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Music Discuss specific tunes, the writing of tunes, other questions, concerns, etc. related specifically to the music or music books.

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Old 01-17-2019, 05:26 AM   #1
Lochie
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Default Tunes for Scottish Country Dancing

Hello all,
I've been invited to pipe at the opening of a large Scottish Dance event. They've also asked if I'd be able to play for one of their dance sets.
I've been playing for decades, and for Highland dancers, but this is a first for me.
I've not found any examples on the internet other than accordion and fiddle.
Has anybody done this before ?
If so I'd greatly appreciate some tune names, tempo and length of play...
Thanks in advance,
Lochie
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Old 01-17-2019, 06:14 AM   #2
John McCain
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Default Re: Tunes for Scottish Country Dancing

Volunteer for a jig set. Most are designated as 8x32. This means each time through the dances is 32 measures/bars and there are 8 total 32 bar tunes.

Most 2-parted jigs are 32 bars. You really only need 3 tunes and can play them in any order. Some dancers prefer the last tune to be the same as the first one.

Playing about 108 bpm will be good. And playing a short 4-bar end phrase at the beginning will get the dancers started, much like highland.

I sometimes use a metronome/earpiece.

If the floor is bouncy and the dancers are good itís thrilling to play for them.
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Old 01-17-2019, 11:50 AM   #3
Klondike Waldo
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Default Re: Tunes for Scottish Country Dancing

You could also do a reel set - Reel of The 51st Division, for example I've played that as Corn rigs, then two two-part reels, then a four-part reel I wrote and end with Corn Rigs again. In Scottish Country Dancing, it usual to end a set with the same tune you started it with - gives the dancers a "heads Up" that it's coming to the end.


A Gay Gordons set is usually a big hit- start with Gay Gordons, then add other 2/4 marches (STB, Rowan Tree, etc. to round out the set.)
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Old 01-17-2019, 08:12 PM   #4
Lochie
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Default Re: Tunes for Scottish Country Dancing

Thanks very much!
Great stuff, and lots to work with.
Appreciate the assistance, and off I go to the tune books for the fun part...
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Old 01-18-2019, 02:21 AM   #5
Ron Teague
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Default Re: Tunes for Scottish Country Dancing

Get this:
Captain John MacLellan:
Bagpipe music for dancing


He give tempo times and is a great book.


RT
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Old 01-18-2019, 05:12 AM   #6
Lochie
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Default Re: Tunes for Scottish Country Dancing

I have the book, just assumed it was for highland dancing and didn't even check, I'll take a look.
I also have Barry Shear's latest collections which I've not had a chance to read through, that will be another possibility.
Thanks
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Old 01-18-2019, 08:49 AM   #7
Pip01
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Default Re: Tunes for Scottish Country Dancing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lochie


I also have Barry Shear's latest collections which I've not had a chance to read through,




You shall be wondrously well pleased!!

It/they are a truly marvelous work!! :)





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Old 01-18-2019, 03:38 PM   #8
Lochie
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Default Re: Tunes for Scottish Country Dancing

I have no doubt, all his publications are brilliant!
I used to collect pipes, retirement has curturbed me to collecting pipe books. Equally rewarding...
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Old 01-18-2019, 05:18 PM   #9
Klondike Waldo
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Default Re: Tunes for Scottish Country Dancing

Keep in mind Strathspeys for Scottish Country Dancing are generally played "stately" rather than "Sprightly"- slower than highland dancing, and quite a bit slower than in Cape Breton style.
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Old 01-20-2019, 05:02 AM   #10
brlon
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Default Re: Tunes for Scottish Country Dancing

Best to ask which actual dance they might like you to play for. The name of some dances is the same as the name of a specific tune so the dancers might expect that tune at least for the first time (and last).

Asking the piper to play for the eightsome reel is quite common and can be something of a marathon; the 'small' reels are appropriate but a selection of good 2/4 marches can be slightly less taxing.

It's not a bad idea to have a pair of pipers for country dancing - stamina and volume!
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