Quick TempoIt is a convenient shorthand to categorize Reels, Hornpipes and Jigs under the heading Quick tempo since, from the dancing point of view, they are performed using the same steps and exactly the same form of the Figures.
Even the speed is the same when defined as bars rather than crochets per minute; the RSCDS recommendation is 58 bars per minute (i.e., a little slower than 1 bar per second) though most Scottish Country Dance bands play the music slightly faster.
The tempo distinction is essential to the musicians and provides them with welcome variety in a Ball programme as any preparer of a programme should be aware. The dancer needs only a clear rhythm identifying the beginning of each bar and of each 8-bar (or, just occasionally, 10-bar) Phrase and sometimes the beginning of sub-Phrases of 4 bars. Indeed, many, quite competent dancers who can readily recognize the tune for a particular dance would admit to being unable to distinguish the difference of tempo between Reels, Hornpipes and Jigs.