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992Logan's Bonnie Woods and Braes

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  • Alasdair Codona
    Dec 27, 2008
      A chàirdean,

      A little gift for Oidhche Challainn. I've uploaded Logan's Bonnie
      Woods and Braes into the Files section of the group. This tune
      appears in the Gesto Collection of Highland Music (1895). The
      arranger was Keith Norman MacDonald, Gesto hospital's Resident
      Medical Officer, who died in Edinburgh.

      To their 1997 edition, Llanerch Publishers have prefixed a
      publisher's note which says that 'he sent his collection of music to
      his printers in Leipzig with most of the items in the form in which
      they had been given to him.'

      This might explain the singularness of the bass arrangement of
      Logan's Bonnie Woods and Braes compared to other basses in the
      collection. I haven't heard this bass talked about before by Gaelic
      harp aficionados. The bass magadises a lot and it is quite
      remarkable that such a bass appears in such a late collection. I
      haven't gone looking through this collection for such basses but I
      much just now since discovering this one.

      If we place this tune on the Gaelic harp on a descending scale of aaa
      gg ff ee dd cc aa g, it finishes on aa. Folks should recognise the
      mode. Only two fifths appear in the bass and only one third.

      As with Scott's Lamentation in publication, the bass is full of
      octaves. Again, we're left wondering if this doubling was for the
      benefit of the piano or not.

      I wonder if anyone knows offhand where Keith Norman MacDonald's
      papers are? I'd be very interested in locating an original copy of
      this arrangement. It may be possible to ascertain its provenance.


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