An Analysis of GCSE Capercaillie's "Skye Waulking Song"

General Points

- Capercaillie are a Scottish band who combine the traditional Galic folk music with elements of rock music.
- Their music is described as 'Celtic Rock'.


- The piece combines both folk and rock instruments.
- The rock instruments include a synthesizer, Wurlitzer piano, bass guitar and a drum kit.
- The acoustic instruments that are usually associated with folk include a violin (fiddle), accordion, pipes and a bouzouki.


- A layered (contrapuntal) texture is created through the following:
- A rhythmic pattern on the drum kit.
- A bassline played by bass guitar.
- Chords on the synthesizer and accordion.
- Counter melodies on the melody instruments.



Phrase 1: Call (in Gaelic).
Refrain 1: Response (vocables).
Phrase 2: Call (in Gaelic).
Refrain 2: Response (vocables).
The overall structure:
Intro - Verse 1 - Verse 2 - Coda


- The piece is pentatonic.
- Mainly syllabic.
- Alternates between 1 bar phrases.

Rhythm And Metre

- The time signature is 12/8.
- Frequent syncopation in vocal and instrumental lines.
- Use of cross rhythms at the start of the song are created by a hi hat.


- It is in the key of G Major.
- The piece is entirely diatonic.
- G, E Minor and C are the 3 main chords.
- It has a modal feel.

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Comments 10 comments

Au79 3 years ago

Cyprus is GREEK

Benjamin Rube 2 years ago

its not gAElic when its from Scotland, its just Galic, ask a Scotsman and they will tell you.

Elle 18 months ago

please could you add some on dynamics? :p

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Anthropophobia 18 months ago Author

I wrote these 3 years ago and i can no longer remember anything about the pieces - sorry! Though I do recall that for the essay you only need two points from each subheading so the information in this article should be enough!

Jack 16 months ago

Really appreciate all your hub pages, they have saved me!


Could you update the video link, as it sais it 'does not exist'

Thanks so much! :)

Beth 16 months ago

It's spelled Gaelic but pronounced Galic. You're both right.

Katie Haber 16 months ago

Thank you for spending the time to make these, they've helped me a lot!

I only have one issue- the key of the piece is E minor, G major's relative minor (which is why it looks this way from the key signature). They first chord from the synth is an Em with added 2nd and 4th making it dissonant and throughout the piece the chord sequence starts with Em then G and repeats.

Also, the structure of the piece contains 8 verses, an intro, break, instrumental and outro. Unfortunately it really isn't simple to sum up.

Liam 'Big Diddy' Dudley 12 months ago

I love this song it really brings me back to the farm back in Ireland.

I can just smell the potatoes wisp of the blissful lyrics of good ol Gaelic folk music. This song makes me proud of my heritage.

joel 4 months ago

is the key not e minor because its a lament??

OtheB 4 months ago


-Starts with a piano section

-Verse 1 is mezzo-piano

-Moves into a forte chorus-esque section

-Drops back down to mezzo-piano for the middle section/Verse 2

-Drop to silence with solo vocals before forte chorus section again

-Fade-out at end done in post-production

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