Scottish Country Dance music


Scotland has a vast and colourful musical culture and is well known for its traditional folk music that is gaining popularity around the world. Music is a very inclusive part of Scottish culture and traditional music is frequently performed at social gatherings such as weddings, funerals, parties, holidays, festivals and formal civic events.

Within this label of ‘traditional folk music’ lies a variety of different styles and genres of traditional dance including Ceilidh dancing, Country dancing, Highland dancing and Step dancing. Music for Scottish Country Dancing is just one of the many facets of this musical dance culture.

Resources for musicians

Resources for musicians and dancers

The Royal Scottish Country Dance Society is committed to preserving traditional Scottish music and dance for future generations, and we encourage you to explore our music resources page to learn more about our rich musical heritage. 

There are resources for musicians, teachers and dancers alike and we invite you to discover this exquisite dance culture and learn more about how music has such a large impact on Scottish Country Dancing. So please read on!

Read some of our Music FAQs

Types of tunes

Scottish Country Dancing mainly uses three musical rhythms types - Jigs, Reels and Strathspeys, although it is not uncommon to find a Waltz or a March thrown in for good measure. 


View this helpful guide and read explanations of terms you may come across when learning and playing traditional Scottish Country Dance music.

Popular sets of music

Here you will find popular example sets of music for dances, chosen by our Music Director, to assist musicians of all ages and abilities.  

Musicians at home


The RSCDS Music Director.


Music Director

Teaching tracks

A set of teaching track files has been created for the dances from Book 49-52 and Unit 2, with more currently being produced.

These are aimed primarily at use in class and break down the original tune in to the correct bar-sequences for each part of the dance.


Teaching tracks

"I have played the flute since my childhood, and two years ago I was looking for musicians to play with. I found the website of the Lyon Branch (France), and contacted them for music. I had the chance to play music and learn from many SCD musicians through the music courses. I tried a few kinds of dance in my life, but Scottish Country Dance is the one that makes me very happy.

Thanks to SCD I went to Newcastle (twice!), Bonn, Oslo, Geneva, Perth, Glasgow, Méaudre, Paris and Australia (Winter School), and will be very happy to meet you and dance with you there or anywhere else!"

- Claire Cunin (Lyon Branch)

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