HORNPIPE, originally the name of an instrument no longer in existence, and now the name of an English national dance. The sailors' hornpipe, although the most common, is by no means the only form of the dance, for there is a pretty tune known as the " College Hornpipe," and other specimens of a similar kind might be cited. The composition of hornpipes flourished chiefly in the 18th century, and even Handel did not disdain to use the characteristic rhythm. The hornpipe may be written in $ or in common time, and is always of a lively nature.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)