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Écossaise (in French: Scottish) is a type of contradanse in a Scottish style - a Scottish country dance at least in name - that was popular in France and Great Britain at the end of the 18th century and at the beginning of the 19th. The écossaise was usually danced in 2/4 time.

The musical form was also adopted by some classical composers including Franz Schubert, Ludwig van Beethoven and Frédéric Chopin who wrote a number of Ecossaises for the piano, which are recognized for their lively rhythm.

This music usually has significant dynamic contrast — it will use fortissimos and pianissimos very close together. It has a unique dynamic energy to it. They sometimes have a central tune which some of the strains are based on. One by J. N. Hummel is in the second volume for piano in the Suzuki Method.


  • New Grove Dictionary 2001 p. 870–871
  • Suzuki Piano School, Volume 2, Revised Edition 1995 p.5

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