Revisiting An Old Argument
Remember the several threads that have addressed whether reels are in 4/4 or cut time (2/2)? My contention is that they are in cut time and I now have a new perspective that supports that contention. Last night, I played for our excellent local Irish dance company. In preparation, I learned that the standard tempo for reels is 120 beats per minute. At the desired tempo, that must be counted in two beats per measure. Go to YouTube and query Irish Reel 120 BPM and you will find that if you count four beats per measure, you will come out with 240, not 120. Remember that 4/4 and 2/2 notation divide the measure at the same places. The notation is the same; only the meter changes between the two time signatures.
This tidbit was not known to me until I was called upon to know it for this performance. I would love to hear from players who play for dancers on this. The previous (and many) threads on this subject have never seemed to reach a definitive consensus, and I’m wondering if this does it. Have at it, friends.