I found satisfaction in dedicating the Scottish Fiddle Music Index to his memory. HILL, James, Fiddler-Composer, Newcastle-upon-Tyne c : Originally from Dundee, like Abraham Mackintosh qv before him, he headed for the booming city of Newcastle around 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. No date available, possibly c His brother was a publisher in Dublin. 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.
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.
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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.
He was one of several generations of traditional players brought up on Kerr and the Athole Collection. 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 s, 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.
His collection of rare Scottish music books found its way to the Mitchell Library Glasgow where they can be studied. The Scottish Fiddle Music Index omits this work, which on reflection could perfectly well have been included, but it appears listed as an appendix. 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 which has recently been re-published Fiddle Music from Fife, Highland Music Trust, along with the work of a contemporary, James Walker of Dysart qv.
They reprinted Capt. See Chas. DUFF, who published his compositions. Keith Norman, M. Dunkeld c : Four small collections of mostly dance music, the first said to be his own compositions; 2nd to 4th , 92,97 miscellaneous the Gows and others ; well worth study. Patrick to bring the work to publication republished by Taigh na Teud, Robert Bremner qv published a new edition of this work with extra material. 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.
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.
His third collection shows he acquired Northumbrian sponsors and his father, by then in London, assisted with sales. Three generations of this family, not related to the Macintoshes of Tulliemet, were at the centre of musical life in the Dunkeld district. He was 86 when his little collection was published and his photographs can be studied in the town. Published collection late 18thc. The tunes in this book, many of which are still popular, are clearly his own.
McFadyen, Glasgow c; 2nd edition c It contains some sparkling music and deserves to be better known. His son, Sir Alexander C. Mackenzie born was a noted musician who became Principal of the Royal Academy of Music. 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.
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It has been suggested that much of the best music in these was composed by Capt. 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 , reintroducing the work of this most gifted of fiddler-composers to the musical public.
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. His son, Fraser, has recently produced a lavish biography with music. 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.
He left the Castle in to settle at Keithmore near Dufftown and became factor to the Duke for lands in Banff and Aberdeenshire. 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.
Is there more Marshall music still to be found? A complete new edition of the music has been published by Highland Music Trust. This deserve at least a second look! Daniel, Fiddler-Composer cc See D. MacKercher above. Troup Ballater and Mr. Neither musician can be greatly troubled by this wee storm in a teacup now.
At 60, he moved to Hamilton, but died two years later. 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.
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He was said to have taught Skinner qv but never succeeded in assembling his own work, except in the Middleton volume. He provided the music for the Northern Meeting Ball for at least 12 years and was succeeded by Joseph Lowe of Edinburgh. An interesting and unusual work. A rare book indeed. NEIL, J. Murray, Fiddler, Editor, Selkirk and Lasswade.
Contemporary collector of music in 3 published volumes 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. His music is rich in variety and a lot of it is eminently playable, suggesting that a new edition is long overdue.
Music Seller, London. London , founder of a great publishing house. His son Henry went on to publish a dozen more editions, c He was friendly with old Niel and his family and Nathaniel Gow gave him lessons. 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.
Popular Dances Much of the music is of good quality and of great interest, asking to be made more readily available. This is another commendable but little known work.
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Judging from sketches he added to copies of his collections, he was a sociable and humorous man. Some of her pieces are said to be pretty good. Just another small mystery to be solved. John Hamilton above for 1st edition.
More London content than either William Campbell or Thos. SHAND, Sir Jimmy, Accordion Maestro and Composer, Auchtermuchty 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.
He removed to London in SIME, D.
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