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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 01-20-2019, 06:04 AM   #11
Roddy Livingstone
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Location: United Kingdom
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Default Re: Tunes for Scottish Country Dancing

A few observations here......

A number of dances do have "preferred tunes" - at least to start & finish the dance with. For example, The Reel of the 51st's preferred tune is almost always "The Drunken Piper".

When piping for reels, simple 2/4 Marches are just as good (sometimes better as they might have a heavier pulse) than reels.

If there is a SCD band performing at the event too (accordions, fiddles, piano etc) they will probably be very happy to provide you with some backing which is useful to keep the tempos steady.

Capt John MacLellan's Bagpipe Music for Dancing is an excellent resource in terms of suitable settings of recommended tunes but........it was published over 50 years ago and the tempo at which good dancers (both highland and Scottish country) perform has reduced slightly in the intervening years so this needs to be considered when looking at the recommended beats per minute data.

At Scottish Country dances make sure that either you or the caller announce that there will be a 4 bar or 8 bar introduction (and you'll still be amazed how many very competent dancers can't count!)

You might often find at social /non-dancing club events that there are only a few competent country dancers. Identify one or two of these from the outset, keep your eye on them, and should you start getting lost either regarding rhythm or tempo you'll soon notice it and they'll help you get back in sync.
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Old 01-21-2019, 06:35 PM   #12
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Default Re: Tunes for Scottish Country Dancing

More excellent information, thanks very much.
Luckily for me the organizers are friends so I'll know the callers, and also get an opportunity to rehearse the night before. I'll contact them in advance to choose one set they want, and take it from there. There will be two of us piping, and the ceilidh band....seems like there's a good chance of pulling this off...
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Old 01-22-2019, 09:21 AM   #13
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Default Re: Tunes for Scottish Country Dancing

Nothing like a couple of sprightly 2/4 Marches for a Canadian Barn Dance. Donald maclean's Farewell to Oban & Carradale Bay work. Previous suggestions are all pretty good too.
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Old 01-27-2019, 08:10 AM   #14
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Default Re: Tunes for Scottish Country Dancing

Originally Posted by Lochie View Post
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,
hey Lochie,

i happen to have a few books here on the subject, specifically John A Maclellans Bagpipe Music for Dancing

it lists the following:

Circassian Circle
Dashing white Sergeant
Duke of Atholls Reel
Duke of Perth
Eightsome Reel
Flowers of Edinburgh
Gay Gordons
Highland Schottische
Jennys Bawbee
Old Time Waltz (Scottish Waltz)
-Skye Boat, Highland Cradle Song, Longevual
Reel of the 51st Division
Scottish Ramble
Scottish Reform
Sixteensome Reel
Speed the Plough
Strip the Willow
Waltz Country Dance
-My Home, Highland Cradle Song
White Cockade
-White Cockade, Jennys Bawbee, My Love She's But A Lassie Yet

a few of those are sets including many known tunes, ive listed a handful nut can provide more info if needed

the book is quite impressive, and i would say worthpicking up if you can find it
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Old 01-28-2019, 05:24 AM   #15
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Default Re: Tunes for Scottish Country Dancing

Thanks much,
I'm still waiting to find out what dances they're requesting. It looks like the Gay Gordon's is a strong possibility.
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