Difference Between Reel and Jig

Difference Between Reel and Jig

Cultures from all throughout the globe are diverse. When it comes to popular culture, there’s no better example than dancing. The art and technique of dancing date back thousands of years. Dancing is an art form that uses body motions and music to communicate one’s thoughts and feelings without ever saying a word. Dance is a means of expressing one’s feelings as well as a means of amusement.

Dances see it as a kind of art that emphasizes the value of teamwork and a thorough knowledge of musical notation. Reels and jigs are among the most well-known Western dancing styles. Although they seem to be the same to the naked eye, the choreographies of these two dancers are somewhat different.

Reel Vs. Jig

The primary distinction between a reel and a jig is that each has its own unique time signature, such as a 44-beat reel and a 6-beat jig. A time signature is a Western-style musical rhythm notation that specifies the number of pulses per bar.

It’s well-known in Scotland that the reel is a kind of dance. The reel is regarded as a folk dance because of its origins. Beginner dancers learn this as their first dancing style. This style of Irish dancing is often regarded as the most approachable. The time signature for this piece of music is 4/4.

Jigs are a kind of English traditional dance. The French verb gigur, which means “to hop”, is the root of the English word “jig”. It has its roots mostly in the British Isles, particularly Londonderry and the Highlands of Scotland. A number of other Western nations followed suit. Its time signature is 6/8, indicating that each bar has six pulses.


In English-speaking nations, the reel is a popular type of dance. As a result, it’s classified as a folk dance. The reel is mostly Scottish in origin. In the United States, square dancing is a major tradition. There are four couples in a square and one of them is facing within the square, creating a four-pointed triangle.

Music for reel dancing has a four-four meter time signature. A time signature is a Western-style musical rhythm notation that specifies the number of pulses per bar.

In reel music, the most often used foot taps are “double-decker, double-decker”. It’s reel music if this line is in sync with the tempo. The majority of folk dance is made out of binary shapes. That is, A and B may be used to represent it.


Likewise, the jig is a Western traditional dance. The French term gigur, which means “to leap”, is the primary etymological ancestor of the English word “jig”. In both Ireland and Scotland, this dancing genre has its roots. The Irish jig and the Scottish jig, on the other hand, are distinct.

The English regard the jig to be a graceful dancing style. This kind of dance is executed with quick footwork and a solid upper body in order to achieve the desired effect. Dancing in this style is done to a fast-paced beat.

The musicians perform this song at a very high tempo. Its time signature is 6/8, indicating that each bar has six pulses. In other words, it’s like I 123 456. According to the rhyme, this beat is also known as the “carrot and cabbage beat”.

Jigs come in several varieties, including light jigs, slip jigs, single jibs, and double jibs, among others. All of these dance forms have a variety of sub-specialties that go beyond the scope of the primary dance form. One of Ireland’s most popular types of jigs is the slip jag. There, this style is referred as Irish ballet and is classified as ballet. To set the mood for the rest of the show, this sort of entertainment is often performed at the opening or finish of the show.

Difference Between Reel and Jig

  • There are two distinct time signatures in a reel: 4/4 and 6/8.
  • In Western nations, reels are more popular than jigs.
  • The reel is the most basic style of dance and is often taught to new dancers. The jig, on the other hand, has a faster tempo and is a lot more difficult to play than the reel.
  • Numerous additional dances have their origins in the jig. A slip jig, for example, is regarded as an Irish ballet. The reel, on the other hand, is devoid of any other kind.
  • The reel has a longer history than the jig. The reel and the jig only became popular as dances in the 16th century, respectively.


In the West, Irish dancing is revered for its elegance and refinement. Ireland and Scotland are the birthplaces of the jig and the reel. They’re practically identical, yet there are a few little differences that make them two distinct dance genres. In both cases, they are dances in which the dancer steps. They’re folk dances with a long history, and many people in the western world still know them well.

In order to demonstrate their old civilizations, they are often seen performing at traditional gatherings. These shapes have a lot to teach us. Reel and jig music creation is difficult to learn from sheet music since it requires practice and familiarity with the song. As a result, a novice will always require the guidance of a skilled instructor in order to progress to the next level.

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