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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Gigue \Gigue\ (zh[-e]g), n. [F.] A piece of lively dance music, in two strains which are repeated; also, the dance.


n. an Irish dance, derived from the jig, used in the Partita form (Baroque Period).


The gigue (; ) or giga is a lively baroque dance originating from the British jig. It was imported into France in the mid-17th century and usually appears at the end of a suite. The gigue was probably never a court dance, but it was danced by nobility on social occasions and several court composers wrote gigues.

A gigue is usually in or in one of its compound metre derivatives, such as , , or , although there are some gigues written in other metres, as for example the gigue from Johann Sebastian Bach's first French Suite (BWV 812), which is written in .

It often has a contrapuntal texture. It often has accents on the third beats in the bar, making the gigue a lively folk dance.

In early French theatre, it was customary to end a play's performance with a gigue, complete with music and dancing.

A gigue, like other Baroque dances, consists of two sections. In Bach's gigues, each section often begins as a fugue, in which the theme used in the first section is inverted in the second section, as for example in the gigue from Bach's third English Suite.

Usage examples of "gigue".

Heer Pruyn makes a motion to the lead violinist of the small orchestra, and a vivid gigue is struck up.

Bach suite and then a gigue, before striking into the air of Greensleeves.

Eric joined the stream of humanity descending the steps into the subway, whistling a Bach gigue to purge his brain of any remaining taint of irritation with Professor Levoisier.

Nocturne of the Sleeping Beauty in the Wood, the Gavotte of the Yellow Ladies, the Gigue of the Mill, the Prelude of the Drops of Water, and so on.

Arietta by Antonio Salieri, then she played a Toccata by Leonardo Leo, a Gavotte by Rameau, a Gigue by Sebastian Bach.

This so pleased them that they made varied sounds of greeting, whereupon she started playing in dainty fashion a Mozart gigue which had floated up the river from New Orleans.

He seems quite content to play the same little gigues and minuets as a decade ago.

It gave way to the Allemande, then to the Courante and Sarabande, then to a pair of Gavottes, and then finally to the Gigue.

And just then, out there, like Hounds let loose, the church bells of America all begin to toll, peculiarly lucid in the fog, a dense Carillon, tun'd so exotically, they might be playing anything, Methodist hymns, Opera-hall Airs, jigs and gigues, work songs of sailors, Italian serenades, British Ballads, American Marches.