Initial letter and numbers identify Collections listed in full in Index. V = Volume
Substantial collections of Traditional Music, mostly bequests specifically “for the benefit of students and researchers”, are held at the following libraries in the UK:
Aberdeen University Library (AUL) Special holding: Henderson Collection (part)
Aberdeen Public Lib. (AL) Henderson (remainder)
AK Bell Library, Perth (P) Athole Collection
Bodleian Library, Oxford (BOD) Harding Collection
British Library (BL) See CPM (Catalogue of Printed Music)
Dundee Public Library (D) Wighton Collection
Edinburgh University Library (EUL), Reid Music Lib. and Mss
Mitchell Library, Glasgow (G) Kidson Collection
National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh (NLS) Glen, Inglis, Henderson (part)
There are large holdings at several libraries in Canada and the USA (eg: Lib. of Congress in Washington DC; New York Public Library, &c.). My own research was largely based on the National Library of Scotland unless items were only available from other sources. Named music collections tend to be listed separately (under, eg: Glen, Kidson, &c. The main problem for searchers at present is the prohibitive cost of obtaining photocopies from the libraries of any publication stored on microfilm. Such rare books (mostly pre-1800) can only be studied under invigilation, hardly the atmosphere for close study, let alone experiment, fiddle in hand.
A1 (v1 – 6) AIRD, James, Publisher & Bookseller, Glasgow (c1750-1795). Although he died of fever at 45, Aird produced quite a range of work and was one of the central figures in the music world at a time when business was booming both in Edinburgh and his native city. He edited “A Selection of Scotch, English, Irish and Foreign Airs” (Vol.1) in 1782, taking a rather different approach to his contemporaries, who were beginning to concentrate on - and find a ready market for - collections of dance tunes. His work is more in the style of Robert Bremner (qv) and Neil Stewart (qv) who were publishing selections 20 years earlier. What makes his work more interesting is that he has drawn in material from early and unpublished sources. This is an important record of “people’s music”. Needless to say, it has not yet been republished. Vol.4 appeared in 1794; after his death, Aird’s colleague, MacFadyen, published Vol.5 while Vol.6 (Glen says) “appeared later on” (c1801).
ALBYN’S ANTHOLOGY (See CAMPBELL, A)
A4 (v1 – 2) ALEXANDER, John, Composer, Edinburgh (late 18th /early 19th c): Two small collections of “new tunes”. AK Bell/DPL(Wighton)
A7 ANDERSON, John, Composer and Publisher, (1737-?1808). We are certainly dealing with more than one John Anderson here; there are six books to consider. John Glen and James Baptie (Musical Scotland) seem to agree about two of them: The “first volume” was published in 1790; the next (c1790) contains “A Selection of the most Approved Highland Strathspeys, Country Dances, English and French Dances…” and is dedicated to “The Gentlemen of the Musical Society of Greenock”. This and “A Second Selection…” (c1791) were published in Edinburgh. A couple of volumes called “Anderson’s Budget of Strathspey Reels and Country Dances…” appeared in c1810 and 1821, published in Perth; clearly another John Anderson and, to cap it all, one of the same name died in Inverness, 5th June 1808. But the music’s there whoever wrote it!
ATHOLE COLLECTION of the Dance Music of Scotland, Edinburgh 1884 (See ROBERTSON, James Stewart): re-issued 1960, new edition 1996 & 1998 (Balnain House). A new edition (with attributions) published by Highland Music Trust 2008.
B2 BAILLIE, Peter or “Pate” (1774-1843): One small collection (7pp), Edinburgh 1825). Son of poor Midlothian folk and youngest of nine children, he was acclaimed a brilliant fiddler. He was at various times a tinker, stonemason and entertainer in great houses, among them Dalkeith and Stobo. Nothing came of a promised series of volumes.
B5 BARSANTI, Francis (Francesco), b. Lucca c1690, d.London 1760: “Old Scots Tunes” (15pp) Edinburgh 1742.
B6 BAYNE, Charles, Composer, Dancing Teacher, Dundee. Series of sets of Dance Tunes, sheet music (1802-1819)
B7 BEAUTIES OF MELODY, The (See McFadyen, J., Glasgow)
B9 BLAIR, William, “Willie”. Crathie, Balmoral (1793-1884), known as “The Queen’s Fiddler”, Q. Victoria’s fiddler from 1848. Small set of tunes pub. after his death by express wish of HM. Two sons, John and James, were also noted fiddlers.
B10 BOAG, W. Collection, London (c.1797)
B11 BOWIE, John, Composer, Dancing Teacher, Perth (1759-1815): One Collection of reels & Country Dances (1789) with some fine tunes. Buried Tibbermore Cemetery with his brother, Peter. Some interesting music including 8 pieces (“ports”) “composed originally for the harp”.
B12 BOWIE, Peter (John’s Brother): Small Collection (15p) 1806 (Wighton, Dundee)
B15 (v1 – 2) BREMNER, Robert, Music-Seller at “the Sign of the Harp and Hautboy”, Collector and Publisher (c1713, d. London 1789): Edinburgh till 1760, then London. (1) “A Collection of Reels & Country Dances …” (probably first to be so named) in 14 instalments from 1761, completed by “A Second Collection …” (112 pp in all), (2) “A curious Collection of Scots Tunes …” (after 1762). A pioneer of the “Golden Age” of dance.
B16 BRIDE … Collections (v1 – 4) 1781 and later. 96 p. Probably London
B17 BRODERIP & WILKINSON Publishers, London 1800. Selection, No 8 only
B20 BURNS, John, Fiddler-Composer: Small collection of own tunes, Edinburgh (1822), dedicated to Countess of Dunmore (21pp). No other details, but a group of tunes of quite exceptional quality.
C1 CAHUSAC Publisher “Dances for the Year” 1794 and others to 1816. London
C4 CALEDONIAN MUSE, The: “A Collection of Scarce & Favorite Scots Tunes both Highland & Lowland, viz. Songs, Luinigs, Laments, Reels, Strathspeys, Measures, Jiggs, &c., …to which is prefixed an Essay on Scots Music. London. Printed for the Editors.” (c1800) (72pp)
C5 (1-3) CALEDONIAN MUSEUM, The: (1) “… for the Flute, Edinburgh; published by Wood & Co.”, (2) “… containing a favourite collection of Ancient & Modern Scots tunes adapted for the Flageolet, Flute or Violin. Edinburgh (72pp). Printed and sold by Alexander Robertson (qv) at his music saloon …”, (3) The same “… Printed and sold by J. Hamilton …”
C6 CALLCOTT, W.H., Arranger, “Melodies of all Nations, London, 19th Century.
C7 CALVERT, Thomas. Composer. “A Collection of Marches, Quick Steps, Strathspeys & Reels by [T.C] …” Not dated. Tune titles strongly suggest connections with the Borders.
C8 (v1 – 2) CAMERON, George, Publisher: (1) “Cameron’s Selection of violin music. Glasgow.” 1854 (64pp), (2) The same for the Flute, 1857 (64pp)
C9 (v1 – 2) CAMERON, John, Publisher: (1) “Cameron’s violin music arranged as solos or duets … including the celebrated cuckoo solo…” (2) “New collection of reels & strathspeys for the violin …” Glasgow, 19th Cent. No date.
C10 (v1-2) CAMPBELL, Alexander, Collector: “A Collection of Strathspeys …” (4pp) Edinburgh c1800, (2) “Albyn’s Anthology or A Select Collection of Melodies peculiar to Scotland & the Isles …” (2 vols.) Edinburgh 1816-18. Round 1783, he gave music lessons to Sir Walter Scott, but probably not quite enough.
C12 CAMPBELL, James: “A Collection of Marches, Quicksteps &c, &c…” 1798 (12pp)
C13 (v1-4) CAMPBELL, Joshua, Music-seller, Compiler, Bell-ringer & Teacher, Glasgow (c1730-c1801): Four considerable collections (1) “A Collection of New Reels & Highland Strathspeys &c… a number of which are his own” c1786 (48pp), (2) “Collection of Newest & Best Reels & Minuets …” 1788 (80pp), (3) “A Collection of Favourite Tunes with New Variations …” Edinburgh c1800 (80pp), (4) “A Collection of New Reels & Highland Strathspeys …” Edinburgh c1800 (36pp).
C14 (v1-27) CAMPBELL, William, Dance Music Publisher, London (c1760-?): 27 small volumes with music and dance instructions, titled variously, as “Campbell’s ..th Book of New and Favorite Country Dances and Strathspey Reels … as danced at Court, Bath, Willis’s and Hanover Square Rooms …” 1790-1817 (17-26pp) NLS should have full set.
C18 CHRISTIE, William, Fiddler-Composer, Teacher of Dancing, Cuminestown, Turriff (1778-1849): Collection, 1829, Edinburgh (44pp) “A Collection of Strathspeys, Reels, Hornpipes, Waltzes, &c …“ 1820 (44pp), with 124 tunes, 68 of which are his own or his arrangements and one or two are by John Christie. Another William, his son, also a collector (of ballad airs, 1876 & 1881) was for 30 years Dean of Moray. Republished in “Highland Collections” (Highland Music Trust, 2005)
C19 CLAGGET, Walter, English Composer (b. about 1760), who published (c.1796) "A New Medley Overture" (Edinburgh, 28 pp), consisting entirely of Scots tunes and 36 of the most favourite Scots Airs, for two violins, or two German Flutes, and a 'cello.
C20 CLARK, John, (c1740-?): “Flores Musicae, or the Scots Musician. Being a general collection of the most celebrated Scots Tunes, Reels, Minuets & Marches,” published 1 June 1773 Edinburgh (82pp). The title page of the book features a splendid engraving with a portrait of William MacGibbon (qv)
C21 CLARK, John, Fiddler-Composer, Perth: “Collection of New Strathspey Reels and Country Dances … dedicated to the Musical Society of Perth …” Perth, 1795 (21pp). One whose other history defeated even John Glen.
C23 CLARKSON, John,“Violinist and Dancing Master” (the elder), d.St.Andrews 1812. “Clarkson’s Musical Entertainment …” London, 1796/7 (Two vols. 12 & 20pp)
C22 CLARKSON, John (son of the above), Violinist & Dancing Master, no dates. “A Collection of much admired Tunes, as danced at the Balls & Publics of the late Mr. Strange…Respectfully dedicated to his Scholars by [JC]…Edinburgh 1803” (50pp)
C24 (v1-2) COOPER, Isaac, Fiddler-Composer and Teacher, of Banff (c1755-1820): (1) Thirty New Strathspey Reels, composed by [IC] …” 1783 (10pp), (2) “A Collection of Strathspeys, Reels and Irish Jigs … Banff, London, Edinburgh, &c…” c.1806 (25pp). His best-known tune is “Miss Forbes Farewell to Banff” but he was an accomplished musician and taught over a dozen instruments! His second collection contains a range of titles in commemoration of Nelson and the Battle of Trafalgar (1805). Republished in “Highland Collections” (Highland Music Trust, 2005)
C26 Son-in-law of Domenico Corri (comp/arr of songs 1783) CORRI & DUSSEK 1797 Collection of Country Dances
COUNTRY DANCES: See Royal Scottish Country Dance Society, RSCDS.
C29 CRAIG, Adam, “Editor, Composer, Violinist and Teacher” (according to David Baptie), c1667-1741 (Edinburgh). “A Collection of the Choicest Scots Tunes …” Edinburgh 1730 (45pp). One of the earliest collections published in Scotland.
CRERAR, John, Fiddler, Stalker at Blair Castle, taught by Niel Gow: (See MacGlashan, A.Vol. 3 for a number of his compositions). The reel “The Marquis of Tulliebardine” has long been attributed to him.
C33 CUMMING, Angus, Fiddler-Composer, Grantown-on-Spey (c1750-c1800): “A Collection of Strathspey or Old Highland Reels by Angus Cumming at Grantown in Strathspey …1780” (Published in Edinburgh). One of a line of the name who evidently felt justified in claiming to have popularised the dotted rhythm of the “strathspey reel”. He claims not one single tune, but the names of many suggest his authorship; others are of older vintage and have been published elsewhere. Republished in “Highland Collections” (Highland Music Trust, 2005)
D2 DALE, Joseph, Publisher, Organist & Composer, Edinburgh (c1750-1821): Sheet music: “Dale’s Collection of Reels & Dances …” c1802. Among other things he published a book of Scots songs in three volumes (1794).
DANCE MUSIC (Published by Wood & Co.): “Violin Edition, the Dance Music of Scotland …, both of the Highlands & Lowlands in 3 books …” (14/16/12pp), no date.
DANCING MASTER, The: See PLAYFORD, Henry & John.
D6 DANIEL, James, Fiddler-Composer, Aberdeen (1810-1889): “a Collection of original music, consisting of Slow Airs, Strathspeys, Reels, Quadrilles, Waltzes, Hornpipes, &c. … by a Citizen …” Aberdeen, 1840 (39pp) NLS, listed under “Citizen”.
DAVIDSON, George: “Collection of Scottish Melody for the Flute or Violin …” London, c1860. 2 vols. 80pp. Well-known tunes.
DAVIDSON, John, Aberdeen: “National Gems For The Violin …” pub.Glasgow 19th c. 46pp, no date.
DAVIE, James, Flautist, Composer, Teacher, Aberdeen (c1783-1857): Published books on psalmody, singing and “The Caledonian Repository” (1820s-50s), four vols. containing many well-known tunes (plus a few rare ones) followed by “A Second Series” in two vols., all containing “much valuable and interesting information” (Baptie).
DEWAR, James. Arranger, Conductor, Edinburgh. (1793-1846): “Selection of 9 Scotch Airs” (11pp). “Popular National Melodies” (6 books, c1826)
D13 DING, Lawrence. “Curious Collection” (c.1800)
D14 (1-4) DOW, Daniel, Fiddler-Composer, Kirkmichael, Perthshire and Edinburgh (1732-83): Four collections (from c1773): (1) “20 Minuets and 16 Reels or Country Dances for the Violin …” (36pp), (2) “A Collection of Ancient Scots Music for the Violin …” (46pp), (3) “37 New Reels and Strathspeys …” (26pp), (4) “ 14 New Reels & Strathspeys …” 14pp). A lot of this music was his own composition. Dow gave concerts and taught music (esp. guitar). He died of fever in Edinburgh aged 51 and is buried there.
D15 (1-2) DUFF, Archibald, Dancing Master, Montrose (c1770 Aberdeen): (1) “A Collection of Strathspey Reels, &c. …by [A.D]” Edinburgh 1794 (2) “First Part of a Choice Selection of Minuets, Dances, &c [A.D]…” Edinburgh 1811/12 (A “Second Part” was never published, to my knowledge).
D16 DUFF, Charles, Music Teacher, Dundee (c1860-1822), partner in Duff & Chalmers’ book and music shop, Dundee from 1800. Relative (brother ?) of A. Duff. “A Collection of Stathspeys, Reels, Jiggs, &c …” Dundee, 1792. (Some tunes attrib: to “J.McD”. Both John McDonald and James Chalmers were dancing masters in Dundee).
E1 (v1-2) EDINBURGH REPOSITORY OF MUSIC “…containing the most select English, Scottish & Irish Airs, Reels, Strathspeys, etc., … Edinburgh” 1818-25. In two vols. bound together (Vol.1, 120pp; Vol.2, 144pp)
E2 EGLINTON, Hugh Montgomerie, 12th Earl of, Fiddler-Composer (1739-1819), known as “Sodger Hugh” (he fought in the North American campaigns): “New Strathspey Reels, …Composed by a Gentleman and given with permission to be published by Nathl. Gow …Edinburgh …” 1796 (24pp); NLS: listed under Gentleman.
F1 FORRESTER, George, Musician. “The Juvenile Flute Player, a Collection of National & Foreign Melodies with a number of original pieces never before published …” (DPL)
F2 (1-2) FRASER, Capt. Simon, Fiddler-Composer (1773-1852), of Ardachy, later Knockie, Inverness-shire: (1) “Thirty Highland Airs, strathspeys, &c… Consisting Chiefly of Tunes entirely New with a Few Old Tunes never before Published. Selected and Composed by Mr. S F****r.” 1795 (11pp), (2) “The Airs and Melodies Peculiar to the Highlands of Scotland and the Isles …Edited by Capt. S. Fraser” 1816 (120pp) published by Mr. John Gow, Edinburgh & London); “New Edition …,” revised by Wm. Mackay and Angus Fraser (Simon’s son), Inverness (Logan & Co.) 1874. In the first edition the music starts at p11; in the second, at p1. With a very few variations, they are otherwise alike. Fraser was evidently drawn to Jacobite melody and composed some himself. His maternal grandfather, Thomas, is thought also to have composed music for the collection. Angus planned to publish Volume Two of “Airs & Melodies” but only a rough design for the cover and the mss. survived along with his own mss collection (EUL). Paul Cranford (Nova Scotia) re-issued Fraser’s 1874 edition in 1982. “The Angus Fraser Collection”, a manuscript found in an Edinburgh bookshop in the 1950s and kept at Edinburgh University, was republished in 1998 by Taigh na Teud.
F3 FRENCH, John, Fiddler-Composer, Ayr: “A Collection of New Strathspeys, Reels, etc …dedicated to Mrs.Boswell of Auchinleck” Edinburgh 1801 (19pp). It was published posthumously “for behoof of Mr. French’s widow and children”, suggesting they were left suddenly in poverty. The music is original and interesting, a lot by French himself; some, like “One Choppin Mair” and “Send us Whisky”, suggest a tendency that may have been his downfall.
G1 (v1-3) GALE’s POCKET COMPANION, Glasgow (c1800): A useful collection of song airs in two volumes (vol 1. 1-48; vol 2. 49-96pp)
GALLEY, John, Newcastle-upon-Tyne: “Twelve Strathspeys and two Hornpipes …for violin…” c1800 (14pp).
G3 GIBB, Alexander, Dancing Master, Haddington: “A New Collection of Minuets, Medlies, High Dances, Marches, Strathspeys and Reels …”, A. Gibb, Edinburgh, 1798 (36pp). No dates beyond that of the collection. Some of the music has great charm.
GLEADHILL, Thomas Swift, Composer, Editor, Edinburgh (1827-90): (1) “National Dance Album …” Glasgow c.1870 (37pp) (2) “60 Scottish Melodies for Harmonium or American Organ…” Bayley & Ferguson, London n/d (72pp) (3) “Gleadhill’s Selection of the Best Reels, Strathspeys, Country Dances, Highland Schottisches, etc…” London, in 2 vols. (24pp each) and many other publications, mainly song collections. In 1889, he was appointed organist at Peterhead Parish Church. He drowned the following year.
G6 (1-2) GLEN, John, Music Collector, Edinburgh (c1845-1904), son of the celebrated bagpipe maker, Thomas Glen (1804-73); he and his brother Robert continued the business for many years. (1) “The Glen Collection of Scottish Dance Music” (vol.1, 1891, 48pp; vol.2, 1895, 50pp) This has been re-published (2001) by Highland Music Trust (2) “Early Scottish Melodies”, Edinburgh 1900. Glen’s music collection of over 4000 books and mss was bought outright from his family by Lady Dorothea Ruggles-Brise (daughter of the Duke of Atholl) during WW1 and was eventually housed at NLS “for the use of students and researchers”.
G7 GOW & MARSHALL: “A Choice Selection of Reels & Strathspeys from the works of Gow & Marshall, …with portrait of Niel Gow …” Edinburgh (pub: Alexander Robertson (qv), Music Sellers to the Queen …”). No date but c1840s (21pp). In fact this collection includes very few of the works of either Gow or Marshall, but was nevertheless a runaway success and ran to several reprints - many of the real old favourites and original dance tunes together in one book.
G8 GOW, John (1753-1826) & Andrew (1755-94), 2nd and 3rd sons of Niel: “A Collection of Slow Airs, Strathspeys & Reels …dedicated to The Highland Society of London by Jno. & Andw. Gow …” Pub: Wm. Campbell, London, editions c1793/5/7 (36pp). One edition headed “A Fourth Collection …” may have been merely the result of a typographical error (for “Collection”, read “Edition”), or else our forebears have been less careful than usual! There is no trace of a second, third or fourth “Collection”. Andrew died aged 39 at Inver; the eldest brother, William (1751-76), at 25 in Edinburgh; but John lived on to prosper in his publishing and as musical director to the Highland Society from 1784 to 1822 and died in London. All three brothers received proper musical training (probably in Edinburgh) and each composed a small number of dance tunes, attributed to them in one or more of the Gow collections.
G9 GOW, Nathaniel (1763-1831), Niel Gow’s 4th son and the architect of his father’s apparent success as a publisher. Packed off to Edinburgh at 19, he studied the violin under the great Robert (“Red Rob”) Mackintosh and the bandleader Alexander “King” MacGlashan, and the ‘cello under Joseph Reinagle. He also learnt the trumpet and was appointed “King’s Trumpeter” still aged 19, a post he held for life. In this role, his attendance was required at Judges’Circuits, Royal Proclamations and executions. The Assemblies (formal public subscription dances) and grand society balls were reaching the height of their popularity. Nathaniel was fully involved in the band scene, first under MacGlashan, then his brother William and finally as leader himself. The first Gow publication, “… dedicated to her Grace The Dutchess of Athole By Niel Gow at Dunkeld” was first printed in 1784. Such dedications were both normal and necessary in an age when there was no safety net for the needy; Subscriber Lists, consisting of the names of professional musicians, amateurs and enthusiasts who pledged the price of copies in advance of publication, encouraged many a fiddler to launch into print. Nathaniel was to continue as a publisher for the rest of his life, establishing a flourishing music shop in Edinburgh in 1796. It had never been his wish to spend his whole life in such a profession but working partners proved hard to come by. The task fell on William Shepherd (a fellow musician but no businessman) whose death in 1812 revealed the business to be in a very bad state. Nathaniel, by then a rich man and as popular among the nobility and gentry as his father had been, paid off all the debts and closed the business. Meantime he had lost his stepmother and his wife (1805) and his father (1807).
On the brighter side, his son, Neil, who had studied to become a doctor, returned to Edinburgh and into music-selling in partnership with his father. This venture was successful, allowing Nathaniel time for teaching and playing at family and public events as far afield as Inverness, Dumfries and London. Sadly, young Neil died while still in his twenties and, as though drawing a line under the era of the musical Gows, Nathaniel suffered a stroke a year later. His brother John died in 1826 and he lingered on until 1831, supported in his disability by an old patron, Lord Dalhousie, who in 1822 had employed him to play before King George IV at a banquet at Dalkeith Palace. The King recognised Gow from visits to London and expressed pleasure at meeting him again. Gow ended his eventful life supported by the charity of his many friends and with a state pension.
A summary of the Gow publications follows the entry on Niel Gow Snr. (below)
GOW, Neil, Junior, Composer, Edinburgh, (1794-1823). Only son of Nathaniel, whose memorial to his son’s early death was to publish “A Collection of Airs, Reels & Strathspeys, being the posthumous Compositions of Neil Gow Jnr, …”(1st Edition: c1825, 22pp) He is remembered as the composer of music for a couple of songs on Jacobite themes, brought about - it is recorded - by a meeting in Edinburgh with James Hogg, the Ettrick Shepherd. His collection contains other excellent slow airs and dance tunes but, for some reason, it was never re-issued after early reprints (1837/1849) and is now little known. He was a musician with flair, a typical Gow.
GOW, Niel, Inver, by Dunkeld (1727-1807): Niel Gow has been given, quite rightly, a place among the immortals. He lived and died an unreformed son of highland Perthshire who might well have been forgotten long since but for his music, his portraits and many anecdotes concerning his character, all of which survive to create a fuller history. The village of his birth supported a Gaelic teacher when he was a lad but by the time of his death, Scots English was the local language. It is said that he received instruction from John Cameron, a celebrated Perthshire fiddler, when he began early to show outstanding talent, but his father, a weaver in Strath Braan and head of a family of seven, can have had little to spare for tuition. Niel was largely self-taught and his genius passed in varying degrees to four of his sons and a grandson, Neil Gow Junior. His brother Donald “played bass” to his fiddle until his death, an event that affected old Niel so much that he was inclined to have done with music. His friends and patrons persuaded him to continue. Resorting to the rather flimsy evidence of published authorship, Niel himself composed at least 87 dance tunes and airs, Nathaniel 197; and the other three sons and the grandson maybe another 30 or so more. Of course they could have claimed authorship of more music between them, because the dozen or so volumes that have been circulating in the last century or so contain hundreds of tunes without an author’s name.
The memory of his long life of service to the Dukes of Atholl and the people of Perthshire is commemorated, rather half-heartedly, on the wall of his cottage at Inver. Niel’s memorial stone in the churchyard at Little Dunkeld has been recut and replaces the original, now preserved in nearby Dunkeld Cathedral. Of the musical Gows of Atholl, all six of them, who did so much for Scotland’s music, there is no physical memorial whatsoever, in Dunkeld or anywhere else, but such is the way the nation remembers its men and women of genius. 2007 was the 200th anniversary of his death.
The Gow bibliography
Four first editions, published in Edinburgh in the name of “Niel Gow at Dunkeld”:
G10 (1-6) 1784 “A Collection of Strathspey Reels ... Dedicated to … the Duchess of Athole By Niel Gow at Dunkeld. Edinburgh, Printed for the author to be had of N. Stewart, J. Bremner, J.Aird (Glasgow) etc. and at the other Music Shops in Town & Country” (36pp each)
1788 “A Second Collection of Strathspey Reels etc,...(by permission) to the Noblemen & Gentlemen of the Caledonian Hunt. Niel Gow, at Dunkeld.”
1792 “A Third Collection…to the Marchioness of Tweeddale. By Niel Gow at Dunkeld.”
1800 “A Fourth Collection…to the Earl of Eglinton, by Niel Gow, at Dunkeld.”
Second editions (1801, 1803 ,1807, 1808) and “The Complete Repository”(4 volumes, 38pp each) published by Niel Gow & Sons:
1809 “A Fifth Collection … to the Countess of Dalhousie … by Niel Gow & Sons”
1822 “A Sixth Collection … to the Marchioness of Huntly … Niel Gow & Sons”. Published by Nathaniel Gow & Son, Edinburgh
G11 (2A-D) 1799 “Part First of the Complete Repository of Original Scots Slow Strathspeys and Dances … to the Dutchess of Gordon by Niel Gow & Sons, Edinburgh”
(2B) 1802 “Part Second of the Complete Repository of Scots Slow Tunes, Strathspeys, Jigs & Dances… to the Dutchess of Buccleuch …”
(2C) 1806 “Part Third … to the Countess of Loudon & Moira …”
(2D) c.1817 “Part Fourth … to the Nobility & Gentry of Scotland …”
Published by Nathaniel Gow, Edinburgh:
G11 (1A-C) 1819 “The Beauties of Niel Gow, being a selection of the most favourite tunes from his First, Second & Third Collections of Strathspeys, Reels & Jigs … dedicated to the Noblemen and Gentlemen of the Caledonian Hunt, by Nathaniel Gow, Edinburgh” . In three volumes (38pp each vol.) Reprinted once and now in facsimile.
G9 Nathaniel Gow’s personal publication list. To my knowledge, not one of these nine collections has been re-printed, at least since the early 19th century:
(see E2) 1795 “New Strathspey Reels for Piano forte, Violin and Violincello. Composed by a Gentleman”(see EGLINTON, EARL OF, above) … Nathaniel Gow, Edinburgh”
(v4) c1796/1820 “A Complete Collection of Originall German Valtz … with second violin accompaniment …dedicated to Lady Charlotte Campbell by Nathaniel Gow, Edinburgh” (24pp). No one seems to agree on the date.
(v5) 1797 “A Collection of Strathspey Reels – containing the most approved and the most fashionable New Reels, some of which are composed, and other with additions, by Nathaniel Gow, London and Edinburgh” (36pp). By this date John Gow had been in business in London for many years, a strong supporter of his father’s publishing efforts.
c1797 “A Collection of Strathspey Reels … to which are added a few favourite Irish Airs.” I have never seen this and do not know the content or number of pages.
1800 “A Collection of Much Admired Marches, Quick Steps, Airs, etc., Composed by a Lady … Nathaniel Gow, Edinburgh.” Another suggested date is 1796.
See Lady, Ladies (L1,2,3) 1802 “A Collection of Entirely New Original Strathspey Reels, Marches, Quick Steps, etc … by Ladies resident in a remote part of the Highlands of Scotland … N.B. Corrected by Nathaniel Gow, Edinburgh” (24pp). There may have been an earlier edition (1798).
(v3) c1815 “A Select Collection of Original Dances, Waltzes, Marches, Minuets & Airs … to the Marchioness of Queensberry … by Nathaniel Gow, Edinburgh.” (2nd Edition 1835)
1820 “The Vocal Melodies of Scotland … dedicated to … the Duke of Buccleuch … by Nathaniel Gow, Edinburgh. In three parts, 36pp each …”
(v2) 1820s (See NEIL GOW Jnr. above) “A Collection of Airs, Reels & Strathspeys … Nathaniel Gow, Edinburgh”. Some dates are given (1835, 1849) but the first edition must surely have been published before or very soon after Nathaniel’s death (ie: before 1831)
(v1) 1823 “The Ancient Curious Collection … of Genuine Scotch Tunes …” (36pp) Just 18 titles fill these pages and most are old favourites. NLS has copy (Glen 403)
G13 GRAHAM, T.S. “The Portfolio, a Collection of Quadrilles, Waltzes,etc …” (19thc.15pp)
G14 GRANT, Charles, Fiddler-Composer, Aberlour (1810-92): “Strathspeys, Reels, Pibrochs & Marches.” (56 tunes in 31pp). Published posthumously for private circulation. There’s a lot to this collection, some copies of which came into the hands of the RSCDS many years ago. A school teacher on Speyside for 30 years, Grant had been a student of William Marshall and played at his deathbed. The Marshall family gave him the Maestro’s fiddle in gratitude (1851). He is remembered as an accomplished player. Re-published in “Highland Collections” (Highland Music Trust, 2005).
G15 GRANT, Donald, Fiddler-Composer, Dancing Master, Elgin (c1760-1839) “A Collection of Strathspeys, Reels, Jigs, etc … dedicated to Mrs. Col. Grant of Grant”. Edinburgh c1790 (38pp). Many of the tunes are his own and a reprint (1820/21) declares it to be “Grant’s 1st Collection”. A second seems not to have materialised. There is no doubt he taught music and played for dancing at Castle Grant and other local houses. Re-published in “Highland Collections” (Highland Music Trust, 2005)
GREY, A. Ogilvie, Musician, Collector: “Scottish Music …” London 1905.
G17 GUNN, John, Musician, Edinburgh (1765-1824): “40 Favorite Scotch Airs …” (c1791)
H1 HALL, John, Fiddler-Composer, Ayr (1788-1862): “A Selection of Strathspeys, Reels, Waltzes & Irish Jigs …” Ayr, 1818 (34pp) “Printed & Sold by John Hall, at his Music Room…” He advertises that his book contains “…a number of Jackson’s Admired Airs.” More is known about Hall’s life than many of his prominent contemporaries. An ms in his own hand of 300 tunes (EUL) gives a clear view of his range as a player and a “kit” violin (a slimmed-down version of a conventional fiddle, designed to slip into a tail pocket) has survived as witness to his work as a successful dancing master. It can be seen at the Kelvingrove Museum.
H3 (+see C5) HAMILTON, John, Publisher, Edinburgh (1761-1814): “A Choice Selection of Scots Reels, or Country Dances & Strathspeys …” (No exact date but c1800). Also, “Caledonian Museum, The”, editions c1810/1830.
HARBOUR, Jacob, Composer, Collector: “A Selection of the most admired Country Dances, Reels, Strathspeys, etc …” London, 1796 (20pp).
HARDING, Walter, N.H., English Music Collector; lived in USA (1883-1973). His massive collection of several hundred thousand items includes a significant number of printed volumes of Irish and Scots fiddle music, is all housed at the Bodleian Library, Oxford (BOD/Harding).
HENDERSON, John Murdoch, Collector/Composer, Schoolmaster, Aberdeen (d. Edinburgh 1972): “The Flowers of Scottish Melody”, 1935 (56pp). His personal collection of printed music and research notebooks was distributed between NLS, AUL and Aberdeen Public Library. He deserves recognition for the fruits of a life hobby. Only for want of computers in his day, his work has gone unsung. I found satisfaction in dedicating the Scottish Fiddle Music Index to his memory.
H5 HENRY, James, Fiddler-Composer, Garmond, Aberdeenshire (1860-1914): Leader of the Aberdeen Strathspey & Reel Society from its founding in 1903 until his death, Henry left behind him a small collection, “Eight Airs for Violin, price 2/- Net”. The slow air “The Auld Brig o’ Don” (otherwise the 13th century Brig o’ Balgownie) appears in The Fiddle Music of Scotland (James Hunter 1979). All eight tunes were re-published in “Highland Collections” (Highland Music Trust 2005)
HIGHLAND MUSIC TRUST, Inverness, Publishers since 2001 of a series of fine editions of music collections of the 18th and 19th centuries, including John Glen’s Scottish Dance Music, Robert Mackintosh’s Collections, ‘Highland Collections’ (eight collections in one), ‘Fiddle Music from Fife’ and William Marshall’s complete works.
HILL, James, Fiddler-Composer, Newcastle-upon-Tyne (c1815-): Originally from Dundee, like Abraham Mackintosh (qv) before him, he headed for the booming city of Newcastle around 1840 and was soon making a living around the pubs, although equally in demand for dances. He won lasting renown as a composer, especially of hornpipes.
H6 HIME & Son, Publishers, Liverpool: “…the most favourite Dances, Liverpool…”, published in 3pp numbers, certainly up to 23 in total and maybe more (DPL Wighton). No date available, possibly c1790-1810. His brother was a publisher in Dublin.
H7 HONEYMAN, William C., Violinist (Born New Zealand 1845, d 1919): Published several teaching books, including “The Strathspey, Reel & Hornpipe Tutor”; also “Scottish Violin Makers” (1894)
H8 HUNTER, James, Broadcaster, Collector, Glasgow: “The Fiddle Music of Scotland” (Glasgow 1979), a personal selection of music from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries which became an important window into the traditional repertoire during an otherwise arid period. In print (second edition, Hardie Press)
INGLIS, Alexander Wood, Collector (c1844-1929): Secretary to the Board of Manufacturers in Scotland, he left his important collection of traditional Scottish music (The Lauriston Castle Collection) to the NLS (See under “Ing./Inglis)
J1 JENKINS, George, “Teacher of Scotch Dancing, London”: published “New Scotch Music…Slow Airs, Strathspeys, Quick Reels, Country Dances …” 1793 (in 3 pts., 49pp).
J2 JOHNSON, Abraham, Fiddler/Composer: “A Collection of New Reels …” Edinburgh, c1795 (16pp)
JOHNSON, David: One of today’s principal historians of Scottish music, his “Scottish Fiddle Music in the 18th century” (1984, 1997, 2007) deals in depth with the early instrumental music of the period and concludes with a chapter on the development of dance music composition (1760 – 1800).
J3 JOHNSON, James (c1755-1811), Publisher of “The Scots Musical Museum, dedicated to the Catch Club, inst: 1771 …” Six volumes (each of 40pp), dated 1787, 88, 90, 92, 96 and 1803. One of the great source books of Scottish vocal melody, it brought Johnson fame and popularity, not least because it featured melodies chosen by Robert Burns. In c.1772/74, he had published Charles McLean’s “Scots Tunes” (see below).
K1 (1-2) KEITH, Malco(l)m, Editor, Glasgow (17..-18..): “The Complete Repositary of Original Scots Slow Strathspeys & Dances…” (2 volumes, each 40pp) c1811 - c1823. The Gow “Complete Repository” volumes (four in all) were published 1799-1839 and Volumes 1 and 2 would have been in print in Keith’s heyday. Although plagiarism was always possible (and happened occasionally), it does seem almost inconceivable that Keith would have tried to pass off the Gow books under his name when the Gows were at the height of their fame and popularity. Nevertheless, his books do appear to use the same plates as the Gows, with some additional notes and deletions. It seems equally unlikely that he would have had the whole work re-engraved, so is it possible he bought the plates from Gow & Shepherd.
K2 (1-4) KERR, James Spiers, Publisher, Glasgow (1841-93). To say that Kerr was prolific would be an understatement. He published the popular dance repertoire of his time, then went right back and published most of it again. His collections and sheet music were the “Ceol na Fidhle” of his day and the output of his publishing house continued for a century, embracing all the succeeding heroes of the music world from Jimmy Shand to Joe Gordon, Andy Stewart and Robert Wilson, Jimmy Blair and Ian Powrie.
Note: One of the good old boys of the 20th century went on record with the opinion that “most of the old repertoire” could be found in Kerr’s collections. He couldn’t have been more wrong! He was one of several generations of traditional players brought up on Kerr and the Athole Collection. Although it was universally known that the Gows and Marshall had many compositions to their name, Skinner, who lived until 1927, was “the one to relate to” and the only one of the great masters, obviously, who was still “living” as far as his music was concerned. His early recordings can still be heard and there is now the probability that more of his output may be saved in sound in the John Junner Collection. The earlier fiddler-composers were represented in Kerr and Athole anonymously, as if their history and era were already half forgotten and no longer worth recording. From the 1920s, the RSCDS went searching for music in many original editions and have assembled an interesting addition to the bibliography, which has the added advantage of having been given sources, if somewhat erratically.
KIDSON, Frank, Musicologist, Leeds (1855-1926): Connoisseur and collector of old Leeds Pottery, well known as the owner of a huge collection of rare old music, ballads, operas etc. His collection of rare Scottish music books found its way to the Mitchell Library (Glasgow) where they can be studied. Among them is Skillern’s “Compleat ... Dances” (London c.1780), one of many of which perhaps only a single copy now exists, unless others are still in private hands.
KOEHLER (KŐHLER), Ernst, Publisher and Music-seller, Edinburgh (19th c.): “Violin Repository of Dance Music” (1881-5), 288pp of mostly 19th century tunes, particularly hornpipes, originally issued as a series over several years. The Scottish Fiddle Music Index omits this work, which on reflection could perfectly well have been included, but it appears listed as an appendix.
L1/3 “LADIES” (1796-1804): Several small collections appeared under this title or “By a Lady”, suggesting that publishing was not an entirely respectable practice for ladies! It is Scotland’s loss that we don’t have their names, although Miss Magdalina Stirling of Ardoch (Braco, Perthshire) published under her own name (qv), as did Jane Fraser Morison (qv) a century later. Three such items are: “A Collection of Marches etc.” c1796; “A Collection of Entirely Original Reels etc by Ladies living in a remote part of the Highlands…(NB Corrected by Nath. Gow)” c1798; “A Collection of Original Strathspey Reels etc…” (Edinburgh 1804).
L4 LEBURN, Alexander, Fiddler-Composer, Auchtermuchty (c1750-1836): one of comparatively few musicians recorded in Fife. An amateur musician, but a man of many talents and accomplishments, a magistrate, warmly remembered in the town, like an equally well-esteemed citizen of a later age, Sir Jimmy Shand. He produced a small collection of music (Edinburgh 1793) which has recently been re-published (Fiddle Music from Fife, Highland Music Trust, 2006) along with the work of a contemporary, James Walker of Dysart (qv).
LEES, John Kenyon, Publisher, Glasgow (late 19th c): “The Balmoral Reel Book” and much sheet music etc. of a similar kind.
L9 LINLEY, F. Publisher, London: Published “The Shepherd’s Delight containing twelve Scotch Tunes, never before published …” (1781)
LOGAN & Co. Music-sellers, Publishers, Aberdeen (1842), Inverness (1873), Elgin (1882): The “Inverness Collection of Highland Pibrochs, Laments, etc …” and “Popular Gaelic Songs” sold widely. They reprinted Capt. Simon Fraser’s “Airs peculiar …” in 1884 (Baptie) and were still publishing well into the 20th century, with “Logan’s Collection of Music for the Violin” bringing the pipe repertoire fully within the range of the fiddler and of course the accordion.
LONGMAN & BRODERIP (also Longman, also Broderip & Wilkinson), Publishers, London. Published “Dances for the Year …” 1788-90 and probably many more.
L8 (v1-6) v7 v8(A/B) LOWE, Joseph, Composer, Dancing Master and Bandleader, Edinburgh, later Inverness (1797-1866): son of John Lowe, the composer of “Rachel Rae”, “Archie Menzies” and other favourite pieces and brother of Robert Lowe, dancing master and composer in Brechin. His best remembered work, “Lowe’s Collection”, was published in 6 volumes (1844) and is still known, though never re-published. “Lowe’s Selection of Popular Country Dances” (c1853) and “Lowe’s Royal Collection…” 2 books of 34pp each (c1860) and other material.
MC1 MACDONALD, Donald (c1780- ):“A Collection of the Ancient Martial Music of Caledonia. Now also for the Pianoforte, Violin, etc…” (Edinburgh 1831)
MACDONALD, John, Fiddler-Composer, Dundee (c1760-c1831): Dancing Master, latterly “for many years master of ceremonies at Viceregal Court, Calcutta” (Baptie). See Chas. DUFF, who published his compositions.
MC3) MACDONALD, Dr. Keith Norman, M.D., Music Editor, Isle of Skye (1834-1913): Prolific collector and publisher of “The Skye Collection of Reels, Strathspeys, etc.” (1887) 192pp (re-issued in facsimile by Paul Cranford, Nova Scotia, 1979) and “The Gesto Collection” (1893/95), which contains preponderantly Gaelic-based music, much of it with words. (re-published by Llanerch Press, 1997).
MC4 MACDONALD, Malcolm, ’Cellist/Composer, Collector (b.Dunkeld c1750): Four small collections of mostly dance music, the first (1788) said to be his own compositions; 2nd to 4th (1789, 92,97) miscellaneous (the Gows and others); well worth study. He played bass to Niel Gow after the death of Niel’s brother Donald, but little more is known. (re-published by Taigh na Teud, 2002)
MC5 McDONALD, Rev. Patrick, Collector (with his brother Joseph), Strathnaver (1729-1824); from 1756, Minister of Kilmore, Argyll: “A Collection of Highland Vocal Airs never hitherto published …Country dances, Reels …” (1781/4). Joseph died in India, but his collection was rescued by Sir John Murray MacGregor (Commissary of Bengal) who assisted the Rev. Patrick to bring the work to publication (republished by Taigh na Teud, 2000).
MACEWAN, James, Collector, London. “A Musical Casket of Melodies for the Million …” London, c1843.
MC7 MACFADYEN, Joseph T., Publisher, Glasgow (c1807-1856): “A Collection of Highland Strathspey Reels from the Best Authors …”Glasgow, c1800 (36pp). Also: “The Repository of Scots & Irish Airs … Part of the Slow Tunes adapted for 2 Violins and a Bass …” Glasgow, 1802 (Airs 64pp; Strathspeys etc.64pp) See also, McGoun (qv)
MC8 McGIBBON, William, Musician, Edinburgh (c1695-1796) He was “an excellent violinist” (Baptie) and composed chamber works. He published “A Collection of Scots Tunes …” in 3 volumes, (1742, 1746 & 1755) each of 36pp. Robert Bremner (qv) published a new edition of this work with extra material. McGibbon’s place is among a group of Edinburgh musicians of that time who composed and made music in “the Drawing Room Style”. This group, among them James Oswald, Francesco Barsanti, Charles McLean, Alexander Munro, Robert (“Red Rob”) Mackintosh and General John Reid, were by no means averse to the Scottish Tradition. Much of their work consisted of arrangements and variation pieces of popular song airs and dance tunes. These settings were in the style of the chamber music of the time, of composers like Corelli and Handel and so suited to genteel surroundings.
MC9 (v1-3) McGLASHAN, Alexander, Musician and Bandmaster, Edinburgh, popularly known as “King McGlashan” (1740-97): Published three substantial volumes: “A Collection of Strathspey Reels …” (1778) 34pp; “A Collection of Scots Measures, Hornpipes, Jigs, Allemands, Cottillons, …” (1781) 42pp; “A Collection of Reels, consisting chiefly of Strathspeys, Athole Reels, …” (1786) 46pp. Printed and sold by N. Stewart (qv). Other copies of these volumes are dated variously, but a more or less contemporary listing seems to confirm these years of publication. Book Three contains a number of the compositions of John Crerar, a talented fiddler, taught by Niel Gow and employed as stalker by the Duke of Athole. It is the only collection featuring “Athole Reels” on the title page.
MC10 McGLASHAN, John, Fiddler-Composer (Possibly Alexander’s brother) “A Collection of Strathspey Reels …” Edinburgh 1798 (15pp).
MC11 MACGREGOR, John, Fiddler-Composer “A set of Favorite Strathspey Reels …” London 1817, 11pp. NLS (Glen 296 b & c) have other sheet music by this composer.
MC12 (1-2) McGOUN, Archibald, Printer. See McFadyen (above)
MC13 (1-3) MACINTOSH, Abraham, Fiddler-Composer, Edinburgh & Newcastle (1769- ?) Son of Robert (“Red Rob”) Mackintosh, the second of 13 children. (1) “Thirty New Strathspey Reels, &c …” Edinburgh c1792 (11pp); (2) “A Collection of Strathspeys, Reels, Jigs, &c …” Edinburgh 1796 (36pp); (3) “A Collection of Strathspeys, Reels, Jigs, &c …” Newcastle-upon-Tyne c1805 (26pp). Macintosh (a “k” was sometimes used) left Edinburgh for Newcastle in 1797 and became a popular teacher of dancing. His third collection shows he acquired Northumbrian sponsors and his father, by then in London, assisted with sales.
MACINTOSH, James, Fiddler-Composer, Dunkeld (1846-1937) “A Collection of Reels, Strathspeys, Marches, etc …” Perth 1930 (6pp), all his own compositions. Three generations of this family, not related to the Macintoshes of Tulliemet, were at the centre of musical life in the Dunkeld district. An earlier James Macintosh (1791-1876) one of Niel Gow’s last pupils, was a fiddler with The Reel Players (later the Julian Band) in Edinburgh and died there. His brother Charles (1797-1867), a weaver like his father, may have learnt from Gow, or possibly Peter Hardie, a fiddler in Niel’s band. His two sons, Charles and James, both talented musicians, spent most of their lives in the district; Charles, a ‘cellist and also a talented naturalist, came to the attention of Beatrix Potter; James was a talented photographer as well as a fiddler. He was 86 when his little collection was published and his photographs can be studied in the town.
MC17 McINTOSH, Alexander, Dancing Master, Dundee. Published collection late 18thc. (DPL)
MC15 MACINTYRE, Duncan, Fiddler-Composer, Dancing Teacher, London (c1767-c1807) “A Collection of Slow Airs, Reels & Strathspeys dedicated to …Lady Charlotte Campbell, Composed by D. Macintyre, Teacher of Scotch Dancing” London 1794 (40pp). Many other attributions to “Mr. Macintyre” appear in other collections of the time, the height of the Golden Age of Dance. The tunes in this book, many of which are still popular, are clearly his own.
MC16 MACKAY, Alexander, Fiddler-Composer, (born Isle of Islay, 1775) “A Collection of Reels, Strathspeys & Slow Tunes, arranged for the Pianoforte, chiefly composed by Alexander Mackay, Musician Islay …” Printed by J. McFadyen, Glasgow c1805; 2nd edition c 1822. It contains some sparkling music and deserves to be better known.
MACKENZIE, Alexander, Violinist & Composer (born Montrose 1819; died Edinburgh 1857) leader at the Theatre Royal (from 1845). Published “The Dance Music of Scotland” (undated) and “100 Scotch Airs for Violin” and is best remembered as composer of the air “The Nameless Lassie”. His son, Sir Alexander C. Mackenzie (born 1847) was a noted musician who became Principal of the Royal Academy of Music.
MC19 MACKERCHER, Duncan, Fiddler, Dunkeld (1796-1873): A curious character who was born at Kenmore and arrived in Dunkeld declaring himself to be a player in the Gow tradition. He lived in Gow’s cottage from about 1865 until his death. He played at balls, taught the fiddle and published three quite weighty volumes of dance music, although Book 2 borrows from Book 1 and Book 3 from Book 2. It has been suggested that much of the best music in these was composed by Capt. Daniel Menzies (qv), a noted fiddler older than MacKercher; also that some of Menzies’ music was published without attribution, although how much was in fact McKercher’s music at all is in doubt.
MC21 MACKINTOSH, Robert (“Red Rob”), Fiddler-Composer, Tulliemet, Edinburgh & London (c1745-1807), father of Abraham (qv) and of 12 other children, life-long teacher of music, composer of “variation sonatas” in the Scots Drawing Room Style, but most justly remembered for his four collections of dance music (1) “Airs, Minuets,Gavotts & Reels …” Edinburgh 1783, 40pp; (2) “68 new Reels, Strathspeys & Quicksteps …” Edinburgh 1793, 39pp; (3) “A 3rd Book of 68 new Reels …” Edinburgh 1796 (39 pp); (4) “A 4th Book of new Strathspey Reels …” London 1803, 44pp. Why he moved to London so late in his rather short career and died so shortly after the move are now questions difficult to answer. The collections have been republished in an excellent new edition by Highland Music Trust (2002), reintroducing the work of this most gifted of fiddler-composers to the musical public.
MC22 McLAREN, Daniel, Fiddler-Composer, Edinburgh (c1760-c1820). “A Collection of Strathspey Reels &c ...” Edinburgh 1794 (22pp). Besides some further sheet music and a couple of Edinburgh addresses, little else has been recorded of his life and he may have sunk into illness and ended in the workhouse, as musicians were inclined to do.
MC23 MACLEAN, Charles, Musician, Edinburgh (c1700-1773): (1) “Twelve Solos or Sonatas for a Violin or Violoncello” Edinburgh 1737 (2) “A Collection of Favourite Scots Tunes, by the late Mr. Chas. McLean and other eminent masters …with Variations for the Violin …” Edinburgh c 1774 (37 pp).
MACPHERSON, William (Willie), Fiddler-Composer, Elgin (1920-74) was a virtuoso violinist at 14, revived the Elgin Strathspey & Reel Society, played with the SNO, was a friend of Yehudi Menuhin and composed some very good music in the traditional style, notably “The Coleburn” (slow air) and “Effie Glasgow of Longmorn” (slow strathspey). His son, Fraser, has recently produced a lavish biography with music.
M1 MANCOR, P, Musician, Dundee (no dates) Collection late 18th c.
M2 MARCHES: “A Select Collection of Favourite Marches …” 1789. Selected by David Sime and published by Stewart & Co. (35 pp)
“MARR & CO’S Royal Collection of Highland Airs, Quicksteps, Strathspeys, Reels & Country Dances …”, re-published by Mozart Allan (qv), Glasgow, 1920s/30s. A useful source for lesser known pieces and popular “oldies”, still in print (2007?) under the house-name of Mozart Allan.
M4 MARSHALL, William, Fiddler-Composer, Fochabers, Moray (1748-1833). Born of poor parents and having had the minimum of education, he rose to the senior rank of steward to the 4th Duke of Gordon at Gordon Castle. His needy parents had sent him to the Castle aged 12 to work his way up the ladder of employment as best he might. His intelligence and ability to learn proved truly outstanding, not only in his career in the ducal household but also it seemed in almost any task he put his mind to. While in service there, Marshall published his first small volume of compositions, “A Collection of Strathspey Reels, Edinburgh …” 1781 (12pp). He left the Castle in 1790 to settle at Keithmore near Dufftown and became factor to the Duke for lands in Banff and Aberdeenshire. In memory of the twenty years he spent there with his wife Jane and their six children, all of whom had been born at Gordon Castle, he composed the lovely air “The Farewell”. Long before that time, Marshall had first astonished all who heard his playing, then had become an essential part of the musical establishment at the Castle, where a stream of visitors, celebrated musicians, statesmen and grandees, begged to have him play. Some writers have given him the status of “amateur”, no doubt because he was first a steward and only then a fiddler and self-taught into the bargain, yet his style, still evident in his compositions could astound and humble many a professional.
The Duke’s first wife, Jane Maxwell, leader of the fashion for country dancing in that era, encouraged Marshall to publish the first volume (1781) and the two other small collections of 1788/93, but it was to be over 25 years before the next. “Marshall’s Scottish Airs, Melodies, Strathspeys, Reels, &c. …Edinburgh 1822” (60pp) was to contain much of the cream of his musical output and the sponsor on this occasion was Elizabeth Brodie of Arnhall, Marchioness of Huntly (Duchess Jane’s daughter-in-law). Her husband, George, who was to become the 5th and last Duke of Gordon, commissioned a portrait of the septuagenarian Marshall by Sir John Watson Gordon, “an artist of some eminence” and engravings of this were sent far and wide. The final publication, “Volume 2nd of a Collection of Scottish Melodies, Reels, &c. …” was not produced until years after his death. “The Posthumous Works …” (Edinburgh 1845, 35pp) include a number of dance tunes renamed from the first volume. Is there more Marshall music still to be found? John Glen, the meticulous researcher and editor of “Glen’s Collection of Scottish Dance Music” wrote a century ago: “… if such sheets ever existed, the editor [JG] has failed to discover a single copy”.
Much has been written to recall William Marshall’s life as steward, fiddler, clockmaker, astronomer, surveyor and all-round wizard. “The Life and Times of William Marshall” by Moyra Cowie (Elgin 1999) is a painstaking sketch of the man, with explanatory notes and examples of his music. A complete new edition of the music has been published (2007) by Highland Music Trust.
MAVER, Robert, Music-Seller, Glasgow since 1845. Published a collection of 479 Scottish melodies (1866) and of 203 Irish melodies (1876), described (by Baptie) as “carefully annotated and beautifully printed”. This deserve at least a second look! I haven’t caught up with it yet.
M6 MAXWELL, Alexander, “Musician, Argyll Militia” Published: “Reels & Strathspeys, composed by [A.M] …” Edinburgh c 1809 (sheet music 3pp)
MENZIES, Capt. Daniel, Fiddler-Composer c1790-c1828. (See D. MacKercher above). No one seemed prepared to record at the time where this “amateur violinist and composer of considerable merit” lived and did his work. A Mr. Duncan of Perth actually accused Duncan MacKercher of plagiarism when it was declared that much of the “best” music in MacKercher’s collections was composed by Menzies; the family certainly had strong associations with Perthshire. Mr. Troup (Ballater) and Mr. J.S. Marshall of Dundee, “both good authorities”, were of the opinion “that the greater part of the airs claimed by McKercher were composed by the Captain”(Baptie) . Neither musician can be greatly troubled by this wee storm in a teacup now.
M7 MIDDLETON, Charles, Music Publisher, Keith, Banffshire (1837-99) was born at Woodside, Aberdeen, moved to Keith as a spinner, but eventually became a prolific editor and publisher of Scottish fiddle music and a devoted admirer of James Scott Skinner (qv). He published some of Skinner’s earlier collections (1860s up to 1888) until most of Skinner’s and his own publications were taken over by Bayley & Ferguson, London. One of Middleton’s collections was “edited by Peter Milne (qv), Violinist, Edinburgh, late of Aberdeen” and ran to 7 editions. It contains a cross-section of Milne’s surviving compositions. At 60, he moved to Hamilton, but died two years later.
MILNE, Peter, Fiddler-Composer, “The Tarland Minstrel” (1824-1908). Born near Aboyne, in 1851 he succeeded James Young as Leader of the Theatre Royal, Aberdeen. Most of his long life was spent as a professional violinist in Edinburgh, where he died of an addiction, probably the inevitable result of treatment of a crippling disease with laudanum. He was said to have taught Skinner (qv) but never succeeded in assembling his own work, except in the Middleton volume. Henderson’s pastoral “Riches Denied” (Flowers of Scottish Melody, 1935) seems to echo the sadder side of the life of an underrated genius.
MOFFAT, Alfred E., Composer, Arranger, Edinburgh & London (1866-1950) Being classically trained, he published a long list of classical pieces, then “ 30 Highland Reels & Strathspeys …”London c1900 (18pp); “The Braemar Collection of Highland Music …” London 1919 (85pp); “Dance Music of the North, 54 Reels, Strathspeys, Marches &c …” (Glasgow).
M10 MORISON, Jane Fraser, Musician, Collector of Gaelic Airs, Kintail Manse. Two volumes of “Highland Airs & Quicksteps …“ 1882 (20pp/29pp) Published by Logan & Co., Inverness.
M11 MORISON, John, Fiddler-Composer, Organist, Peterhead (1772-1848). “A Collection of New Strathspey Reels …” Edinburgh c1797 (23pp) and “A Select Collection of Favourite Tunes …” Peterhead c1815 (18pp).
M12 MORRISON, William, Fiddler-Composer, Bandleader, Inverness (c1780-after1825); dates seem to be hard to come by. A native of Culloden, he published “A Collection of Highland Music, Strathspeys, Reels, Marches and Slow Airs …” Inverness 1812 (81pp), about half his own, the rest old or contemporary. He provided the music for the Northern Meeting Ball for at least 12 years and was succeeded by Joseph Lowe of Edinburgh. Re-published in “Highland Collections” (Highland Music Trust, 2005).
MUELLER, Robert, Collector, Edinburgh. Collection, London 1852 (62pp)
MULHOLLAN, John MacPherson, Fiddler-Composer, Edinburgh (19th century): “A Selection of Irish & Scots Tunes …Airs, Marches, Strathspeys, Country Dances, &c …” Edinburgh 1894 (51pp) Printed by J. Hamilton. An interesting and unusual work.
M14 MUNRO, Alexander, Musician, Edinburgh (c1695 - ?) “Twelve Airs Ecossais” (or “Collection of Scots Tunes”) Paris c1730. “Further details wanting” (Baptie); David Johnson agrees he was “one of the mystery figures of Scottish musical history” but judges him a musician of talent and vision, particularly as a member of the “Drawing Room” group. (cf: McGibbon etc.)
MURDOCH, William McKenzie, Violinist and Publisher, Glasgow & London (b.1870)
Churned out innumerable sheets of arrangements for violin (late 19th/20th c) but was said to be “…a most tasteful and accomplished violinist” (Baptie).
MUSICAL MISCELLANY, The: An anonymous work of some importance, being a collection of Scots, English and Irish music, published in Perth 1786 (347pp)
N1 NAPIER, William, Music-seller, London (c1740-1812). He published a number of books, among them a collection of dances (1798, 37pp) and “Songs, Chiefly Pastoral …”, 3 volumes, 1790, 92, 94.
NEAL, John & William, Music-sellers, Dublin. Published many works, among them “A Collection of the Most celebrated Scotch Tunes …” c1724 (29pp). There is an original copy at Queen’s University, Belfast and a photocopy at the National Library of Ireland, Dublin. A rare book indeed.
NEIL, J. Murray, Fiddler, Editor, Selkirk and Lasswade. Contemporary collector of music in 3 published volumes (1991-2004).
N2 NICOLSON, H., Dancing Master, Edinburgh. “A Collection of Favourite Dances, …” Edinburgh c1817
O1 OSWALD, James, Musician, Dancing Master, Dunfermline, Edinburgh, London was born at Crail in Fife, c1710; left Dunfermline for Edinburgh c 1736 and went to London c1750s, where in 1761 he was appointed “Chamber Composer” to the king. His publications include “A Collection of Minuets …”1735; several selections of “Scots Tunes”, 1740, 42 and 43 etc.; “Airs for the Four Seasons”, 1747; “Six Pastoral Solos for the Violin and ‘Cello”, (no date); “Fifty-five Marches for the militia” (no date) and many more. Perhaps most enduring of his publications is “The Caledonian Pocket Companion”, 1759, a massive work in 12 volumes of the traditional song airs of Scotland. Books 1-6 have recently been issued on CD Rom (John Purser, 2006)
P1 PARKER, Mrs., Professional Dancer, Dublin and Edinburgh, produced a series of “Dances for the Year 17…”, of which the Nat. Library of Ireland has “Mrs. Parker’s Last Collection of Favourite Dances for the Year 1795 …” which strongly suggests the evening of her dancing career, although it may not. Thereafter she published “A Selection of Scots Tunes, Strathspeys and Reels …” Dublin 1797 (39 airs,14pp) and “A Second Selection …” (18 airs) . All published by Hime/Edmond Lee, Dublin. A third selection in MS is kept at NLS, Edinburgh.
P3 PATERSON, James, Fiddler-Composer, Glasgow published “A Collection of original Music …Slow Airs, Strathspeys, Reels, Marches, …” Glasgow c1867 (24pp)
P4 PEACOCK, Francis, Dancing Master, Aberdeen (1723-1807). “Fifty Favourite Scotch Airs …” London 1767 (35pp). Later in his life he claims to have been a teacher of dancing “for upwards of sixty years”! It’s certainly possible.
P5 PETRIE, Robert, Fiddler-Composer, Kirkmichael, Perthshire (1767-1830): a complex character whose life was a series of highs and lows. His most important legacy are his four collections of “…Strathspey Reels, Jiggs & Country Dances …”, Edinburgh 1790, 1795/6, 1800, 1805 (22-26pp each); three are dedicated to members of the Garden of Troup family, for whom he may have worked as gardener. He was much in demand for dances and entertainments in Kirkmichael district and beyond. He won fiddle competitions but was the subject of several somewhat unflattering anecdotes, culminating in two surrounding his death. He was “unfortunately drowned … returning home from a party upon a dark and stormy night” (Baptie) and “… found dead one morning by the side of a small stream” (Glen). His music is rich in variety and a lot of it is eminently playable, suggesting that a new edition is long overdue.
P7 PLAYFORD, Henry, Music Publisher, London (1657-c1710), son of John (below) from whom he inherited the business. “A Collection of Scotch-Tunes (Full of the Highland Humours) for the Violin …” London 1700 (16pp).
P6 PLATTS, S.J. Music Seller, London. Published Dance Music from around 1789
P8 PLAYFORD, John, Music Publisher, London (born Norfolk 1623, d. London1686), founder of a great publishing house. One of his outstanding works, still remembered, is “The [English] Dancing Master …with Tunes to each dance, etc” - of which he was responsible for four editions, 1652-1685. His son Henry went on to publish a dozen more editions, 1690-c1728. Early on, the “English” in the title was dropped and “Scotch Tunes” were introduced, to cater for the 18th vogue for “Highland Humours” and the dances of the north.
P9 PORTEOUS, James, Fiddler-Composer, Applegarth, Dumfriesshire (c1762-1847) spent a year in Edinburgh, learning the violin. He was friendly with old Niel and his family and Nathaniel Gow gave him lessons. After his return to Dumfriesshire, he acquired (and no doubt earned) the title of “The Musical Miller” of Annandale, where he had settled and worked as miller and farmer at Knockhill Mill, Hoddam. He was by nature kindly and sociable and became a popular entertainer and published “A Collection of Strathspeys, Reels & Jigs …” Edinburgh 1820 (40pp), all his own tunes except one which was composed by his son when aged 9. Mysteriously, a second edition, published a year after the first contains the same music but with an almost complete set of new titles. No explanation for this has so far been suggested.
P10 PRESTON, Music Publisher, London. Popular Dances 1790-1802.
P11 PRINGLE, John, Fiddler-Composer, Edinburgh (c1770- ?) may have had connections with the Borders (his sponsors were a Miss Elliot and Lady Scott of Ancrum). With these dedications, he published two volumes of “A Collection of Reels, Strathspeys & Jigs …” Edinburgh 1801 (19/23pp) claiming authorship of a good proportion of each volume. Much of the music is of good quality and of great interest, asking to be made more readily available.
R4 REINAGLE, Alexander, Musician, Glasgow (17th-18th c) “A Collection of the Most Favorite Scots Tunes …” Glasgow 1782 (26pp)
REINAGLE, Joseph, (1762-1836), Alexander’s brother, was also a composer, author of “Colonel Hamilton’s Delight” a jig, now the original tune for the dance “Hamilton House” (RSCDS Bk 7, William Campbell’s Dances Bk 4, 1789)
R5 RIDDELL, John (old spelling Riddle), Fiddler-Composer, Ayr (1718-95) seems to have been the first to publish a set of tunes (many of his own) as “A Collection of Scots Reels or Country Dances and Minuets with two particular Slow Tunes ,,,” Edinburgh c1766 (45pp). A second edition - “Greatly Improved” - was titled “A Collection of Scots Reels, Minuets &c. for the Violin, Harpsichord or German Flute …” James Aird, Glasgow 1782 (60pp). This is another commendable but little known work.
R6 RIDDELL, Capt. Robert, of Glenriddell, Fiddler-Composer (c1745-94), Laird, Antiquarian and friend of Robert Burns. Judging from sketches he added to copies of his collections, he was a sociable and humorous man. The collections were: “New Music for the Pianoforte or Harpsichord, composed by a Gentleman …Reels, Minuets, Hornpipes, Marches and two Songs …”Edinburgh 1787, (24pp) and “A Collection of Scotch Galwegian & Border Tunes for the Violin …” Edinburgh 1794 (37pp). The term “Gentleman” on a title page is applied loosely to describe any musician with wide acres and a fat wallet; to imply “amateur”, it has no bearing whatever on musical skill or quality of composition. A number of the “Gentlemen” put some of the “Players” to shame.
R7 RITCHIE, Matthew. Issued several collections of “Favorite Tunes” (?late 18th c.)
ROBERTS, Miss. From Baptie: “A lady amateur who composed and published a collection of fifty-eight strathspeys and reels, dedicated to the Duchess of Buccleuch …published by Paterson & Roy, Edinburgh (no date). Some of her pieces are said to be pretty good. We are not aware of her date”. Just another small mystery to be solved.
ROBERTSON, Alexander, Compiler of “The Caledonian Museum” (qv) and “A Selection from the works of Gow & Marshall” (see under Gow, above)
R9 ROBERTSON, Daniel, Fiddler-Composer, Edinburgh: “A Collection of (New) Reels, Strathspeys, Jigs, Waltzes &c …” Edinburgh c1805 (26pp) His own compositions.
R10 ROBERTSON, James Stewart WS, Fiddler-Composer and collector of Edradynate, Perthshire (1823-1895/6): compiler of “The Athole Collection of the Dance Music of Scotland …” Edinburgh 1884 (305pp), a gold-mine of strathspeys and reels from the “Golden Age” of dance (18th and early 19th c), re-issued (from original plates 1960); second edition 1999 (Balnain House). According to Baptie, Robertson received tuition from Duncan McKercher (Dunkeld), John McAlpine (Killin), William McLeish (Aberfeldy) and knew the fiddler Robert Petrie (qv) who lived on the Robertson estate at Strathardle. He was largely responsible for the formation of the Edinburgh Highland Strathspey & Reel Society (1881) and became its president.
R11 ROSS, Robert, Music Seller and Publisher, Edinburgh: “A Choice Collection of Scots Reels, or Country Dances & Strathspeys …” Edinburgh (2nd edition) 1780 (40pp) cf. John Hamilton (above) for 1st edition.
R12 RUTHERFORD, David, Music Publisher, London: (1)“Rutherford’s Compleat Collection of 200 of the Most Celebrated Country Dances both Old & New …” London (1750) 100pp). More London content than either William Campbell or Thos. Skillern; (2) “Twelve selected Country Dances for the year 1772, with proper tunes etc …” (12pp) (3) “The Gentleman’s Pocket Companion …” (4)
“Rutherford’s Choice Collection of 60 Country dances …” - was this vol. 2 of (1)?
SHAND, (Sir) Jimmy, Accordion Maestro and Composer, Auchtermuchty (1908-2000) produced in his lifetime a mountain of collections and sheet music, much of it, obviously, of his own composition, but he remained throughout his life a true son of the Scottish tradition, and the fiddler owes him a massive debt of gratitude for maintaining the standard and spreading the word.
SHARPE, Charles Kirkpatrick, Fiddler-Composer of Hoddam, Dumfries (1781-1851), poet and antiquary, contributed in no small way to the music of his time. Nathaniel Gow (qv) said of him that he was “…an amateur performer of the utmost excellence” who had “often supported him in the orchestra and at private parties”. “Hoddam Castle” (his home) is a most perfect jig.
SCHETKY, Johann, Musician, Edinburgh was in Philadelphia with Alexander Reinagle (qv) after 1786. They both published collections of Scots Tunes and other material while in the USA.
S4 (v1-2) SHEPHERD, William, Fiddler-Composer & Publisher, Edinburgh (with Nathaniel and John Gow) (c1760-1812). A number of Gow publications are titled Gow & Shepherd. He appears not to have shone as a businessman but published “A Collection of Strathspey Reels, &c …” Edinburgh 1793 (26pp) and “A Second Collection …” c1800 (26pp) and these are well qualified for re-publication.
S5 SHIRREF(F)S, Andrew, Fiddler-Composer, Aberdeen (c1750-1807) produced “Forty Pieces of original Music …” Edinburgh 1788,. He wrote “Jamie & Bess” (a pastoral comedy) and set poems to music. He removed to London in 1798.
SIME, D., Publisher, Edinburgh. “The Edinburgh Musical Miscellany. A Collection of the Most Approved Scots, English & Irish Songs; set to Music …” 2 volumes, 1792/3.
S7 SKILLERN, Thomas, Publisher, London produced “Skillern’s Compleat Collection of 204 Reels and Country Dances Perform’d at Court, Almack’s and most Publick Assemblies…” Vol.1 (London 1780, 102pp ). This is itself a very rare book, so it is a matter for speculation as to the present whereabouts of Vol. 2. It is probably rash to say that this is more “Scots” than say Rutherford (qv) because Reels and Country Dances were common currency in Edinburgh, London and at the spa town assemblies in his day.
S8 SKINNER, James Scott, Teacher of Dancing, Fiddler-Composer and Entertainer, Banchory (1848-1927). It would be wrong to put this musical genius into any one category, or to rate him alongside the Gows and William Marshall and try to extract a “winner”. He was quintessentially a 19th century man; they were 18th century, self-taught players and composers from another age. It was Skinner who followed their tradition and re-created and enhanced it. He was to become the dominant power in a period when his late 19th century contemporaries were looking back with nostalgia to a Golden Age and wondering if it might perhaps return. Skinner’s prolific publishing, almost entirely of his own work, blended well with the older content of Kerr’s Melodies, The Athole Collection, Glen’s Dance Music (and others) and went on with them to be the source of printed music and inspiration for the traditional dance players of the 20th century. He came before the era of the pipe manuals and may never have accepted the accordion even as a “half brother” to the fiddle, but his name still marches on, partly because he was careful to ensure that his name appeared on every piece of music he ever wrote.
Even so, a good proportion of Skinner’s music is not as well known as it might be. He republished many of his selected favourites in “The Scottish Violinist” (c.1900) which for a few decades was the
only really accessible source. The “12 (and 30) New Strathspeys & Reels …” Edinburgh 1865 (6pp) & 1868 (16pp) were re-published in “The Logie Collection” (1888). The publication dates (in order):
“The Miller o’ Hirn Collection” London 1881 * (71pp)
“Beauties of the Ballroom”, init. published Keith (Middleton) 1883; London 1883 (69pp)
“The Elgin Collection of Schottisches” Elgin 1883 (25pp)
“The Logie Collection” Keith (Middleton) 1888 (132pp)
“The Harp & Claymore” London/Glasgow 1903/4 (182pp)
“The Scottish Violinist” London/Glasgow (no date) (49pp). Still in Print (2007)
“The Cairngorm Series” London/Glasgow c1920s; series numbered 1-9 (3 tunes to each)
“The Scottish Music Maker” London/Glasgow 1957, edited by J. M. Henderson (qv) as a round up of earlier printed tunes with many previously unpublished pieces. There still remains a mass of sheet music, not totally accounted for; and there may yet be hitherto undiscovered Skinner mss, because such things do turn up from time to time. Aberdeen University has a valuable source of information on Skinner at www.abdn.co.uk/scottskinner
S9 STEPHANO, Ch. “100 Reels, Strathspey, Jigs, Hornpipes …” London 19th c. (31pp)
S11 (1-2) STEWART, Charles, Fiddler-Composer, Dancing Master, Edinburgh (c1770-1818). He describes himself as “Musician to the late Mr. (David) Strange” (a notable dancing master, into whose shoes he appears to have stepped in 1805). He produced (1) “A Collection of Strathspey Reels, Giggs &c …” Edinburgh 1799/1800 (25pp) (2) “First Book of Minuets, High Dances, Cotillions, &c. &c …as used by his late master, Mr. Strange …” Edinburgh 1805. Due to the announcement of a Benefit Ball on behalf of “Mr. Stewart, late teacher of dancing …”) in 1812, John Glen states there was a suspicion he might have become “bereft of his reason” before that year. (A K Bell Library, Perth’s Athole Collection has the two collections bound in one)
S12 STEWART, Neil, Music & Musical Instrument Seller and Publisher, Edinburgh (1730-c1815) Published (1) “A Collection of the Newest & Best Reels & Country Dances for the Violin …” Edinburgh, in nine numbers of 8pp each, 1761 and for several years. (2) “A Select Collection of Scots, English, Irish & Foreign Airs, Jiggs & Marches with some of the newest & Most Fashionable Reels …” Edinburgh (3)”A second Collection of Airs & Marches &c …” Edinburgh 1775. He published a great number of collections, Daniel Dow, Alexander MacGlashan, William Marshall (1781) and some early Gow editions among them, as well as further volumes of his own selecting. In 1773, having been for eight years a teacher of dancing in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Stewart set up a school in Edinburgh with a Mr. McLean as his partner (Glen); this lasted only two years, after which, at various times, he traded as N. Stewart & Co. and N & M Stewart.
S13 STIRLING, Magdalina of Ardoch (Braco, Perthshire): Published “Twelve Tunes Composed by Miss Stirling of Ardoch”, perhaps privately, c1800. One of them, “Perthshire Hunt” is the original tune for the dance, The Perth Hunt.
S14 STRATHSPEYS “Complete Repository of Old & New Scotch Strathspeys…”(“Book 2”) Edinburgh (no date) (44pp)
S15 STRATTON, Alexander, Teacher of Music, Banff: “A new Collection of Waltzes, Opera Dances, Strathspeys & Reels …” Edinburgh (early 19th c., 28pp). The work of many hands, including a few by Mr. Stratton himself.
S16 STUART, Alexander, Musician, Edinburgh “Music for Allan Ramsay’s Collection of Scots Songs…” (c1728)
S17 SURENNE, John Thomas, Organist, Composer, Editor, Edinburgh (born London 1814, died Edinburgh 1878). Published “The Dance Music of Scotland” (1841,164pp); “The Songs of Scotland Without Words” (1852-54); “The Songs of Ireland” (1855), along with church music and some classical composition.
T1 (v1-2) TAYLOR, James, Fiddler-Composer, Teacher of Music, Elgin (died Banff). (1) “A Collection of Strathspeys & Reels, and a set of Scotch Quadrilles …” Fochabers, c1835, (6pp); (2) “A Collection of Strathspeys & Reels …” Edinburgh c1845 (16pp).
TAIGH NA TEUD, Music Publishers, Broadford, Isle of Skye. From 1985, have produced a plethora of collections for the fiddle, accordion and dance and ceilidh band arrangers. It consists mainly of music – Gaelic song airs, Irish reels and jigs and pipe music - currently popular among players, particularly with young learners; also one or two of the old collections.
THOMPSON/THOMSON: There are several of these names who published in London and Glasgow. Andrew Thomson published “Dance Music for the Violin …” Glasgow c1880 (48pp; C&S Thompson: “Thompson’s 24 Dances for the Year 1796, …London”; SA&P Thomson: “24 Dances …” &c, London.
T6 1-2) THOMSON, William, Publisher, Singer and Composer, Edinburgh and London (c1677) Published “Orpheus Caledonius”, a collection of Scots songs, London c1725. Reprinted in 2 volumes in 1733.
T7 THUMOTH, Burk J., “Twelve Scotch & Twelve Irish Airs, with variations for the German Flute, Violin &c …” London 1745/6 in two books.
T8 TURNBULL, John, Musician (1804-44) “Five favourite Country Dances composed & arranged …by Mr. Turnbull” Edinburgh (no date)
URBANI, Peter (or Pietro), Musician (b. Milan 1749, died Dublin 1816): “A Favourite Selection of Scots Tunes, arranged as duettos for German Flute or Violin …” Three books in one, Edinburgh 1794-7 and 1799.
URQUHART, Alexander, Musician, Edinburgh published “Aria di Camera …being a choice Collection of Scotch, Irish & Welsh Airs for the Violin” London c1730. Very old and rare, containing many first printings of popular tunes.
WALKER, Alexander, Musician, (born c1780) “Published a set of Reels, etc, 1816. Details wanting.”(Baptie). There must be a copy somewhere!
W1 WALKER, Alexander, Fiddler-Composer, Gardener, Forfar (born 1837) A violin pupil of James Allan (qv) and gardener to Sir Charles Forbes of Newe, he published “A Collection of Strathspeys, Reels, Marches &c &c …” Aberdeen 1866 (67pp) of which all but a very few are his own. Reprinted by Paul Stewart Cranford, Nova Scotia, 1991. Baptie says he live in America for a number of years.
W2 WALKER, James, Fiddler-Composer, Dysart, Fife (c1760-1840) published “A Collection of New Scots Reels, Strathspeys, Jigs, etc, …” Edinburgh 1797 and “A Second Collection …” Edinburgh 1800 (each of 14pp). He was well known in the district and much in demand as a musician. These two books, long neglected, have been re-published along with the collection of Alexander Leburn (qv) as Fiddle Music from Fife (Highland Music Trust, 2005).
WALSH, John, a prolific publisher, London, produced “Caledonian Country Dances”, four books in one, or two volumes, vol. 1 (c1744), vol.2 (c1768); also “Country Dances as selected at Court …” and “The British Musical Miscellany” (six volumes, 1734-c1760). With Hare and other partners, he continued for many years. Even his “Caledonian” and “Scotch” collections are very English in content. Worth a look.
W4 WATLEN, John, Publisher, Edinburgh (Born c1760), “late of the Royal Navy”, set up shop in Edinburgh c1788 and published successfully, went bankrupt and went to London c1807, where he continued for some years. Published “The Celebrated Circus Tunes Perform’d at Edinburgh this season …” Edinburgh 1791 (30pp) and 1798 (36pp)
WILSON, Thomas, Publisher. “A Companion to the Ballroom” London 1816 contains much material of interest to the dance enthusiast.
W6 WERNER, Francis published “Book 18, for the year 1785, 8 Cotillions, 6 Favorite Country Dances and two Minuets” London, so presumably he produced many more?
WHITE, The Misses (See “Ladies”) Collection (“N.B.Corrected by Nath. Gow”)
WIGHTON, Andrew John, Collector and Benefactor, Dundee (1804-1866): as Baptie puts it, he was “an amateur musician and collector, who proved himself a munificent patron of art and benefactor to Dundee, by leaving to it the noble library of music which bears his name – one of the conditions being that it is only used as a reference library. Dundee Public Library have recently given this condition its full contemporary value by opening a special reading room for The Wighton Collection and making much of the information available online.
W7 WRIGHT, Daniel, “A Collection of Scots, Irish and other airs …” (no title page) c1735 (26pp)
Y1 YOUNG, John, published “A Collection of original Scotch Tunes for the Violin. The whole pleasant & comicall being full of the Highland Humour …” London 1720 (24pp).
A NOTE ON LATER PERFORMERS & THEIR MUSIC
This list is chiefly about fiddler-composers and the printed collections they produced and that have survived. Every so often, a reference is made in the list to a fiddler who left no published record of his own compositions, except when another contemporary (or later admirer) chose to select a particular tune or tunes. Such was the case with James Allan of Forfar, John Crerar (Blair Castle), Capt. Daniel Menzies and Peter Milne. There are those whose work is only now coming fully to light, like the great Aberdeenshire fiddlers, James F. Dickie and several generations of the Hardie family; and there were Hector MacAndrew, Ian Powrie, Ron Gonella, Tom Anderson and Willie Hunter, both of Shetland; but in the end too many to mention. If Jimmy Shand was maestro of the button box, Bobby MacLeod of Tobermory was perhaps a contender for the equivalent piano accordion crown. Let’s face it, some of them left more distinctive “footprints” than others and these are only personal opinions. I must however continue to tread on eggshells so as to infiltrate the contemporary world of the early 21st century, if only to mention the names of Aly Bain (fiddle) and Phil Cunningham (accordion), along with Douglas Lawrence (Glasgow), Addie Harper of Wick, Angus Grant (Lochaber), Paul Anderson, Judi Nicholson, Ian MacFarlane and Donald Shaw (Argyll and “Capercaillie”). We must not forget either, the many music teachers of genius around the country who continue in that great Scottish tradition, often for less reward than they deserve. There can be no higher accolade than that they and their like continue to champion the past and present of Scotland’s Tradition and to “re-present” its future to the young fiddlers who are already carving their names and to those who will follow.