Basic Theory: The 6/8 March

The 6/8 March, along with the Jig, is written in compound time (beats divided into groups of three).  However, the underlying subdivisions in the 6/8 March are different than those of the Jig.  In a Jig, the underlying subdivision is three equal eighth notes (Jig-gi-ty).  For the 6/8 March, the underlying subdivision is a dotted eighth note beamed to a sixteenth and a regular eighth note.  The dot and cut within the triplet creates swing.  To reproduce this swing rhythm, simply say the phrase  "Amsterdam, Amsterdam".

Rhythm Syllables

The 6/8 March is tied with the Round Reel for fewest number of rhythm syllables with six.  They are all related to the central rhythm of this style:  The "Amsterdam" rhythm.  All dotted quarter notes use the syllable "Dam".  The inverse rhythm to "Amsterdam" (where the sixteenth note appears first, followed by the dotted eighth note, uses "Get 'em to" (the syllable "em" should be held slightly to achieve the correct timing).  For the quarter note followed by an eighth note, the syllables "Go" and "To" are used (the syllable "Go" should be held).  Finally, "Get Up" is used for an eighth note followed by a quarter note and should be pronounced "Gehh Dup" to achieve the correct timing.