Monday, July 07, 2008
The hornpipe is another style of fiddle tune. It's in 4/4 time and is played as shown above where each of the four beats consists of two parts: the first note being 3/4 of the beat (or a 3/16 note) and the second being 1/4 (or a 1/16 note). The rhythm is rather obvious in the above score; you play it just as it's written. However, it's often not written like that.
Instead, you'll see it written as it is below : a string of 1/8 notes with no dots or sixteenths showing. Except for a few minor variations, such as a pickup to begin, the two versions (above and below) are the same. The three bars above are the same as bars 2 - 4 below. You see, a player is expected to know how a hornpipe goes (ie the dotted rhythm) and play it accordingly.
Of course, this beginner fiddler did not always know that and learned to play several songs as written — as equal 1/8 notes. In fact, I have recently discovered that two of the tunes that I know best, I have been playing incorrectly — in other words as written and not as intended. Silly me. Very often, as directly above, the title doesn't even tell you that it's a hornpipe. Oh well.
Here's how it sounds if someone competent plays it. Like the jig, there's usually both a part A and a part B that are repeated.