Music

Database last updated November, 2012

Added PDFs for Dances 133 (Summer Wooing) to 141 (Captain White)

Added Midis and tunes to db for the above dances.

The following link National Folk Festival - Music gives you access to the list of tunes to be played at the NFF at Easter in 2013.

This page has changed markedly in 2011 utilising a database of tunes we have been putting together for dances and sessions over the years. Behind the database is also a series of indexed sources for a large range of Scottish, Irish, North American, English and Australian tunes linked into the db of dance sets and sessions. The major list of tunes (via button titled "Book Index") is accessable in many forms and provides a resource for those interested in finding examples of tunes in common collections and/or tunes in particular keys or styles. Exact references are given to the source of the tunes (I hope accurately, if not let me know) but the db is not a collection of actual dots or ABC for the tunes - these can be found elsewhere on the web (in places like JC's Tune Finder). As originally envisaged the website was designed around simple HTML pages, hand written to provide quick and easy navigation and downloads. This has progressed over the years to a stage where keeping the tables up-to-date has become somewhat cumbersome and each of the pages (in this the case the music page) was becoming a major textfile of some length. I have tried to keep the website simple and easy to navigate however some complexities introduced might see response times drop, I apologise in advance. I hope you find the page as easy to navigate as before. Please note there are fewer tables, with the "Year Sets" no longer being present and session tunes and dance tunes listed in the "Tune Table".

There is a wealth of music available for the Scottish Fiddler in many different formats. Interestingly quite a number of Scottish tunes are being heard at what are normally considered to be Irish sessions these days. This is over and above the tunes that are common to both repertoires.

If you are looking for sheet music on the web there are many sources and most use a method of transcription designed for the PC and the Net called ABC. This is a method of transcribing music into ASCII text which can be read by normal text editors. There are numerous programmes that can read ABC format and play the tunes on several platforms including both PC's and Mac's. One such programme is ABC2WIN developed by Jim Vint and available for download from his homepage, this programme is shareware and requires registration to allow the printing of scores but is fully functional otherwise. Registration is recommended and the programme is excellent value and is used here to create most of the ABC files on this site.

For more information and other links see the abc homepage

In addition, tunes are often available in midi format on many sites and these give you the ability to listen through a soundcard or attached midi enabled keyboard together with the many additional benefits of midi, or these days directly through Windows Media Player.

You will find numerous other programmes around the web that use ABC format and the above links should provide some base addresses worthy of deeper investigation. Many pages contain substantial lists of tunes in ABC format. Either the abc homepage or Jim Vint's is a good start. Or you might just start with our links page and try some of the links in the sheet music section.

To help our members, in the first table we have listed tunes that we play or use for teaching on a regular basis (Button titled "Tunes"). We have also provided a number of these in ABC and/or Midi formatted files available for download. (Please note if we have inadvertantly included a file or tune over which you have copyright we apologise and would like to hear from you so that we can withdraw the offending item) It is our intention to include snippets in RealAudio format where we have them played by the Sydney Scottish Fiddlers. An ABC file of the tunes within the table is available for download. The second button takes you to the table of dance sets indexed by dance name and the third to a list of the session sets by page number.

Please note that the ABC and Midi files are representative of the tune but when played back will not provide that essentially Scottish feel you may be used to. This is a function of note timing which is almost impossible to reproduce in either Midi or ABC without making the dots incomprehensible. There is no doubt that "live is better" with regards to Scottish music. Another interesting point is that tunes played in one set are often played differently in other sets (ie 4/4 in one set but 2/4 in others, viz Soldiers Joy) this makes the tune file slightly less than perfect as I have included only one example of each tune. As a result some abc listings might need to be changed for specific dances, but you will get the gist of it from these files.

Here are one or two tips to help out, (a) the buttons above will bring up one of several tables sourced from the databases and (b) each of the tables is sortable by left-clicking the column heading, two clicks to reverse sort. It's not completely foolproof so if you have problems let me know (and don't forget to extract/replace the |at| from the email address). It might be useful to know at what time and date you had the problem as well. That's all, enjoy.

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last updated Tuesday, 14th Feb 2012