What is a “Schottische”?

What is a “Schottische”?

I read the rules carefully….I’m preparing for the Midwest Fleadh and one of the tune types that is acceptible is a schottische. I know it’s a type of dance. But I’ve never heard of that type of tune. Is it the same as a strathspey or do they mean any tune with "schottische" in the title?

Thanks for the help!

Kathy
www.dragonsdance.net

Re: What is a “Schottische”?

I’ve looked up The Keel Row, which is a schottische: it has 8 bars per part, repeated, and is in 2 / 4 time.

A strathspey likewise has 8 bars per part, repeated, but is in 4 / 4 time. As a result, it has (to put it roughly) twice as many notes per bar, and per part, as a schottische. So a strathspey is not the same thing.

Some schottisches have "Schottische" in their title, others don’t.

The word is simply German for "Scottish". The dotted notes, especially the "Scotch snap" where a very brief note is immediately succeeded by a longer one, were the thing by which outsiders most readily identified Scottish music, and are of course conspicuous in schottisches.

(I don’t know if schottisches as such actually originated in Scotland, or as pastiches of Scottish tunes in Europe.)

Re: What is a “Schottische”?

By "twice as many notes per bar", etc., I meant to imply that if you play a scottische and a strathspey at the same speed, it’ll take you twice as long to get through the strathspey.

The logic behind the dotting of both these tune forms, by the way, is something I’ve never studied and never grasped.

Re: What is a “Schottische”?

The name ‘Scottische’ apparently comes from the German for ‘The Scottish Dance’. The Scottische is danced in various forms throughout France, Western Germany, Switzerland, Austria and in most of Scandinavia, amongst other places.
Form of the Dance
This couple dance starts with the men facing anticlockwise (ballroom direction) around the room and is danced using a standard ballroom hold. The first part of the dance involves sidesteps into the middle of the room and out again and the second part is a slow turn.
Steps
1st Part: Side-steps into the middle of the room and out again (beats 1-4)
2nd Part: Slow turn (Beats 5-8)

Bar 1 2 3 4
Beat 1 and 2 3 and 4 5 6 7 8
Man L r l R l r L R L R
Woman R l r L r l R L R L

Music
There’s a large repertoire of French and Scandinavian scottisches. The music is related to the English reel but slower. It is usually written in 4/4 time with a strong emphasis on the 1st crotchet and a lesser emphasis on the 3rd crotchet. It’s sometimes written in 2/2 time to reflect this double emphasis.
Variations and Improvisation
Again, the scottische leaves lots of room for improvisation and variations. A common variation involves an open hold with the man’s arm around the woman’s waist. Both partners face towards the centre of the room on the first 2 beats, out of the room on the second two beats and then take a ballroom hold for the turn. The step is as described above. Turns can be thrown in and the Scandinavians are keen on throwing in hand claps and foot slapping.

Re: What is a “Schottische”?

In the heavily German part of the upper midwest where I grew up, dancing the German schottische along with the more common waltz and polka was very popular especially at weddings. It was usually a dance for multiple couples, with couples side by side and holding the hand of the one ahead and behind you. At a particular point in the music the front couple would split and proceed down the outside to the rear of the line and rejoin. In one variation the couple would go down the inside of the line, rather than the outside, with the rest of the couples raising their inside arms forming an arch. I recall that the music was much like the Donegal Schottisches, with a very pronounced beat. BTW, aren’t these also called "Germans " in ITM?

Re: What is a “Schottische”?

tune: "The Sliabh League Schottische"
dance: a Schottische/Barndance
https://thesession.org/tunes/3359/comments

~ a dance, mostly a couple dance, for two people, and the music to accompany and ‘define’ the movements of that dance ~ ‘dance music’…

Classic / basic step ~
hop, 1, 2, 3 - hop, 1, 2, 3
hop, 1, hop, 2, hop, 3, hop, 4

& a classic phrase, rhythmically, of a schottische ~ "dumpty, dumpty, dump, dump ~

|: (3cBA | G>FG>A B2 B2 | G.>FG>A B4 | ~

Not specifically ‘Scottish’, though attributed to there by the name… It most likely originated in the East, the Carpathians and surrounding area, and spread by the Austro-Hungarian love of music and dance… Dance and dance music relatives ~ Highland Schottische / Highland Fling / Barndance / German ~ often hidden amongst hornpipes and categorized as such… Swung! Content from this popular form also entered the quadrille/square traditions and whole sets or figures could be danced to the music and accompanying steps associated with the couple dance, the ‘schottische’…

Some past relevant discussions:

What is a barndance, mazurka, strathspey, etc ?
Posted by monkeyos ~ January 25th 2006
https://thesession.org/discussions/9005

Barndances, Germans, Hornpipes, Highlands, Flings, Highland Flings, Schottisches, etc.
Posted on Thursday, July 29th 2004 by Dow
https://thesession.org/discussions/4149

Wot’s a barndance?
Posted on Friday, September 28th 2003 by Dow
https://thesession.org/discussions/2180

Bauern Dance
Posted on Thursday, May 29th, 2003 by paul95
https://thesession.org/discussions/1741

Re: What is a “Schottische”?

mmelec describes a variant of the schottische for two couples (4 dancesr), one couple behind the other… There are also big circle, Sicilian, longways and other formations, including mixers, that make use of both the music and the usual steps. It seems the two of us and dafydd were posting at the same time…

As with any ‘dance music’, it is wise to become familiar with the dance it supports, as that support and identity goes both ways. To understand the nuances of the tune form it helps to know what it is used for and how in its melodic and rhythmic structure it helps the dancers. This becomes natural when you’re playing for dancers, with them out in front of you and you seeing the answer to your music ~ dancing…

Re: What is a “Schottische”?

Correction ~
"and whole sets of figures could be danced to the music"

(the ‘classic’ number of figures for a quadrille/square set is 5, but can vary from a few to as many as 8 in revival or as changed over time…)

"or/of", two-letter word confusions and the transposition of letters ~ my dyslexia acts up when I’ve lost sleep or am not well ~ that ‘lurgy’ persists, but I slept last night… There is hope… ;-)

Re: What is a “Schottische”?

Kathy, if you go to ‘tunes’ and enter just ‘schottische’ in the search you’ll see some examples. You can also just check out the category ‘barndance’, keeping the search bar empty, just click the drop-down and select barndance and nothing else. There are other things in that category, such as marches and some Breton and Balkan numbers… Both the tunes and the dances are a joy to be involved in, whatever country they come from. They were danced all over Europe and North America, as well as Latin America, meaning all of the islands and South America, and not forgetting South Africa, and elsewhere in Africa too, and Australia & New Zealand too… That’s how popular it was and still is…

Re: What is a “Schottische”?

If you want to especially explore the 16 bar wonders, highland schottisches / highland flings, then just enter any of the following in the search bar, and don’t select anything else ~

highland
fling
highland fling

Those are generally very dance descriptive in that like the usual dances the tunes tend to have a second ending, usually 2-bars worth, for the B-part… There are some dance descriptions to be found in the comments for some. Links to some dance descriptions can be found in my ‘details’…

‘Highland Flings’ are scattered throughout, as many are now more commonly played as reels, others are tied to their strathspey heritage…

Re: What is a “Schottische”?

Here in Scotland the Highland Schottische is one of the most popular dances. You can play either Strathspeys or 2/4 marches (usually under Barrndance here as Ceolachan rightly says) Popular examples would be - 2/4’s - Father John MacMillan of Barra, Wee Man from Skye, Conundrum. Or strathspeys such as Orange and Blue, Aird Ranters etc.

Re: What is a “Schottische”?

I was recently surprised to read in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schottische that the dance from Madrid ‘Chotis’ originated as ‘Schottische’. It’s a peculiar dance, considered by people from Madrid their emblematic dance. I’m sure most of them would be surprised too, if they were told that.

Re: What is a “Schottische”?

Step-two-three (pause)
Step-two-three (pause)
Step-hop-step-hop
step-hop-step-hop
continue ad infinitum

Re: What is a “Schottische”?

I think it was referred to by a famous German as a "Scottish dance" (aka Scottische) and therefore some people insist on spelling it "Scottish".

Re: What is a “Schottische”?

Variations on the stepping ~ it can also be done completely smooth, no ‘hops’ (skips) at all ~

Man’s ~ LRL-, RLR-, L-, R-, L-, R- ~ ad infinitum

L-, R-, L-, R- ~ The four steps, or hop-steps, or step-hops, however you choose to think about it, are often, not ‘required’, with the couple turning CW twice round while moving in the Line-Of-Direction (ACW round the dance space). This is called by some a ‘pivot’, by the German’s a ‘dreher’, and by many Irish set dance teachers the ‘double’…

Re: What is a “Schottische”?

A schottishe is basicly just like a slow polka. It gets mixed up with flings and barndances a lot so you have to be sure its a schottishe before you say it is. For example, I’ve seen ‘Johnny Will you marry me’ being called a schottishe, fling and a barndance.

Re: What is a “Schottische”?

Walnut Box, don’t be so sweeping in your statements unless you can back them with experience and facts… Those forms are related… In some cases they are actually the same dance and tune…

There are also different types of polkas and generally people don’t equate ‘polka’ with ‘schottische’, though both are couple dances and can have similar steps and moves…

Re: What is a “Schottische”?

You can dance a slew of different dances to "Johnny/Love Will You Marry Me" ~ including schottisches, barndances and highland flings ~ and square set figures (quadrilles/sets)…

I personally tend to call the 16 bar tunes, like this one, a fling, or highland, or highland fling, but it is directly related to the Highland Schottische… I tend to mostly use the terms ‘schottische’, ‘barndance’ and ‘German’, where tunes are concerned, for what are mostly 32 bar AABB melodies…and which is in keeping with my ‘older’ sources, across Ireland…

Re: What is a “Schottische”?

Well, ceolachan i never said that it was a polka i said a schottishe SOUNDED like a slow polka. I never said johnny/love will you marry me is a schottishe. i was just saying that these kinds of tunes are similiar and commonly get mixed up.

Re: What is a “Schottische”?

We play "Ring the Bell" (aka "Clip Go The Shears") and "Waltzing Matilda" for the odd Schottische that we do, though I’ve found that Coleman’s March will go superbly for this rhythm.

Re: What is a “Schottische”?

Very intelligent thread—confirmed my guesses on these
structures—thanks all.

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