Often the last movement found in a developed suite of instrumental dances. It originated in Ireland and England as the jig but came to France by the 1650s whereupon it became a part of the lute repertory. In Italy the gigue was found in a great deal of violin music played at a very quick tempo. The rhythms are often written in triadic duple (6/8 and 12/8) where there are two or four beats in the measure but each beat is comprised of three eighth notes. Melodically the musical phrases are continuous, consistent but repetitive as well.

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Gigue (zheeg), n. [F.]

A piece of lively dance music, in two strains which are repeated; also, the dance.


© Webster 1913.

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