The High reel

Also known as Alexander Duff, An Ríl Ard, Barney McKenna’s High, Dr MacKinnon’s, Duffy The Dancer, The High Reel, No. 1, Sandy Duff.

There are 75 recordings of a tune by this name.

A tune by this name has been recorded together with The Dawn (lots of times), The Sally Gardens (a few times), The Scholar (a few times), The Silver Spear (a few times) and The Ale Is Dear (a few times).

The High has been added to 18 tune sets.

The High has been added to 800 tunebooks.

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Six settings

X: 1
T: The High
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Amix
|:a2 fa ec A2|cAeA fAeA|a2 fa ec A2|Bcdc BG G2|
a2 fa ec A2|cdef g2 fg|afge fdec|Bcdc BG G2:|
|:cAeA fAeA|cAaf ec A2|cAeA fAeA|Bcdc BG G2|
cAeA fAeA|cdef g2 fg|afge fdec|Bcdc BG G2:|
X: 2
T: The High
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Amix
|:a2fa eA (3AAA|cAeA cAAg|a2fa eA (3AAA|Bcdc BGGg|
a2fa eA (3AAA|Bdef g2fg|afge fdec|1dfed cA A2:|2dfed cA A||
|:B|(3cBA eA fAeA|cAef e2ed|(3cBA eA fAeA|Bdgd BGGB|
(3cBA eA fAeA|Bdef g2fg|afge fdec|1dfed cA A:|2dfed cA A2||
X: 3
T: The High
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|: {ag}a2 ga ec{g}AB | {g}cd{g}ed {g}cA {d}A2 | {ag}a2 ga ec{g}Ac | {g}Bc{g}dc {g}BG {d}G2 |
| {ag}a2 ga ec{g}AB | {g}cd{g}ef {gf}g2 {a}fg | af {a}(3gfe {g}fd{g}ec | {g}Bc{g}dc {g}BG [1{d}G2 :| [2{d}GB |
|: {g}(3cBA {g}eA {g}fA{g}eA | {g}(3cBA af {g}ec{g}AB | {g}(3cBA {g}eA {g}fA{g}eA | {g}Bc{g}dc {g}BG{d}GB |
| {g}(3cBA {g}eA {g}fA{g}eA | {g}cd{g}ef {gf}g2 {a}fg | af {a}(3gfe {g}fd{g}ec | {g}Bc{g}dc {g}BG [1{d}GB :| [2 {d}G2 |
X: 4
T: The High
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Amaj
e | a2 e<a c>AA>a | c<Ae>A c>AA>e |
=g2 f<g a>ef>d | B<=Gd>G B>GG ||
a | c<Ae>A f>Ae>d | c<Ae>A c>AA>a |
X: 5
T: The High
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Amix
|:a2 fa ec A2|cded cAA2|a2 fa ec A2|Bcdc BG G2|
a2 fa ec A2|cdef g2 fg|afge fdec|Bcdc BG G2:|
|:cAeA fAeA|cAaf ec BA|cAeA fAeA|Bcdc BG G2|
cAeA fAeA|cdef g2 fg|afge fdec|Bcdc BG G2:|
X: 6
T: The High
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Amix
|:a2 fa eA A2|cAeA fAeA|a2 fa eA A2|Bcdc BG G2|
a2 fa eA A2|(3Bcd ef g2fg|afge fdec|dfed cA A2:||
|:cAeA fAeA|cAaf eA A2 |cAeA fAeA|(3Bcd gd BG G2|
cAeA fAeA|(3Bcd ef g2 fg|afge fdec|dfed cA A2:||
# Added by JACKB .

Twenty comments

The High Reel starts, aptly enough, with a high A note. You can turn it into a triplet, slide up to it from G-sharp, or drone the open A string with it.

After that comes the string-hopping phrase. If you can play this kind of thing fluidly, it’ll come in handy for a lot of other tunes. The same phrase shows up in O’ Rourke’s Reel.

In the second part, watch out for that quick jump to the high A again.

The High Reel

Thanks for posting this one.

Does anyone play this tune with C naturals instead of C#? When I was working this up for a hammer dulcimer arrangement, the C# wasn’t convenient, so I tried the C natural and it sounds great, a bit moody.

Workes best at moderate speed on dulcimer. —tom guay

True Story

I’ve already talked about this in the Discussion Page but on hearing about the competition thought it deserved another telling.
My friend and I have been working on expanding our list of tunes since we started playing ITM about six months ago. He plays fiddle and I play guitar accompaniment. We decided to go to the Port Fairy Folk Festival last weekend and join in the sessions that we know occur in a couple of the local pubs in the evenings. We were welcomed on the first night by the seven or eight players already there (partly because four of them were bodhraneers, and none were guitarists!!) The melody players were very good, particularly the accordian player. My friend took advantage of a longer-than-usual pause between sets to start playing his latest "conquest", the High Reel. The accordian player leant across to me and asked if I knew the tune he was playing. I told her and she joined in. When the tune was done, she said to my friend "That was great. It sounds so ‘different’ at that speed!" In response to my mate’s puzzled look she then did the reel once thru at lightening speed! My friend took it all very well. He must have snuck off somewhere to practise next day (tho I didn’t hear him). The next night we went back to the session - more players, lower bodhran ratio, diferent pub (still the only guitar!!) and my mate says to accordian woman "Hows about we try the High Reel again at sub-light speed?" She laughed and they then belted out a terrific version at a pretty cracking pace, which was answered by much appause and cheers (particularly those of us who had witnessed the previous evening!). My friend then turned to me with an elated smile and announced "Mate, I’ve never played it so fast in my life."
A nice aside to the story is that the accordian player also lives in Melbourne and invited us to come along to a ‘closed’ session run by an ITM group in a small hall in the inner city, who work on improving their skills with a huge collection of tunes. Actually more like a living library of trad tunes and the ‘members’ who play, showcase, and teach them. Seems she thought we had enough "grip" to be invited!!!

Gerry.

Another setting …

A rather strange setting.

Courtesy of Josephine Keegan from her collection, "A Drop In The Ocean".

X:1
T:High Reel No. 1, The
M:4/4
R:Reel
K:AMix
|:a2fa eA (3AAA|cAeA cAAg|a2fa eA (3AAA|Bcdc BGGg|
a2fa eA (3AAA|Bdef g2fg|afge fdec|1dfed cA A2:|2dfed cA A||
|:B|(3cBA eA fAeA|cAef e2ed|(3cBA eA fAeA|Bdgd BGGB|
(3cBA eA fAeA|Bdef g2fg|afge fdec|1dfed cA A:|2dfed cA A2||

Horslips High Reel

Anyone know the names of the tunes that Horslips plays in "The High Reel"—besides the High Reel? Thanks!

Re: Horslips High Reel

The second tune is Sligo Maid, then it segues into a third one I’ll have to search the ABCs for.

P.S. Thanks for the memory jog - I’ve been looking for something to tag on the end of High Reel for a few weeks…

Eno

Faster than a speeding bullet

At our local, this usually ends up as the last tune in a set, and the fingers fly, as everyone likes to play at a blistering pace.

A scottish smallpipe version (= has lots of gracenotes)

X:1
T:High Reel
C:Traditional
M:2/2
K:D
|: {ag}a2 ga ec{g}AB | {g}cd{g}ed {g}cA {d}A2 | {ag}a2 ga ec{g}Ac | {g}Bc{g}dc {g}BG {d}G2 |
%
| {ag}a2 ga ec{g}AB | {g}cd{g}ef {gf}g2 {a}fg | af {a}(3gfe {g}fd{g}ec | {g}Bc{g}dc {g}BG [1{d}G2 :| [2{d}GB |
%
|: {g}(3cBA {g}eA {g}fA{g}eA | {g}(3cBA af {g}ec{g}AB | {g}(3cBA {g}eA {g}fA{g}eA | {g}Bc{g}dc {g}BG{d}GB |
%
| {g}(3cBA {g}eA {g}fA{g}eA | {g}cd{g}ef {gf}g2 {a}fg | af {a}(3gfe {g}fd{g}ec | {g}Bc{g}dc {g}BG [1{d}GB :| [2 {d}G2 |

Barney McKenna

This tune is often associated with Barney Mckenna and called Barney McKenna’s High Reel.

The High Reel

Just to confirm the relationship between "The High Reel" and the Scottish pipe reel "Sandy Duff". The following setting is from ‘Scots Guards, Standard Settings Vol.1" (1954), minus gracenotes:

X:609
T:Sandy Duff
B:Scots Guards, Standard Settings
Z:Nigel Gatherer
L:1/8
M:4/4
K:A
e | a2 e<a c>AA>a | c<Ae>A c>AA>e |
a2 e<a c>AA>a | B<=Gd>G B>GG>e |
a2 e<a c>AA>a | c<Ae>A c>AA>c |
=g2 f<g a>ef>d | B<=Gd>G B>GG ||
a | c<Ae>A f>Ae>d | c<Ae>A c>AA>a |
c<Ae>A f>Ae>d | B<=Gd>G B>GG>a |
c<Ae>A f>Ae>d | c<Ae>A c>AA>c |
=g2 f<g a>ef>d | B<=Gd>G B>GG |]

The tune can be found earlier in the Gesto Collection of 1893 as "Dr MacKinnon’s Reel" with a note reading, "Almost the same tune as ‘Alexander Duff’ by the late D Campbell."

High Reel

Hi
Does anyone know what are the tunes the horslips play in the high reel. i know the last one also features in a thin lizzy song (black rose)
I would realy appreciate any replies.
Thanks in advance

Posted by .

Re: High Reel

Well, of course there is this tune called the High Reel:

https://thesession.org/tunes/44

but you probably would have figured that out yourself, wouldn’t you?

Ps….

2 different tunes entirely, but both good ‘uns.

Posted by .

=)

Thanks a lot!!! I hadn’t found it. Thanks=)

The High, X:5

Slight alteration of the A part, as heard on a Fir Bolg recording.