Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A Scottish dance, slower than a reel, for two dancers.
  • n. The music for this dance.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A Scottish dance with gliding steps, slower than a reel.
  • n. A piece of music composed for or in the rhythm of this dance.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A lively Scottish dance, resembling the reel, but slower; also, the tune.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A Scotch dance, invented early in the eighteenth century, resembling the reel, but slower, and marked by numerous sudden jerks.
  • n. Music for such a dance or in its rhythm, which is duple, moderately rapid, and abounding in the rhythmic or metric figure called the Scotch snap or catch (which see, under Scotch), or its converse.

Etymologies

After Strath Spey, valley of the river Spey in Scotland.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
After Strathspey, valley of the river Spey. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • A classic march, strathspey, and reel performance from 23 years ago:

    From the Mail

  • It's called "Johnnie Lad" and she delivered it in Scots dialect to the heart-catching original strathspey tempo.

    Great Scots

  • As the exhibits regarding the origins of the "Auld Lang Syne" melody show, these kinds of strathspey dance tunes were in circulation long before this one first became associated with Burns's poem in Thomson's "Select Collection" —published in 1799, shortly after the poet's death.

    Visiting an Auld Acquaintance

  • Scottish jigs, and reels, and ‘twasome dances’, with a strathspey or hornpipe for interlude; and the want of grace on the part of the performers was amply supplied by truth of ear, vigour and decision of step, and the agility proper to the northern performers.

    Redgauntlet

  • As my strathspey with Mary comes to an end, there is a tap on my shoulder.

    The English American

  • He muttered an exclamation in Gaelic, strode across the floor, and then, with an air of dogged resolution, as if fixed and prepared to see the scene to an end, sate himself down on the oak table, and whistled a strathspey.

    Rob Roy

  • There's a little strathspey called "Jessie's Welcome Home" in the first Edcath book.

    04/01/2003 - 05/01/2003

  • As they glided along the silver mirror, Evan opened the conversation with a panegyric upon Alice, who, he said, was both CANNY and FENDY; and was, to the boot of all that, the best dancer of a strathspey in the whole strath.

    Waverley

  • We'll have to learn a new MSR - that's march, strathspey, and reel - and a new competition medley at least.

    10/01/2002 - 11/01/2002

  • Some of us have played the strathspey before but not in a few years.

    10/01/2002 - 11/01/2002

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