Although printed Scottish dance tune-books often claimed to be “Entered at Stationers' Hall” the evidence of the registers belie this claim. Few examples are listed, and it has been suggested that publishers were more likely to enter books that were susceptible to piracy. Alternatively, did compilers, self-publishers and publishers consider this repertoire to be relatively unthreatened by piracy, or not to have a large enough circulation to make it worth the effort? The lengths of the subscribers' lists in some of these tune-books certainly suggest healthy circulation numbers, and let us bear in mind that, while the subscribers made the publication possible, further copies would enter circulation once the books were available.
In this chapter the subscribers' lists attached to these books can be interrogated in closer detail, allowing us to form an impression of the kinds of people subscribing to Scottish dance music. The ratio of nobility to more middling-class purchasers varies between books, as does the proportions of men to women subscribers, not to mention picking out other defining characteristics, such as military men, clergymen or academics, or the occasional overseas subscriber. Some books reveal a distinctly local geographical reach, while others draw subscribers from other parts of the UK, including London and Bath.