Two Original Anglo-American Reels


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

An Anglo-American Reel is characterised by its syncopated rhythm: they are lively tunes for lively dances, the final tempo being set by the abilities of the dancers.

These two tunes were composed in 1981 when I was still a dancer / musician with Benfieldside Folk Dance Group and leading my own Ceilidh band.

The number of times each tune is played will depend on the dance being called: the easiest patterns would be to play through each tune twice and then move to the other tune, repeating this process until the end of the dance, though some might prefer to play the tunes alternately.

This arrangement was done originally for the school folk bands I ran for much of my teaching career, this final version re-visiting that arrangement and bringing the instrumentation into line with others in this series.

It can be played by musicians of around Grade 4 / 5 standard and higher. The instrumentation is flexible and can be adapted to fit the available resources. The basic melody and chords can be found in the Accordion part, the part I always played in these ensembles.

It is suitable for general ensemble practice at KS4 / GCSE and would be acceptable as a submission for the Ensemble performance part of the current GCSE specifications of all GCSE boards. However, care must be taken regarding doubling of parts.