Scotland's Songs Extra

Scotland's Songs Extra

This site supports and enhances the song and music material on the Learning & Teaching  Scotland website 'Scotland's Songs' at

You will find in this site:
Biographical information on performers and makers * Books listings * a Flowchart for the LTS site * a Guidance booklet for primary teachers * a Glossary for the songs * notes on Arrangement and Interpretation, Placenames, Scottish Country Dancing, Songs and Tunes * Recordings listing * Songs & Tunes listing specific to Learning Levels

Who Should Listen To And Read About What?
There are five levels, each has over twenty songs and tunes.
Early Level is specially for children aged three to six years.
Level One is specially for pupils in P2 to P4.
Level Two is specially for pupils in P5 to P7.
Level Three is for pupils in S1 to S3.
Level Four is for pupils in S4 to S6.
Secondary school pupils will also find much of interest to them in the earlier levels.

What Else Is In The Site?
This site gives an introduction to the riches of Traditional Scottish song and music. Popular songs usually talk about feelings but have little narrative, but traditional songs nearly always contain a story, and there are often other interesting stories associated with the songs. We have included some of these stories, and versions of other old Scottish stories.
The site is created for pupils in Scottish schools, but will be of use to anyone with an interest in Scottish traditional culture, including enthusiasts, students, teachers and musicians. We include sections exploring with clear examples such terms as Gaelic song, bothy ballad, strathspey, ballad, pibroch, clarsach, Jacobite song, and many others. 

What Does 'Traditional' Mean?
‘Traditional’ strictly means that we do not know who wrote or composed the piece, but is sometimes applied to songs or tunes that are thought to be old, or have been so changed and amended as they were performed that they differ significantly from the original maker’s work.
That is why you may find in a book or recording a differing version of a song or tune in this book. You may already know a piece, and not agree with the lyrics or the tune that we give. It is not a case of right and wrong; the 'traditional' process of oral learning means that several 'right' versions of a piece may exist.
Similarly, we do not give full transcriptions of the music, but a basic notation of the tune and accompanying chords that can be used. Any player will apply their own interpretation to the piece, changing chords and adding 'grace notes'.
The ‘traditional’ label is also applied to some songs or tunes which are still performed very much as their maker created them, but are felt to be part of our Scottish national common heritage, and might well be called ‘national’ rather than ‘traditional’. For example, the songs of Robert Burns and Harry Lauder, songs like 'Flower Of Scotland' and 'I Belong To Glasgow', tunes like 'The Bonny Lass Of Bon Accord'.