Definitions of fiddle styles and tunes

Fiddle styles || Fiddle tunes || Meter and tempo by type of dance

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Fiddle Styles
Appalachian a style of fiddling from the Appalachian Mountains of the United States that uses modal sounds and techniques.
Bluegrass a musical style that originated with Bill Monroe in the late 1930s with increased improvisation and flashiness; primarily meant for a listening audience.
Brudmarsch a Swedish bridal march.
Cajun a French-North American style originating in Maritime Canada by the Acadiens, a group of French settlers in present-day Nova Scotia. The Acadiens moved to Louisiana and were isolated until the beginning of the 20th century.
Cape Breton a regional variance of Scottish fiddling with a more formal style.
Celtic a type of Scottish fiddling with the melody in a higher range; imitating the sounds of the bagpipe; the "c" in "celtic" is pronounced as a "k".
English a style where ornamentation is used sparingly and the bow is used simply
French-Canadian a highly-spirited style that borrows from French folk music and Irish and Scottish fiddling, but leans toward a more rhythmic and less ornamental style. The favored instrumentation is fiddle and piano.
Irish Attention is given to the ornaments and melody on an equal basis. Tunes in the Ionian mode (major scale), Dorian (a scale staring and ending on the 2nd note of the major scale), Mixolydian (a scale starting and ending on the 5th note of the major scale), and Aeolian (natural minor scale) are equally common. See Regional styles in Irish fiddling.
Maritime Music with a brisk tempo and a spirited bounce that makes it very suitable for dancing; also referred to as the "Down East" style.
Metis a mix of Scottish, French, and Indian music with a highly spirited character and adjusted to suit the traditional Metis dances.
New England A mix of Irish, Scottish, and English fiddle techniques. Tunes can range from a simple English fashion to a highly ornamented style of Scottish/Irish fiddling.
Newfoundland a local offshoot of Irish and Welch fiddling that is lively in spirit and quick in tempo.
Old-timey a pre-bluegrass string band style with country dance rhythms, including music from vaudeville, minstrel shows, British Isles folk traditions, early 78 RPM country recordings, old songs played on the fiddle, Appalachian modal tunes, and listening tunes unsuitable for dancing.
Ontario a style of fiddling that is melodic in character with roots in the music of the British Isles. This is the most widely-known fiddle style in Canada.
Polska denotes two different dances:
  a. the "hambospolska" (eighth note) polska with a strongly marked 3/4 beat
  b. the "slängspolska" with a more even beat in 3/4 time
Roundpeak a highly rhythmic style of North Carolina fiddling
Scandinavian a highly melodic type of fiddle music that can be played in harmony and sometimes on eight-string or nine-string hardanger fiddles (Norwegian origin). They are tuned to the same intervals as regular violin tuning, except that the lowest string is usually (but not always) tuned up one half to two whole steps higher, and have 4 droning strings running under the fingerboard and through the middle of the bridge.
Scottish a style using the right hand to bring out a wide variety of arpeggio and spicatto bowings. Reels are slower than in the Irish tradition, and the roll, a staple Irish ornament, is rarely used. See Scottish fiddle styles.
Shetland a lively style with influences from Scotland and Scandinavia. Many of the tunes are modal, frequently with syncopated rhythms achieved by use of the characteristic bowing pattern "one down and three up." The style makes use of double stops, in some cases leaving one string open so that it rings. See Shetland fiddle music.
Slanklat a Swedish gift-giving tune at a wedding
Sligo a highly ornamented Irish fiddling style originating in the Sligo area of Ireland
Southern a mix of French, Spanish, and British fiddling with very quick tempo and a heavy use of double stops.
Texas style a style with highly developed melodic variations and jazz-like backup from the accompanying instruments. Tempo is slower than old-timey and bluegrass.
Ukranian an ethnic type of music, usually in a minor key, that is high spirited, lyrical, and faster in tempo than traditional fiddle music.
Western swing a form of popular music that originated from swing.

Fiddle Tunes
Air a melody in slow 3/4 tempo relating to Scottish and Irish fiddling which is songlike in character. The air had its origins in France in the 16th and 17th centuries from both the folk and classical music of the day. Some of these tunes are played with a high degree of rubato.
Breakdown a. a lively, shuffling American country dance in 2/4
b. a loosely-used term referring to a wide range of up-tempo, old-timey, and bluegrass tunes in duple (2/4) and quadruple (4/4) meter.
Clog a dance in which clogs are worn to beat out the rhythm. There are three types of clogging:
  ° traditional clog: down in 4/4 meter, at the same tempo as a schottische
  ° waltz clog: done in 3/4 meter, at normal waltz tempo
  ° double clog: done in 2/4 or 4/4 meter, as the tempo of a reel, breakdown, or hornpipe
Country rag in duple (2/4) or quadruple (4/4) meter, varying from 3 to 5 parts, played in swinging 8th notes. Usually in the key of F, C, G, or D, they often modulate to the 5th or 4th in the 3rd part and frequently follow the chord progressions IIV; IIIV; and IVIV#oIVIIIV.
Fling a Scottish dance in 4/4 time resembling a reel
Fox trot a couple dance in 4/4 time with a variety of steps, both fast and slow; also known as the Texas two-step.
Galop/Gallope a quikc round dance the 19th century executed with many steps and hopping movements.
Ganglat a Swedish walking tune.
Glisse a French-Canadian square dance similar to a reel in 2/4 time, but with a gliding nature
Hoedown a lively, rollicking dance, often a square dance, in 2/4 time.
From Fiddle-L: Hoedown is just an American term for a fast duple-time dance tune. Most are reels; some are evened out hornpipes
Hop a Nova Scotia dance variation of a polka
Hornpipe a popular English dance from the 16th to 19th centuries, the name "hornpipe" derives from an early double-reed instrument made from animal horn. Contemporary hornpipes are in 2/4 or 4/4 and are played more slowly than the reel and in a dotted rhythm.
Jig an English/Celtic dance tune popularized in the 16th century that in triple time. There are 4 types of jigs: single (6/8), double (12/8), slip (9/8), and straight.
March a style of music with a steady, even beat suitable for marching, usually in duple meter with simple, strongly marked ryhthm and regular phrases. There are 4 types of marches: funeral, slow, quick, and double quick.
One step an old ballroom dance in 2/4 charaterized by quick walking steps.
Planxty an Irish tune composed for a patron or in honor of a friend or hero which sometimes has a phrase syllablically like the patron's name
Polka a Bohemian, Czech, or Polish couple dance in quick duple meter. The basic step is a hop followed by 3 steps
Quadrille originally the name of a 19th-century French dance. As a fiddle tune, it is in either 2/4 or 6/8, usually the latter.
Quickstep originally a military march done in quick steps (108 steps/minute); now usually in duple (2/4) or quadruple (4/4) metter and played as a reel
Rag a style of American popular music that reached its peak in the 1910s, characterized by a march-like duple meter with a highly syncopated melody. It may consist of 3 to 5 parts of 16 or 32 measures each.
Reel a lively dance in moderately quick duple meter performed by 2 or more couples facing each other and executing figures of eight. The music consists of 4 or 8 measures phrases repeated over and over.
Schottische a tune similar to a strathspey, but closer to a 2/2 meter and at a faster tempo.
Slide a type of dance tune closely related to jigs in 6/8 meter found in the southwest counties of Ireland.
Stomp a jazz-like dance tune with a lively rhythm and strong beat.
Strathspey a Scottish dance in 4/4 time with many dotted rhythms, frequently in the inverted arrangement of the "Scottish snap." There are 2 types of strathspeys: slow and dance.
Two step a ballroom dance in 2/4 time
Waltz a ballroom couple's dance in moderate 3/4 time with a marked accent on the first beat of the measure

Meter and tempo by type of dance
type of dance meter tempo
clog, fox trot 2/2 60-76
jig 6/8 86-130
polka 2/4 108-138
reel 2/4 or 4/4 80-126
schottische 2/2 60-76
waltz 3/4 96-160