The Cock O' the North

A Scottish quickstep in 6/8 (jig time)

This tune has two beats to each bar with each beat divided into a triplet of 3 quavers (beamed together in the notation) or an equivalent (e.g. a crotchet and quaver or a dotted crochet).

Listen to the sound recording and use the notation to help you grasp the structure of the tune. You can think of it as having two bar phrases sounding like a series of questions and answers.

In the 'A music' (the first 8 bars - lines 1 & 2 below) the opening question is asked and answered in line 1 and then the question is repeated with a slightly different answer in line 2. In the 'B music' (the last four lines) the question repeats are varied as well as the answers.

In this video clip notice that only the middle third of the bow is used and that notes are accented in two ways. Sometimes the first note of a triplet is dotted and therefore given more time (using more of the bow than is left for the very short second note and medium length third note). However when all three notes of a triplet are equal quavers the first note still uses more of the bow (at a faster bow speed) so the note is louder instead of lasting for a longer duration. You can practise this technique by working on bowing pattern 2.

Begin playing this tune at a steady pace. When you are ready to speed up simply use less bow, but keep the contrast between the longer and shorter bow strokes and between the faster and slower strokes.

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