Tune of the Day: The Devil in the Kitchen
This great tune comes from Scotland. It is played in many ways and in several keys. It was originally composed by William Ross, who was piper to Queen Victoria from 1854 to 1891.
This is a strathspey, a particular type of dance tune in 4/4 time. It is similar to a hornpipe, but slower and more stately, and contains many Scotch snaps, a rhythm made up of a sixteenth note before a dotted eighth note; in traditional playing, this is generally exaggerated rhythmically for musical expression.
The tune is in mixolydian mode, which means that, by comparison with a major scale, the leading tone is lowered by a semitone. You can see this because the piece is in the key of A, but all the Gs are natural. That is, when playing you can actually forget about the last sharp in the key signature.