48-bar Jigs


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Instrumentation: Flute 1, Flute 2 / Descant Recorder, Clarinet in Bb, Violin 1, Violin 2, Accordion / Piano / Guitar and Cello / Bass.

These three jigs were written while I taught in Newcastle and was running a Ceilidh Band. We already had a set of tunes which we used for the dance “Waves of Tory” but it was usually such a popular dance that we had to repeat it. I decided to compose a set of tunes which would be suitable and these are the result. The names are there for rather diverse reasons: the first, The Atlantic, was so-called because the opening tune in the original set was called Three Sea Captains and I thought I would keep the nautical link, especially for this dance. The second uses the initials of someone I knew and would later marry – LMJ – while the last takes its name from an actual lonnen, or lane, in Newcastle, not far from the school where I taught.

The dance needed 48 bars of music, thus the need for a ‘C’ section in addition to the usual ‘A’ and ‘B’.

This arrangement was done, therefore, 33 years after their original composition!

The dance is a lively one and so a tempo of 104 – 112 would be about right. They would form a good dance set still, a suitable resource for Ceilidh Bands and also good ensemble practice for suitably-competent players at KS4 / GCSE level. The line-up is adaptable as long as the range of each line can be met, with the accompaniment provided by, as a minimum, a piano playing bass and chords in a ‘vamp’ style.