Tunes from SCD publications
Tunes from SCD publications

This directory contains ABC transcriptions of the tunes in various SCD (Scottish Country Dance) publications. A number of SCD musicians have sent me tunes that they've transcribed, and I've done a lot of them myself. Note that the tunes here are not just the published RSCDS versions; they also come from various other groups' dance publications. I've also collected alternate versions of many tunes. This makes it easier to compare the different versions, and find one that I like. Some of the versions here are amalgams of others, typically worked out during practices for dances.

NOTE: This collection is currently "under development", and hasn't actually been officially "made public". You are welcome to look at stuff here, and copy files (tunes) that you need. But the files here have come from many people, each of which has his/her own ideas about formatting, annotation, etc. I'm working on organizing it and making it a lot more consistent. Meanwhile, this should be considered a mixture of inconsistent transcriptions of tunes from many sources.

My approach has been to link any available versions of these tunes into the appropriate book's directory, but tunes that match the published version closely have a name that starts with a 2-digit number that's the tune number in the book. This puts those versions first in the alphabetical list used to produce the large .abc files for a book. Thus, in RSCDS Book46, 10_CraigellachieLasses.abc is very close to the RSCDS version, while CraigellachieLasses.abc is a version that I've worked out from playing it over the years, hearing others play it, and reading William Marshall's original version. They're very similar, but not the same. In particular, Marshall didn't include chords, and my chords are different from those in Book 46. Similarly for most of the rest of the tunes, many of which are versions that are unrelated to the RSCDS's or other publishers' efforts.

Note that this "collection" is very incomplete. It should slowly grow with time, but will probably never really be finished, as long as people are making up new dances and recommending specific tunes for them.

A word about copyright is in order. Since these tunes have been published in books whose primary function is use at Scottish Country Dance events, I've assumed that the composers of new tunes want people playing their tunes, and won't object to them being online in the stripped-down ABC format. If you don't agree, and don't want your tune here, let me know and I'll replace it with a copyright notice and explanation. We'll just have to find other similar tunes for the dance in that case.

So far, I've actually gotten no requests to remove tunes here, only occasional thanks from a few composers who like knowing that their tunes have been made available online and are being played. And note that the tunes here are mostly being played. They were usually transcribed by a musician preparing a set of tunes for a particular dance, then sent to me for inclusion here. Other musicians who have ABC versions of tunes published in SCD books are invited to send me a copy to add to this collection. I like to include full attribution and contact information, assuming that the transcriber wants that information shown.