A type of contra dance in a Scottish culture style 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 écossaises 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. This piece alternates between forte and piano and is in 2/4 time.
- New Grove Dictionary 2001 p. 870 - 871
- Suzuki Piano School, Volume 2, Revised Edition 1995 p.5