Sunday, August 11, 2013

The Scottish ~ A Perfect Polka

After nearly two years of searching, I finally found the music for one of my absolute favorite dances – the Scottish! Hurray!

There are so many things to love about this particular piece of music! First and foremost, the simply delightful sound of the violins! They complement each other perfectly – while one takes the lead, the other provides a lilting background, and at times the two join in playing the same melody, together dancing on the strings. Though the fiddles are the primary instruments in this recording, the deeper strumming tone of the guitar and a bit of drumming adds a richness of sound, preserving the piece from the danger of becoming too high pitched or shallow.

Another delightful aspect of this medley is the enthusiasm with which it is played; the passion for music really comes through! Every note is in place and the beat is steady all throughout, and yet it is not boringly repetitive; rather, each round of the music is energizing, invigorating, and thrilling! As a friend of mine once wrote, “it just gets down ‘round by your toes and makes you want to dance!”

This track is a medley of three pieces, each in 2/4 timing and in a minor key. Each progression from piece to piece leads to a tune still more wonderful than the last! First there is the well-rounded sound of The Killarney Boys of Pleasure, the instruments introducing the six-minute track with an irresistible invitation to join in the dance! Then there is The King Fairies, in which the strings are set to singing while the percussion provides a subdued backdrop to the fiddling. Finally, there is the deep booming of the drums, the perfectly placed crescendo, and the high notes of the fiddles, all leading into the grand finale, the thrilling tune Tamlin! This last portion of the medley is my favorite by far. It perfectly captures the energy and enthusiasm of the dance, inspiring wholehearted skipping, spinning, whirling, twirling, and polkaing!

I really can’t describe this piece adequately – you must just listen to it for yourself! My two favorite ways of listening to it are 1, use headphones (note: not earphones - they should be full headphones covering your entire ear) with the volume turned way up, and 2 - the preferred method - find a partner, locate a large open space, and begin dancing this delightful polka!

Now for the purchase information:
The group responsible for this delightful medley goes by the name of Stringdancer – 
a most fitting name! The players are Martha Edwards, Pamela Carson Stoll, and David Kirchner, a trio of talented musicians who have been playing together since 1995. Their first and only album, containing this track and thirteen others, is available on Amazon as an MP3 download. The album is no longer being produced in CD format.
 (See this link for Stringdancer’s homepage and history:

TITLE: Killarney Boys of Pleasure, the King Fairies, Tamlin
ARTIST: Stringdancer
ALBUM: Stringdancer
YEAR: 2001
LENGTH: 5:57


Meghan Rebecca said...

Zoe!!!!!!!! Thank you SO MUCH for finding this!!!! Oh I'm so happy listening to it now! ^_^ I feel like dancing around the house! =D

Blessings to you dear!


Zoë Quinn said...

Hello, Meghan! I'm SO glad that you also have this excellent music now! (Sure took me long enough to track it down, didn't it?!) :/ Thanks so much for commenting!
Have a lovely day!

nicanor said...

how come you never told me you liked scottish music you have the soundtrack for the movie Braveheart?
i thiught it was great (mostly because of the emense amount of scottish music) but now that i know that you like scottish music to
i can probibly download it on the computer and then somehow you could put it on your MET blog!

nicanor said...

did you say that you are now a fan of ALL scottish misic...or just that one song?

Zoë said...

G'day, Nico!
Umm... I *ABSOLUTELY* have told you that I love Scottish music! Best stuff EVER!!! :D Don't you remember talking about it on the cousin blog? Or was that just me and Chris? I didn't know that you were so fond of it... guess you weren't in that conversation after all. Oh well, now we know!

No, I do not have the Braveheart soundtrack - thanks for recommending it so highly! Perhaps I can find it at the library... if not, and if it's as great as you're indicating it is, I might just have to actually purchase it. :]

The recording featured in this post is actually not Scottish in style or (to my knowledge) in origin - no wait, I may be wrong about that second statement... anyway, the recording is completely devoid of bagpipes and flutes. I still love it, though. :]

The reason this post is titled "The Scottish" is that it is the name of the dance we do to this music. Actually, I don't think the dance is officially called The Scottish... it's a form of one called The Gie Gordon... but everyone in our dance group (and a whole other group two hours away) calls it The Scottish and does it to this music.
Hope that made a little bit of sense.