Scots Sangs An Tunes Fur Schools

Traditional and new Scots songs and tunes
for use in Scottish schools - and everywhere else

Strathspeys

The strathspey is said to have originated from the Strathspey area, the strath or broad glen of the River Spey, in North East Scotland. It was originally written for the fiddle and used for dancing to: nowadays, the strathspey is played on many different instruments. It is actually a slow and stylised form of reel and was originally called a 'Strathspey reel' while the standard reel was known as an 'Atholl reel'. Like the standard reel, it is in 4/4 time, but it sounds quite different because it is slower and contains dotted rhythms. One of these rhythms has a special name and is called the 'Scotch snap' or 'Scots snap'. This consists of a very short note followed by a long note played in sequence, giving a 'snap' sound when played.