So, Are We Playing Dance Music?
Maybe this topic was already discussed. Or, if not, it may not be so important. But I want to know what other people think.
Last night I was listening to J. S. Bach’s French Suites performed by well-known Dutch harpsichordist Ton Koopman. Maybe you don’t know, but many of Bach’s instrumental works are derived from the dance music at that time. In fact, “gigues” in the suites are the imitations of Irish jigs in a sense. So, I feel, while so-called classical musicians play Bach’s works as purely instrumental pieces, many musicians who specialise in the baroque music try to play them “danceably.” Ton Koopman is definitely one of such musicians: what with the dynamic rhythms, lots of improvisational variations and ornamentations, he revives the works of the great German composer in the 18th century as the real dance music.
So, I’m now wondering, what about the traditional Irish music today? Do we always have to keep in mind it is the dance music we are playing. Or can we play or listen to the tunes just as beautiful, purely instrumental pieces?