Orkney Slow Air polka

Also known as Orkney.

Orkney Slow Air has been added to 42 tunebooks.

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One setting

X: 1
T: Orkney Slow Air
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj

Twelve comments

Orkney Slow Air

I played this hwhen I was in Scotland August 2005 and practising with the Cardross String Orchestra (amateur group - will have to get their proper name). It is composed by Gordon Gunn and is a beautiful melody.

I was advised to play the last beat together with the first note of the exact bar - join the note groups together like a lullaby.

I have the sheet music scanned - when I work out how to attach, I will!

Orkney was written by Gordon Gunn. It is usually played in 3/4. as a slow waltz. I have heard Gordon and his band a few times but haven’t actually heard them play this, but it one of my all time favourite tunes.

A very good setting of it (probably Gordon’s) was published in 1991 in Ceol na Fidhle Volume 4 (!SBN 1 87931 70 3)

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Orkney Slow Air

I am looking for some Scottish Slow Airs and came across this one. Just wondering about the timing of this tune. In the sheet music there are some bars in 2/4 and others in 3/8. Was this intended?


Thanks Ceolachlan for the Orkney sound file!

Sooo good to hear the Orkney Slow Air played by no other than himself - thanks a million! It is different to how I was taught, but then that’s how tunes are changed isn’t it?

Time Signature

I don’t know this tune but am intrigued to see it posted here as a polka where some bars are 2/4 and some are 3/8. Is this the intent? Do some bars take some liberties?


Although it’s a slow air, to my ears it’s in 6/8 - I would post it here but it dosn’t allow for modification of the time signature.

X: 1
T: Orkney
R:Slow air
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Emin
B,3- B,EF | G3- GFE | F3 A2d | F3- FD2 | E3 G2A | B3- B A2 | d3 A2 G |F3- F D2 |
B,3- B,EF | G3- GFE | F3 A2d | F3- F D2 | E3 B2 A | A3 F2 D | E6 | E6 :|
|:d3 A2 G | F3- F2D | d3 efd | A F2- F3 | g3 feg | B6 | e3 (3efg e | B6 |
B,3- B,EF | G3- GFE | F3 A2d | F3- FD2 | E3 B2 A | A3 F2 D | E6 | E6 :|

Orkney slow air

aha, where do you play this? Not anay folk know this one.

"Not any folk know this one"……?

It’s in 25 "tunebooks", so that’s 25 for a start.

Posted by .

Re: Orkney Slow Air

I’ve exact same tune but where bars are 3/8 first note is lengthened by a half/dotted so tune is 2/4 throughout. It sounds fine to me. A beautiful tune.