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Jigs and Gigues

   Jigs and Gigues -- both are lively dances in compound meter, originating from the British jig. So, what's the difference between them, if there is any difference? 

   Jigs are quick, wild solo dances that come in many categories.  There's a light jig, a single and double jig; hop jigs, and treble jigs-- all considered folk dances.  A gigue, on the other hand, is danced by couples in a formal "ballet" style, usually at the end of a baroque dance suite. Both 'jig' and 'gigue' come from the French 'giguer' or Italian 'giga', meaning to jump.

   The gigue seems to be, pretty much, out of date now-- big in the Baroque era, but not so much since then.  The jig, however, is alive and well and still danced around the world, especially in Ireland and Scotland. 

   So, there you have it, the little-known facts on Jig and Gigue-- and, just in time for Saint Patrick's Day! 

     "Two for an Irish Jig", "Dance of the Leprechauns", "Irish Jig" (based on the traditional 'Irish Washerwoman'),  and a lot more 'Irish' music can be found on our site, ready to download and print. Gigues by Arnold and Telemann can be found in the Student Classics section.

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