Scottish Song Index Pilot Database Basic Help File

(this help file will be improved and extended over the coming months, please send any comments and suggestions to



Bibliographic references

List of brief publication details of where to find the song

Browse title

Look at titles in alphabetical order


Any word across the database

Key signature (Plaine and Easie Code)

Displays the key signature in coded form, e.g. xFC for D-major

Length (no. of bars)

Total length of the complete song in bar numbers.


Listen to the beginning of the tune in mp3 format

Plaine and Easie Code

The Plaine and Easie Code is a notation code representing music notation using typewriter characters. It has been used since the 1960s by musicians, musicologists and music librarians to communicate music notation without having to draw the notation graphics while typing text on the typewriter or computer. A separate help file for the Plaine and Easie Code is available on the website.

Plaine and Easie Code beginning on C

In order to search for musical tunes irrespective of key all tunes have been coded to include a version beginning on C.

Related names

Lists names of people related to the song, e.g. composers, compilers, arrangers, editors.

Search by keyword

Input any word to search across the database

Search by tune

Music notation can be searched by using the Plaine and Easie Code, e.g. `6AB/``8xCxCxC`6BA/4xF8xFA/ This search is more beneficial for users with notational skills. Please note that the tune search is currently an experimental search. Software to improve the search has already been tested with great success and will be installed once the full conversion of the index is underway.

Search term

Input the word or code you want to search for here

Search type

Select here whether you want to search by

keyword, title, tune or name


Any title including first words

Time signature

Time signature of the music, e.g. = three crotchets in a bar


Tunes i.e. music notation can be searched by using the Plaine and Easie Code, e.g. `6AB/``8xCxCxC`6BA/4xF8xFA/

Verses and lines

Number of verses / stanzas and lines including information on refrains


Folk songs are often known in slightly different versions, the index provides a list of variants of a song with bibliographic references