Compositions on the subject of 12/8

What 12/8? why?

Ok, that’s a good question, the answer is in the dancing of the music. The best way to think of a 12/8 is to think of the feet whilst dancing. The 12/8 allows the dancer to slide their feet more than in say a ‘standard’ jig of 6/8. They are often referred to as either ‘single jigs’ or ‘slides’.

In traditional music, a slide is often confused with, a single jig. Slides are played mostly in the Sliabh Luachra region of Ireland, but originate from quadrilles.

Though slides contain the same number of beats per tune as a single jig, melodies are phrased in four rather than two beats. Consequently, single jigs are notated as having eight bars per part and slides as having four bars. Furthermore, the pace is quicker than single jigs, often around 150bpm. While single jigs are often danced solo by step dancers, slides are usually danced in groups by set dancers, sometimes in sets with polkas.

The 12/8 feels as if it inhabits a rythmic space between 6/8 and 4/4.

You are most welcome to browse, download and play any of the compositions. All compositions remain copyright © John C Grant.

You can download all PDFs here
Name Collection
Agnes Burns The Tarbolton Collection
Ally McNeill The Kilmarnock Collection
Cunningham Street The Tarbolton Collection
Emrie Mayon Hamilton The Kilmarnock Collection
Ewin Murray The Kilmarnock Collection
Harold McKeever The Tarbolton Collection
Isabella Burns The Tarbolton Collection
Margaret Sloan Place The Tarbolton Collection
McLeod Court The Tarbolton Collection
Miron Stratan The Fowk Collection
Rev Ian Uidhist MacDonald The Tarbolton Collection
School Avenue The Tarbolton Collection
Tarbolton Amateurs FC The Tarbolton Collection
The Comic Artist's Slide The Kilmarnock Collection
Thomas Wright The Tarbolton Collection
William Muir The Tarbolton Collection