Scottish Waters D.Thomson Book

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Scottish Waters is a collection of five beautiful piano pieces for late intermediate level, inspired by the lochs, rivers and seas of the composer’s home country. Written in a contemporary Scottish style, they include slow, lyrical tunes with flowing passages, and quick, lively pieces with plenty of wit, sparkle and technical challenges for the pianist.

The Silvery Tay, The Corryvreckan Whirlpool, The Guddly Burn, The Legend of the Loch, St Mary’s Loch.


The Silvery Tay
I have borrowed the title for this lyrical, flowing piece from our second national poet, William McGonagall. It depicts the River Tay, which flows through Perthshire and is a famous salmon river. In the central section, you will encounter one of the quick sections of the river where the salmon need to leap up the waterfalls to reach their breeding grounds upstream.

The Corryvreckan Whirlpool
This piece depicts the tidal whirlpool between the islands of Jura and Scarba in the Hebrides. Strong currents and underwater topography combine to create a whirling maelstrom which can be heard from 10 miles away. It’s a spectacular sight and boat trips are only for the brave. The left-hand plays ostinato quavers, the right-hand plays crashing chords and I have used the interplay between 6/8 and 3/4 time to give plenty of rhythmic drama. Give the waves plenty of time to settle before you launch into the Coda – as if you were teetering on the brink of a very high wave, then careering down the other side!


The Legend of Loch Ness
Watch out, Nessie’s about! A dark, mysterious opening leads into a flowing section which depicts the wind blowing down the loch, whipping up waves and strong currents in the dark, deep waters. The technical aspect of this piece is playing the double third scales – practice these slowly at first and make sure you’re always consistent with your fingering.

The Guddly Burn
This is a jaunty, cheeky wee piece which needs plenty of sparkle and wit. Play with nice light staccatos and don’t take it too fast to start with as it gets quite technical as it progresses. The title needs some explanation – ‘guddly’ comes from the word ‘guddle’ which means getting in a right old mess when doing something involving water, mud etc. A ‘burn’ is the Scots word for a small stream.

St Mary’s Loch
A much more gentle piece to end the book. St Mary’s Loch is only a few miles from the Grey Mare’s Tail waterfall, which I portrayed in my Borders Suite. This is a beautiful part of Scotland, with rolling hills covered in heather and many lochs and bubbling streams. Play with plenty of expression and phrase the melody as beautifully as you can.

This digital download score comes with a studio licence which means it can only be used within your own studio. You may photocopy and reprint pages. You may not share it with any other teachers within your studio. To print: set up your printer for the US size paper.

This digital download score comes with a single-user licence which means it can not be copied or reprinted. You may not share it with any other teachers within your studio. To print: set up your printer for the US size paper.


Elena Cobb Star Prize

Published by EVC Music Publications Ltd
ISBN 978-1-911359-09-8
Copyrights © 2017

Additional information

Weight 150 g

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1 review for Scottish Waters D.Thomson Book

  1. Rated 5 out of 5

    Johan de Cock (verified owner)

    I recently ordered this publication, after hearing some of the composer’s other music online. I am so glad I did! I love Scotland and Donald Thomson captures the moods, rhythms and sounds of this beautiful country perfectly. My two favourite from this collection are ‘The Guddly Burn’ and ‘The Legend of Loch Ness’, but they are all wonderful. Although graded as late intermediate level, these pieces are perfectly suited to professional piano recitals, and would appeal to audiences and students alike. I loved this collection so much, that I ordered the other two books in the series, and I highly recommend them all to lovers of piano and Celtic music!

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