note, eighth note

Double jigs = 6/8, with the predominant rhythm being six eighth notes per measure

Slip jigs = 9/8

Someone will probably correct me on this.


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Subject: RE: Light jigs vs. treble jigs
From:
Date: 16 Nov 99 - 01:44 PM

Hop jigs are also 9/8, but don't ask me the difference between hop and slip jigs, I don't know. Note that the names here designate the now standard terminology for the tune type, but for most there is no evidence that they were ever meant for, or used for dancing jigs. Al tthe dances that I've seen with such tunes from the 17th century onward were country dances. Prior to 1700 there was no 6/8 or 9/8 time. Jigs were given in 6/4 and 9/4 time, and gradually the notation changed so jigs were mostly given as 6/8 and 9/8 by about 1740.

So what are light and treble jigs? They seem to be new ones that I never heard of before.


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Subject: RE: Light jigs vs. treble jigs
From: Marion
Date: 16 Nov 99 - 02:21 PM

Jacob: Thanks for the lead. I've never heard of single jigs before; I'll have to try to classify the 6/8 sheet music that I have and see which kind seems to fit the dances better.

Anonymous: "Light" and "treble" might very well be specifically dance terms; the light jigs are done in soft leather slippers, and the treble jigs are done in hard shoes and use a step called trebling (tip-tap-down-tip-tap-down...).

My teacher said that a light jig might be played at around 150, and a treble jig around 75. I assume that means beats per minute, and that beat means quarter note.

I've never heard of a hop jig - I'll have to keep an eye out. Are they associated with any particular nationality? We also do 9/8 dances called slipjigs, that are always in soft slippers and are for girls only. I've been told that they don't have slipjigs in Scottish music.

Marion


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Subject: RE: Light jigs vs. treble jigs
From: lamarca
Date: 16 Nov 99 - 03:24 PM

My vague memory from my Irish dance classes 15 years ago was that the "treble" referred to putting in 3 beats or taps per beat of music; a corruption of triple, perhaps. In order for it to be humanly possible for the dancer to add these "grace" notes or beats, the jig has to be slowed down, but is still the same basic 6/8 rhythm.

In soft shoes, the step is the (hop, hop back, hop 1,2,3), again to 6/8, but can be done to a faster tempo because there are fewer taps or steps per beat. I have heard these referred to as "double" jigs, and don't know what a "single" jig might be.

I never did learn to slip jig - I never got the weird combination of 7+2 to make 9/8, but I love the sound of slip jigs like "Kid on the Mountain".


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Subject: RE: Light jigs vs. treble jigs
From: sophocleese
Date: 16 Nov 99 - 04:23 PM

The Fiddler's Fake book explains single jigs as jigs in 6/8 time in which every eighth note is not voiced, ie it has quarter and eighth notes in it, but in double jigs every eighth note is voiced. Of course both styles will have ornamentation that makes it fun.


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Subject: RE: Light jigs vs. treble jigs
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 16 Nov 99 - 06:54 PM


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Subject: RE: Light jigs vs. treble jigs
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 16 Nov 99 - 07:16 PM

I've not managed that one before - making a post when I've got nothing to say!

I did have a quick search and found that both these dances are done in 6/8 time and I must admit that I had thought that a treble jig was the same as a slip jig (9/8 time) so having proved my ignorance yet again, I'll leave it or someone else to say which 6/8 jigs go with which dance...

Jon


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Subject: RE: Light jigs vs. treble jigs
From: radriano
Date: 17 Nov 99 - 11:38 AM

Dear Marion:

My daughter has been studying Irish step-dance for the last ten years. When she does a treble jig the tune played is a regular jig done very slowly to allow for the complicated steps and taps of the dance. In terms of speed I would say the tempo is more than half as slow as normal speed.

Oh, and hop jig and slip jig are the same thing.

I hope this helps.

Regards,
radriano


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Subject: RE: Light jigs vs. treble jigs
From: paddymac
Date: 17 Nov 99 - 06:55 PM

Jon - don't know why you felt compelled to apologize for a post with nothing to say. There are lots of them, and most far wordier than your "blank". *BG*


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Subject: RE: Light jigs vs. treble jigs
From: Bruce O.
Date: 17 Nov 99 - 07:10 PM

That the opposite of my usual foible. I have my short file in notepad ready to paste when I realize something is amiss, so paste it into the message box and jump in to revise it before I forget what needed changing. I then forget to put in my name in the From box, like on that 3rd message above.


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Subject: RE: Light jigs vs. treble jigs
From: Mick Lowe
Date: 17 Nov 99 - 08:20 PM

Marion
You can basically play almost any tune you want in the rhythym/tempo of whatever dance you are doing.
For example there is a hornpipe called "Soldier's Joy" which we always play as a reel.. just to give it some guts..
As far as jigs are concerned there are single, double, treble, slip and slides.. all depends on how many steps you are expected to make in any given bar... and agin almost any tune can be "converted" to suit..
There is a tune called " Visit To Ireland" which is deemed to be a treble jig.. i.e. if we played it for the dancers it would be quite slow due to as Radriano said the dancer having to get more steps in.. though if we play it simply as a tune it usualy gets done at double jig tempo...
Likewise for "St. Patrick's Day".. a tune composed for a treble jig, though more often than not performed by ceili bands as a "normal" jig.
Hornpipes tend to get the same treatment as well, which I personally don't like.. played fast they tend to loose all the bounce which makes them a favourite of mine.
And then there's the perenial favourite of bands of crossing over reels and polkas. I've even heard slides played as polkas
No doubt this has confused you more than helped
Cheers
Mick


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