Chorus Jig (1)

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X:1 T:Chorus Jigg [1] M:2/4 L:1/8 R:Reel S: Seth Johnson – Woburn Fife Manuscript (c. 1807-40?, pp. 7-8) Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:G F/E/D/F/ A/B/A/G/|F/E/D/F/ AA/G/|F/E/D/F/ A/B/A/G/|F/c/B/A/ G2:| |:d/B/c/A/ B/G/A/F/|A/d/c/B/ AA|d/B/c/A/ B/G/A/F/|G/c/B/A/ G2:| |:fdfd|f/d/f/g/ a/b/a/g/|fdfd|c/d/e/f/ g2:| |:d/B/c/A/ B/G/A/F/|A/d/c/B/ AA|d/B/c/A/ B/G/A/F/|G/c/B/A/ G2:|]



CHORUS JIG [1]. AKA - "The Chorus Reel." AKA and see "Glen Road to Carrick (The)," "On the Road (2)." English, Irish, Scottish, American; Reel. USA, New England. D Mixolydian (Miller & Perron/1977 & 2006): D Major & G Major (Brody, Burchenal, Miller & Perron/1983, Silberberg): G Major {Ditson, Miller & Perron}: D Major ('A' & 'C' parts) & G Major ('B' part/Phillips: 'B' and 'D' parts/Sweet}. Standard tuning (fiddle). One part (Burchenal): AB (Silberberg): ABCC or ABAC (ending on the A or B part)[Brody]: AABC (Ditson, Miller & Perron/1977): ABCD (Sweet): AABCCB (Kaufman): AA'BCC'B (Phillips): AABCCD (Miller & Perron/1983): AABCC'DD (O'Neill). Despite the title, the tune is a reel, with long histories both in Ireland and the United States. Linscott (1948) explains: "The 'Chorus Jig' has always been a favorite with pipers. It is an Irish melody whose author and date are unknown. Jigs were originally tunes sung after a play by the clowns. During the 17th century everyone sang them, and the dances were performed by persons of all ranks. They are generally thought of as Irish, but jigs were common in England and Scotland. The word 'jig' applied to a form of rhyme and is of uncertain derivation."

Perlman (1996) suggests the contra-dance reel called "Chorus Jig" originated from the jig form of the tune (see "Chorus Jig (3)"). In non-modal versions (as Randy Miller points out) it is the companion tune for a country dance of the same name in New England, and although the tune is Irish, the dance figures seem English according to experts. It was commonly included in dance and tune books by the 1850's, and can be found in an 1822 American collection called The Musical Cabinet (Charlestown, Mass.) and, earlier, in skeletal form in a 1793 manuscript of George Otis (according to Tony Parkes & Steve Woodruff). It was entered into the Woburn Fife Manuscript, a ms. collection inscribed with the the name Seth Johnson and "Woburn (Mass.). April 20th day, 1807. I Bought this Book, 5:3." Entries were made between 1807 and as late as 1840. Elias Howe (c. 1867) prints dance instructions with the melody, which he includes in his section of Contra Dances. It was one of the tunes appearing in a repertoire list (and recorded by) of Maine fiddler Mellie Dunham, who was Henry Ford's champion fiddler in the late 1920's. In short, it is hard to find a reel that is not more connected with New England traditional dance music for over two centuries.

The tune was known as one of the three Doon reels learned from fiddler Cal Callaghan, of Doon, Kerry, popular with Sliabh Luachra musicians. See also "Doon Reel (3) (The)" and "Gleann Eoghain." In County Donegal a version is played under the title "Glen Road to Carrick (The)."


Additional notes



Printed sources : - Brody (Fiddler's Fakebook), 1983; p. 68. Burchenal (American Country Dances, vol. 1), 1918; p. 25. Oliver Ditson (The Boston Collection of Instrumental Music), c. 1850; p. 61. Dunham (Mellie Dunham's 50 Fiddlin' Dance Tunes), 1926; No. 13, p. 8. Feldman & O'Doherty (Northern Fiddler), 1978; p. 167. Elias Howe (First Part of the Musician's Companion), 1842; p. 62. Howe (Musician's Omnibus No. 1), 1862; p. 42. Howe (1000 Jigs and Reels), c. 1867; p. 75. Kaufman (Beginning Old Time Fiddle), 1977; pp. 78-79. Linscott (Folk Songs of Old New England), 1939; p. 72. Miller & Perron (Irish Traditional Fiddle Music), 1977; vol.1, No. 53 (appears as "Chorus Reel"). Miller & Perron (Irish Traditional Fiddle Music), 2nd Edition, 2006; p. 55 (appears as "Chorus Reel"). Miller & Perron (New England Fiddlers Repertoire), 1983; No. 96. O'Neill (Dance Music of Ireland: 1001 Gems), 1907; No. 500, p. 95 (appears as "Chorus Reel"). Phillips (Traditional American Fiddle Tunes), vol. 1, 1994; p. 51. Saunders (New and Complete Instructor for the Violin), Boston, 1847; No. 2, p. 98. Silberberg (Fiddle Tunes I Learned at the Tractor Tavern), 2002; p. 22. Sweet (Fifer's Delight), 1964/1981; p. 43. Vallely (Play 50 Reels with the Armagh Pipers Club), 1982; 13.

Recorded sources : - Alcazar Dance Series FR 203, "New England Chestnuts" (1980). F&W Records 3, "Canterbury Dance Orchestra." Green Linnet SIF-104, Jerry O'Sullivan – "The Celts Rise Again" (1990). Green Linnet SIF-1074, Jerry O'Sullivan – "The Invasion" (1987). June Appal 003, John McCutcheon – "How Can I Keep From Singing" (1975). Meadowlands Records MS1, "Allan Block and Ralph Lee Smith." North Star NS0038, "The Village Green: Dance Music of Old Sturbridge Village." RCA 09026-61490-2, The Chieftains – "The Celtic Harp" (1993). Rounder CD7018, Frank Ferrel – "Boston Fiddle: The Dudley Street Tradition." Topic Records, Julia Clifford with Con Curtin and Denis McMahon – "Paddy in the Smoke." Transatlantic 337, Dave Swarbarick – "Swarbrick 2." Troubadour TR001, Trapezoid – "Trapezoid" (1975). Victor 40121 (78 RPM), Mellie Dunham, 1926.

See also listing at :
Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [1]
Alan Ng's Irishtune.info [2]



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