The jig is a dance that appeared in 15th century England. It quickly spread throughout Europe. Ireland and Scotland embraced the jig during the 17th century. The jig form was one of more than dozen dance styles found in the Baroque suite.
The jig takes on many forms: single jig, double jig, slip jig, hop jig, hard jig, sand jig, slides, and on and on. These various forms have to do with the tempo, the dance figure and the type of foot gear worn. This class will focus on the most commonly played, basic 6|8 jig tunes. That means six beats in a measure and an eight-note gets a beat.
The pulse of a jig is always felt in groups of three eight-notes. A 6|8 jig is counted as two groups of three notes. The rhythm has the feel of saying "pineapple apricot". Say those to words repeatedly and you'll feel the pulse of a jig. The technical term is "double jig". That's two groups of three eighth notes.
Double jigs at a session generally have a tempo between 90 -120 BPM. Some sessions blister through tunes at excessively fast tempos. It’s impressive but rarely music. When learning a jig set the metronome between 60 - 80 BPM. Go slow. Be accurate.
The button below leads to the class tunes in three formats: Standard Notation, ABC Notation and mp3 recordings. The recordings may be downloaded to your device.
The mp3 recordings were performed at a moderate tempo. For software that will slow the tempo without changing the pitch of the tune, visit this link: Change Tempo NOT Pitch
For a very detailed, informative discussion of rhythm in Irish dance music, visit these sites
Irish Tune Info