Originally a ballet score this 30' work is scored with strings and consists of three movements:
"cumnock fair": A 12-minute fantasy based on dance melodies by the 18th-century Cumnock composer John French. The moods range widely from playful, rustic, archaic, ungainly, dreamy, boisterous, stately, brutal and grotesque to mysterious and unnerving.
"shambards'": Memories of Burnsian folksong are interrupted by new dance tunes built on fragments from the Mad Scene from Act 3 of Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, based on the novel by Walter Scott.
"shamnation". Low throbbing in the piano becomes a drumbeat to accompany a fast violin reel using three tunes and following a traditional 8-bar structure. The solo piano part emerges as a counterpoint to the Scottish themes after which the music winds its way through many different keys.