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N4. Drone. A sustained (held on) note or repeated note/pitch in the bass. The low-pitched drones of a bagpipe which accompany a melody. Snare Drum. This instrument belongs to the percussion family and is played with sticks or brushes. 

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A sustained (held on) note or repeated note/pitch in the bass.

The low-pitched drones of a bagpipe which accompany a melody.

snare drum
Snare Drum

This instrument belongs to the percussion family and is played with sticks or brushes. 

It can act as two different instruments – a side drum and a snare drum.

This image shows a set of curled, metal wires stretched across the bottom skin of the drum. These are called the snares.
Using the lever on the side, the snares can either be right up against the bottom skin of the drum – which makes it a snare drum and has a 'rattly' sound – or moved away from the bottom skin – which makes it a side drum with a 'dry' sound where no rattles can be heard.

Any five-note scale (Pentatonic/pentagon)

In practice, the most common one is that on which much folk music is based, particularly Scottish and Celtic. The five notes could be

C D E G A.


A rhythmic accompaniment with a bass note played on the beat and a chord off the beat. Usually played on piano, accordion or guitar.

Chord (off the beat)

Bass note (on the beat)


A Scottish dance with 4 beats in a bar in simple time. Rhythms are dotted and a Scotch Snap is usually featured.

Scotch Snap


A fast dance in compound time. Usually 2 beats in a bar, with each beat dividing into 3 quavers.

nursery rhyme
Nursery Rhyme

To market, to market to buy a fat pig;Home again, home again, jigg-et-y- jig.

To market, to market, to buy a fat hog;Home again, home again, jigg-et-y- jog.

scottish songs
Scottish Songs

Mouth Music

Mouth Music or in Gaelic “Puirt à beul” has sometimes been used for dancing when no instruments were available.

Rumour has it that Mouth Music came about when the bagpipes were banned in 1746. Unfortunately there is no evidence to prove that musical instruments were banned by the Act of Proscription 1746.

More likely, people didn’t have access to musical instruments so sang popular Scottish melodies as a means of entertainment and accompaniment to dancing. It does however make a

good story!

  • What to listen for:
  • Very rhythmic singing with a strong beat/pulse
  • Gaelic words
scottish songs1
Scottish Songs
  • A Scots ballad is a song which tells a story. The story is usually about historical events, romance or lost love. It can also talk about historical characters, e.g. 'The Baron of Brackley', 'Johnnie Armstrong', 'The Bonny Earl of Moray'.
  • What to listen for:
  • Language – Doric dialect (Aberdeenshire)
  • Short verses
  • Repeated tune/melody but words change (strophic structure)
scots ballad
Scots Ballad

Three gypsies cam tae oor hall door

And oh, but they sang bonny oh

They sang so sweet and too complete

That they stole the heart of our lady oh.

For she cam tripping down the stairs,

Her maidens too before her oh,

And when they saw her weel faured face

They throwed their spell oot owre her oh.

When her good lord came home that night

He was askin for his lady oh,

But the answer the servants gave tae him,

"She’s awa wi the gypsy laddies oh”.

reminder of n3 scottish concepts
Reminder of N3 Scottish Concepts


March Accordion

Reel Acoustic guitar

Waltz Bagpipe



Scottish Dance Band

Folk Group

n4 scottish concepts
N4 Scottish Concepts


Jig Drone

Mouth Music Snare Drum


Scotch snap

Scots ballad