Reel St. Jean reel

Also known as Reel Saint-Jean.

There are 4 recordings of a tune by this name.

Reel St. Jean has been added to 60 tunebooks.

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Five settings

X: 1
T: Reel St. Jean
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Bmin
dB~B2 FB~B2|dfBd f2ed|cA~A2 EA~A2|ceAc e2fe|
dB~B2 FB~B2|dfBd f2cB|~A3c e2fe|1dAcA B2fe:|2dAcA B2Bc||
d2dc defg|a2ab afed|d'2 b2 afed|edef edBA|
d2dc defg|a2ab afed|d'2 b2 afed|1edef d2Bc:|2edef d2fe||
# Added by jdave .
X: 2
T: Reel St. Jean
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Emin
GE (3EEE B,E (3EEE|GBEG B2AG|FD (3DDD A,D (3DDD|FADF A2BA|
GE (3EEE B,E (3EEE|GBEG B2 (3FED|~E3F A2BA|1 GEFD E2BA:|2 GEFD E2EF|
|:G2GF GABc|d2de dBAG|g2e2 dBAG|AGAB AGED|
G2GF GABc|d2de dBAG|g2e2 dBAG|1 AGAB G2EF:|2 AGAB G2BA||
X: 3
T: Reel St. Jean
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Bmin
dB~B2 FB~B2|dfBd f2ed|cA~A2 EA~A2|ceAc e2fe|
dB~B2 FB~B2|dfBd f2cB|~A3c e2fe|1dBcA B2fe:|2dBcA B2(3ABc||
d2dc defg|a2ab afed|d'2 b2 afde|fdef edBA|
d2dc defg|a2ab afed|d'2 b2 afde|1fdec d2(3ABc:|2fdec d2fe||
X: 4
T: Reel St. Jean
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Bmin
dBBB FBdB|dfBd f2ed|cAAA EAcA|ceAc e2fe|
dBBB FBdB|dfBd f2cB|~A3c eefe|1dBcA B2fe:|2dBcA B2(3ABc||
d2dc defg|a2ab afed|d'2 b2 afde|fdef edBA|
d2dc defg|a2ab afed|d'2 b2 afde|1fdec d2(3ABc:|2fdec d2fe||
X: 5
T: Reel St. Jean
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Bmin
fe|:dB~B2 FBdB|dfBd f2ed|cA~A2 EAcA|ceAc e2fe|
dB~B2 FBdB|dfBd f2cB|~A3c effe|1dfcf B2fe:|2dfcf B2(3ABc||
|:d3c defg|a2ab afed|d'2 b2 afde|fdef edBA|
d2dc defg|a2ab afed|d'2 b2 afde|1fdef d3A:|2fdef d3|

Fourteen comments

Reel St. Jean

Source: Chris Norman; Beauty of the North

A reel named for a town in Quebec; Chris’ setting on the album is wonderful, one of my all-time favorites.

When I learned this, I couldn’t hear exactly what the sequence of notes in the last bar in the A part was. I posted the way I normally play but you can also do |dFcF B2| I done both but have always stuck with |dAcA B2| because it’s easier! :)…on the flute at least.

-Jonathan

Posted by .

Reel St Jean

Where has this tune been all my life? Certainly one for my tune book! Like the high d in the second part.
Trevor

Reel St Jean

Possibly a better sequence of notes for the last bar of the A oart for the fiddle would be |dBcA B2|.
The last bar of the B-part could be |fdec d2|, to match the A-part.
Trevor

Reel St. Jean

Yes, the high d is what really "makes" to for me! Great tune.

Posted by .

Reel St Jean

To me, this fine tune sounds better on the fiddle when played in Eminor (a 5th below the Bmin of the original, and easily done by playing on the next string down). This has the advantage of utilising the sonority of the instrument better (for instance by doubling the G at the beginning of the second part at the octave (a bit like Donegal style), and using all 4 of the strings. Some players may also prefer the advantage of not having to go for the high D on the E string in the original. And viola players who want to play it will also be happier (the high D in the original is well into the dusty end of the fingerboard for them! - unless they go to the trouble of transposing the tune down an octave). So here is the Emin version. I’ve made a variation in the ornamentation towards the end of the first part, to make it sound more effective on the fiddle.

M:C|
L:1/8
K:Emin
GE (3EEE B,E (3EEE|GBEG B2AG|FD (3DDD A,D (3DDD|FADF A2BA|
GE (3EEE B,E (3EEE|GBEG B2 (3FED|~E3F A2BA|1 GEFD E2BA:|2 GEFD E2EF|
|:G2GF GABc|d2de dBAG|g2e2 dBAG|AGAB AGED|
G2GF GABc|d2de dBAG|g2e2 dBAG|1 AGAB G2EF:|2 AGAB G2BA||

For fiddle players who prefer to stick with the Bmin version, I think the second part is easiest played by going into the 3rd position with the first note, and remaining there until the end - but don’t let the ITM police see you doing it :-) Alternatively, jump into the 3rd or 4th position just for the high D followed by the high B, and then back to the 1st position.

BTW, has this tune got any Donegal connections or origins?

TRevor

Reel St. Jean

It has no Donegal connections that I know of. However, Quebec is close to Cape Breton and Cape Breton was settled by the Scottish/Northern Irish, so who knows…?

I ran through your Emin setting on my whistle, jacking up those lower octave notes. I like it—esp. because high d is rather squeaky on the whistle.

Posted by .

Recording

Also by La Bottine Souriante on "La Traversee de L’Atlantique" (Green Linnet). Needless to say, the approach is a little different.
To my ears, the tune starts on the B music (both recordings).
I guess I’m in the minority.

Reel St. Jean

La Bottine Souriante: La Traversee de L’Atlatique

Author of Reel Saint-Jean

Reel St-Jean was composed by Theodore Duguay, a famous accordeonnist from Quebec City. This is well documented, for example in "Danse ce soir!" a book and CD document presenting over 100 popular Quebecois tunes.
A great tune on D whistle, using the higher / 3rd D.

Playing it on the whistle

jdave tells how the high D is squeaky, which is of course very true. I find it sounds good in this tune if you play the note very short, allowing a brief silence, instead of playing it long like other instruments would do.

Other setting

Here’s a version I believe to be closer to what we actually play. Changes are at the end of the fisrt part and in the second part. Hope you enjoy.

X: 1
T: Reel Saint-Jean (Theodore Duguay)
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
R: reel
K: Bmin
dB~B2 FB~B2|dfBd f2ed|cA~A2 EA~A2|ceAc e2fe|
dB~B2 FB~B2|dfBd f2cB|~A3c e2fe|1dBcA B2fe:|2dBcA B2(3ABc||
d2dc defg|a2ab afed|d’2 b2 afde|fdef edBA|
d2dc defg|a2ab afed|d’2 b2 afde|1fdec d2(3ABc:|2fdec d2fe||

Other setting (erratum)

I omitted certain modifications in part A that I find relevant to bring to your attention. Here it is.
X: 1
T: Reel Saint-Jean (by Theodore Duguay)
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
R: reel
K: Bmin
dBBB FBdB|dfBd f2ed|cAAA EAcA|ceAc e2fe|
dBBB FBdB|dfBd f2cB|~A3c eefe|1dBcA B2fe:|2dBcA B2(3ABc||
d2dc defg|a2ab afed|d’2 b2 afde|fdef edBA|
d2dc defg|a2ab afed|d’2 b2 afde|1fdec d2(3ABc:|2fdec d2fe||

B part an octave lower

When I play this tune, the B part is played an octave lower which keeps fiddlers out of the high part of the E string, but it means that the G string is used a bit causing some inconvenience to the flute players. Ah well.

Reel St. Jean, X:5

I learned this tune from Andy Rigby at the Lakes School of Irish Music in Koroit Victoria Australia. I love the arpeggios in the "A Part" and none of the other versions had this the way Andy taught us. He learned it from Chris Norman when Chris came to Australia in 2015. A great tune and certainly one of my new favourites.