Welcome to The Scottish Music Index
The Index contains a Bibliography of over 200 volumes of Scottish instrumental music - mostly dance music but with many beautiful slow airs - published between 1700 and 1922 and an A-Z list of the tune titles in them (over 12000). The song books (with words) of central Scotland are not included, with one or two exceptions, like James Johnson's ever-popular "Scots Musical Museum" (1771) many of the songs airs in which are closely linked with dance; London-printed dance manuals are selected on the scale of their Scottish content; the Gaelic song repertoire and the military pipe manuals are fully listed online elsewhere. The Index features Source Codes (where the tune can be found), Key and Time Signatures and a Theme Code listing for cross-referencing entries, essential for deep research.
Making the Index available online reveals how much of Scotland’s original dance music was published before 1800 and up till about 1840. It goes on to show what proportion of the music was reprinted in the late 19th century and how little of that music was re-published or remained in print throughout the 20th century. Although a number of the older collections have been re-issued in print or online in the past ten years or so, there is still a lot more printed music to be rediscovered. Bringing the older music into the repertoire is exciting and stimulating for traditional players. Even some of the music re-published early last century is very little known and well worth investigating. What matters most is that Scotland’s original traditional music should not be shut away in libraries and forgotten. The printed Index has already gone some way to ensure this will not happen. Study of the online index can quickly lead to links with downloads of music in notation on the web
The Online Index is the quick and easy way to study the bibliography, draw out lists of the tunes in each separate collection and find access to the music. Bearing in mind that some of the older collections are very rare indeed, this rapid access to the tune titles has revolutionized the research process. Cross-referencing is now equally simple. Tunes in the repertoire have always been subject to title changes and in some instances many versions of the same tune have been published; all are listed in the Index. The single word and part-title search facilities list tunes under special categories and downloads can be referenced to key and time signatures.
(As stated above, the Index contains a list of the tunes and relevant information. It does not include the musical scores.)