Two Traditional Reels


Categories: ,


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

This is short arrangement of two traditional reels, beginning with “My love is but a lassie yet”: a reel is a lively dance in 2/4 or 4/4. These are reels I was introduced to in the 1970s, when I first became involved in folk musician as both a musician (accordion) and a dancer. These two tunes formed part of a set of music for a traditional dance called “Cumberland Square.” There was a third tune, not included here, and then the first tune was played again. It was a dance which required each tune to be played twice with repeats, each turn through the figures taking 64 bars.

Its lively dance origins should be born in mind when playing this.

It is good ensemble work and, as ever, the actual instrumental line-up can be varied to suit availability. The music for Flute 1, Clarinet 1 and Violin mean that a certain level of technical skill is required and, as such, these lines might make it suitable for GCSE Ensemble performance as well as with a folk band line-up.