As SCD teachers, it can be somewhat expensive to collect all the specified tune music required for every dance you want to teach. If you teach, how important is this for you? How important do you feel it is for teachers in general? Do you always use the tune specified by the dance devisor, or just use one of your favorite tracks if you don't have the right thing? Would you be more likely to use the correct music for a dance or if you're teaching a workshop?

asked 03 Nov '11, 04:54

Monica%20Pollard's gravatar image

Monica Pollard
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edited 03 Nov '11, 05:02

I prefer to use original tunes but if I have not them I use what I have :)


answered 03 Nov '11, 10:31

ogrian's gravatar image

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If I do have the music I prefer it. If i don't have it I try to use non of the music which is well known for other dances ;-) I haven't teached a workshop for non-beginners yet, but I try to prepare the walktrough for our ball with the original music, even with buying new one. So I would try for a workshop. (But I think most people don't notice...)


answered 03 Nov '11, 11:32

Anja%20Breest's gravatar image

Anja Breest
accept rate: 0%

I'd say that in practice, the importance of using the specified tune for a dance is proportional both to the popularity of the dance in question and the »formality« of the setting. If you're putting on a social function, you could never get away with not using the »right« music for very well-known »old chestnuts« such as Mairi's Wedding, J.B. Milne or The Reel of the Royal Scots, but with more obscure dances, and especially in class, there is not as much pressure. Which is not to say that using the specified music is not a good thing even in these circumstances, but budget and accessibility (»is that music even recorded anywhere?«) constraints may interfere.

One thing it is worth looking out for is to actually get the rhythm and barring right. For example, The Wee Cooper o' Fife is a 40-bar jig, but it really requires music that has four 10-bar phrases per turn rather than the vastly more common five 8-bar phrases. Nottingham Lace is a 96-bar set reel in four parts of 24 bars, so a 3×32 recording would not work as well. Less obviously, there can be considerable variation in the style of tune even within the same type of rhythm – for example, there is a big difference in »strathspey« rhythm between bouncy » Highland schottische« tunes and gently flowing »slow airs«, and even if one doesn't have the actual music for a dance it is often worth trying to find out what that music sounds like just so one can find something that is at least vaguely similar in spirit. (The same type of difference exists with jigs and reels, even though the variance may be more subtle there.)

Finally, sometimes the suggested tune for a dance has been recorded as a second (or later) tune within a set for another dance that one might actually have even if one doesn't have a recording with the tune in question as the first one. This would suggest that that recording, albeit meant for a different dance, is at least not completely unsuitable for the dance that you're looking for. The online dance database can help identify these cases – if you click on the tune link for a dance, it shows you the recordings (if any) and in what position the tune occurs.


answered 03 Nov '11, 21:44

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anselm ♦♦
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Asked: 03 Nov '11, 04:54

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Last updated: 03 Nov '11, 21:44

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