hornpipe

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hornpipe. The word has 2 meanings: (1) An obsolete instr., consisting of a wooden pipe with a reed mouthpiece (a single ‘beating’ reed), and, at the other end, a hn. as ‘bell’. Common in the Celtic parts of Brit.(2) A dance once popular in the Brit. Isles only, to which that instr. was orig. the usual acc. Properly a solo dance; earlier examples of the mus. are in simple triple time, but by the end of the 18th cent. this had changed to simple duple. This dance was later chiefly kept up by sailors. Purcell, Handel, and others wrote hornpipes.

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horn·pipe / ˈhôrnˌpīp/ • n. a lively dance associated with sailors, typically performed by one person. ∎  a piece of music for such a dance.