Dances of the British Isles

When he first began to play the fiddle, Tim
found that a large portion of American tunes
have their origins in England, Scotland, and
Ireland.   To further develop his understanding
of fiddle music, he studied the styles of playing
in those countries.   
Many tunes from these places "cross over", and
have just slightly different versions in more than
one country.   The types of tunes and the style
they are played in make the greater difference.

            Jigs
Tim has a good repertoire of jigs,
and enjoys playing them.  Included
are single jigs, double jigs, and slip
jigs.   These are mostly considered
Irish or Scottish, but one of the
most well-known traditional English
dances, "Sir Roger de Coverly", is
a slip jig.

         Hornpipes
Named after a sailor's instrument,
this kind of dance had solo
variations that could be done by
sailors on board ship.    There are
also many other ways of dancing to
these tunes.  American hornpipes
are usually played more like reels,
but the European variety is quite
distinct,

            Reels
The reel is the father of the
American "breakdown", or square
dance tune.   Tim's repertoire is
very large in this category.

          Strathspeys
This syncopated dance is peculiar
to Scotland.  Tim can play many of
these, as well as Scottish marches
and airs.