Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

I'm new to the minstrel world, but on first blush, many of the old 2/4 "jigs" sound to me a bit like Irish barn dances from Donegal. Which makes sense I suppose. I've heard it said that barn dances came over to Ireland from the US... New York to be precise. Can anyone confirm--or clarify? (Or point me to a previous thread... this must have been discussed before now :)

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Very helpful Wes, thanks! Just from listening. it sure sounds like the minstrel shows borrowed heavily from the Irish dance repertoire. And Dan'l good point about the loose nature of the term "jig" and why. In the trad-Irish world, as you all know, the word jig applies only to tunes in 6/8 time (or 9/8 in the case of a slip-jig)

Along those same lines here are a couple of jigs from Winner's Improved Accordeon Method, 1854.

The first is a version of the Wind that Shakes the Barley and the Second has a lot in common with Sally in the Garden.

This name-swapping sounds like the old time players in the 20s who would reportedly do something similar... in the studio, when asked what they were about to play, if they said the title of a tune that had just been recorded by someone else, the producer would nix it... whereupon the artist would then proceed to play it anyway, and give it a new name.

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