View Full Version : Schottische speed

David M.
Jan-11-2006, 11:13am
What speed (beats per minute, etc.) should one play a schottische for dancers? At the state fair, the dancers requested one, but noone knew any. I know some, but didn't volunteer because I was scared I'd go too fast.

Help here is appreciated. I ain't a dancer...

John Flynn
Jan-11-2006, 2:16pm
According to a couple of sites I found online, a Schottische should be played at 120 - 144 BPM. If you are accompanying dancers, you should coordinate with them, or with the caller if there is one. They will have preferences for where in that range they would like it.

John Goodin
Jan-11-2006, 3:18pm
David, I've had the pleasure of playing many a schottische with my friends in the local band Foot-Notes. If you go to their website at http://www.footnotesdance.com/page3.html and click on one of the CD covers you can hear samples of some schottisches played at the authoritative tempo for northeast Iowans. You'll also get to hear some lovely ensemble mandolin work from my friend Jim Skurdall.

John Goodin

Jan-11-2006, 4:49pm
If you are accompanying dancers, you should coordinate with them
What Mando Johnny said. As a band we played for a group of Irish dancers and found they had a very good sense of what tempos they were after. When it all came together it was a lot of fun, but I can see where the whole show could fall apart despite flawless music if the dancers and musicians aren't in sync.

Paul Doubek

David M.
Jan-12-2006, 8:48am
Excellent. thanks.

Jgoodin, I'm gonna PM you. You're just up north from me and I saw yall's website and the Iowa Roots website the other day. Very cool.

John Goodin
Jan-12-2006, 11:50am
David, thanks for the message. I want to make it clear that, while I've had the pleasure to sit in with Foot-Notes many times and have subbed on mando, guitar and bass (not simultaneously!) over the years, I'm not a member of the band. My old Gibson, however, has the honor of being the mando that Jim used on the lovely Decorah Waltz CD because his old Gibson was in the shop.

John G.

John Goodin
Jan-17-2006, 2:15pm

I had lunch with Jim Skurdall today and told him that I had mentioned Foot-Notes in this thread. He said that he feels that the schottische tempos on the Decorah Waltz CD are actually a little fast for dancing. I hope that no one has been injured by trying to dance at the recorded tempo based on my earlier comments.

John G.