Jig, E Dorian, Traditional Irish
Also know as: The Dancing Master
Perhaps it’s the swooping flight of a swallowtail butterfly that gives this tune its name. Swallowtail butterflies are so named because the forked shape of the back edge of their wings resembles a swallow’s tail. Swallowtail Jig is a beautiful tune that is at the deep core of traditional Irish session and dance tunes.
- Video – Peadkfiddler: Swallowtail Jig – played on fiddle
- Video – Shane Farrell (Traditional Irish Music): The Swallowtail Jig – played on tenor banjo
- Video – Anthea Lawrence (Fiddlehead): Morrison’s Jig/The Butterfly/Swallowtail Jig – from the album Fiddlehead (Olympia, Washington, USA). Swallowtail Jig starts at time 2:14 in this recording.
Dots (Music Notation)
As always for traditional tunes, the musical notation and chords do not indicate the “right” way to play the tune, but are a useful reference.
Play from the Dots
Examples of sets that include this tune.
References and Resources
For those who want to dig deeper, here are some other resources.
- More Recordings
- Audio – Stuart Mason & John Weed: The Swallowtail Jig – played slowly on fiddle with guitar backing. From the album Slow & Easy Volume 2.
- Book & Audio – Tom Morley: Learn to Play Irish Fiddle
- Book & Audio – Matt & Shannon Heaton: In Harmony
- Book & Audio – John Weed and Stuart Mason: Slow & Easy Volumes 1 and 2
- Lesson – Chris Haig (The Fiddle Channel): Swallowtail Jig, lesson with ideas for bowing and ornamentation
- Lesson – Baron Collins-Hill (MandoLessons): Swallowtail Jig – mandolin lesson with video, sheet music, tab, and play-along tracks. Also at MandoLessons: Swallowtail Jig: Play Along Jam; Swallowtail Jig: Simple To Complex
- Lesson – Casey Willis (Fiddlevideo): Swallowtail Jig Fiddle Lesson – partial lesson (full lesson requires subscription to Fiddlevideo)
- Lesson – Shannon Heaton: Learning Irish Flute – Tune of the Month with Shannon Heaton – Swallowtail Jig – taught phrase by phrase on flute
- Additional Resources
- Article – Jonathan Lay (TrailJams): Dorian, Mixolydian, Oh My: Modes in a Nutshell
- Webpage – The Session: The Swallowtail Jig – crowdsourced sheet music, comments and more
- Article – Wikipedia: Swallowtail butterfly