Gigue Canadienne reel

Also known as La Guénille, Reel Canadien, Reel De La Guénille.

There are 2 recordings of this tune.

Gigue Canadienne has been added to 18 tunebooks.

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Three settings

X: 1
T: Gigue Canadienne
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
A3B|:cAAA cABc|dedc B3d|cAAA cABc|1 dedB AAAB:|2 dedB A3c3/4g/4||
|:a2g2 fcB c3/4g/4|a2g2 f2cB|cedc BBB c3/4g/4|a2g2 fcB c3/4g/4|a2g2 f2cB|1 cedc A3 c3/4g/4:|2 cedc A3B||
X: 2
T: Gigue Canadienne
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
dc|:B2GB cAFA|d^cde dBGB|DFAB cBcB|AGFE DB,DG|B2B2 cBce|
dBge dBGB|DFAB cAFG|1 A2G2 G2dc:|2 A2G2 G2ga||
|:bgfg dega|bgfg dega|ba^ga ea^ga|ba^ga ef=ga|bgfg dega|
bgfg defg|(3aba (3gag (3fgf (3efe|1 defe g2ga:|2 defe g2G2||
X: 3
T: Gigue Canadienne
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
A3B|:cAAA cABc|dedc B3d|cAAA cABc|
[1 dedB AAAB:|2 dedB A3c|:{g}a2g2 fcB c|{g}a2g2 f2cB|cedc BBB c|
{g}a2g2 fcB c|{g}a2g2 f2cB|1 cedc A3 c:|2 cedc A3B||

Ten comments

I transcribed it from another free mp3 by Isidore Soucy on The Virtual gramophone.
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Although titled as a “gigue” (gig), it’s actually a reel. Perhaps there was some confusion in the past between gigs and reels, but still nowadays the “gigue” (gig) dance in Québec is mainly done on reels, because reels are more common in Québec’s folkloric tradition. At least that’s the conclusion I thought of after talking with my one-time gig teacher. (I was completely dumb on the gig, thus “one-time”, hehe.)

And here’s some political ranting. By the time that tune was recorded, “Canadien” or “Canadienne” meant, for most people around here, french language, the other people in Canada being “the English”. When people figured out that these were also Canadians, they started calling themselves “Canadiens français”, and still in pursue of their identity, called themselves “Québécois” around the 70s. So, if this reel was written after that time, Rimouski-born (a quite nationalist place) Isidore Soucy would have pretty much called it “Gigue québécoise”, perhaps even if he didn’t write the tune himself.

Gigues and reels

Maybe this tune was only used for a gigue as was the Famille Soucy’s version of the Spandy. Vice versa, if a jig was just used for a certain “reel de set caree”, perhaps they just affixed the “reel” title to the 6/8 or 12/8 time signature tune.

I’ve come across other JINO’s (Jig In Name Only). As well as I can remember, they were all very old tunes. Kemp’s Jig is an Elizabethan lute tune in 2/4 or 4/4 and it doesn’t sound like it would work very naturally in a triple meter. Maybe “jig” meant something different in the misty past.

A name ‘gigue’ or ‘jig’ does not, and has never, referred to one time signature but can be in double or triple time. It is simply because the vast majority of tunes with that name are in triple time that it is assumed that the name equates with a particular time signature. In classical music a jig is often at the end of a ‘suite’, and can be in either time.

Another version… (Allard)

From the same site that Yukinoroh used (I don’t have the address handy), I learned and transcribed the following tune by the same name:

T:Gigue Canadienne
C:Joseph Allard
dc |:B2GB cAFA|d^cde dBGB|DFAB cBcB|AGFE DB,DG|B2B2 cBce|
dBge dBGB|DFAB cAFG|1.A2G2 G2dc:|2.A2G2 G2ga|
|:bgfg dega|bgfg dega|ba^ga ea^ga|ba^ga ef=ga|bgfg dega|
bgfg defg|(3aba (3gag (3fgf (3efe|1.defe g2ga:|2.defe g2G2|

To me, it sounds like a completely different tune, similar only in title… Does it warrant its own listing?

My friends and I put this at the end of a set that starts with Reel de la Veuve, followed by a version of Mackilmoyle’s (or Galop de Malbaie).

The tune written with taps :

A3B |: cAAA cABc | dedc B3d | cAAA cABc |
|[1 dedB AAAB :|[2 dedB A3c |: {g}a2g2 fcB c | {g}a2g2 f2cB | cedc BBB c |
| {g}a2g2 fcB c | {g}a2g2 f2cB |[1 cedc A3 c :|[2 cedc A3B |]

Re: Gigue Canadienne

The Allard tune recorded as Gigue Canadienne is a version of Murray’s Fancy which Michael Coleman recorded in 1921 (Vocalion 14201B). Definitely not the same tune as Soucy’s. I’ve never heard this called Reel De La Guénille but a tune of that name was recorded by Alfred Montmarquette (Starr 15491-A, 1928) and by Louis Beaudoin (Philo 2000, 1973). Beaudoin was one of the good friends making good music with The Boys of the Lough on their 1977 album.

Re: Gigue Canadienne

Dr. Jean Duval says the Soucy tune by this name is a version of the “Flat Foot Reel”, an American tune which I can’t seem to find recorded anywhere. I also think Soucy may have actually recorded this in G but with the fiddle tuned up a tone, as he often did, especially with the accordionist Donat Lafleur.

Re: Gigue Canadienne

My understanding is that a gigue is a step dance. I believe that what we call jigs are called 6/8s in French Canada.