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Re: Craobh nan Teud

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  • Alasdair Codona
    Dear Keith, I m not quite sure of your argument here. As far as I m aware, Angus Fraser didn t claim to have done anything with the title and basic tune as
    Message 1 of 13 , Feb 23, 2009
      Dear Keith,

      I'm not quite sure of your argument here. As far as I'm aware, Angus
      Fraser didn't claim to have done anything with the title and basic
      tune as such in the passage you quote. He gives the title of a pipe
      lament. He gives two titles for a connected lyric, and elsewhere
      some verses and a chorus of it. That there were two sets, pipe and
      vocal, would be all he would be claiming in the passage you quote.

      For his collection, he opts to use the vocal set. I'm not sure that
      heretofore this represents anything for Willie Matheson to have to
      deal with or for ourselves for that matter.

      The real issue for me would be the following. On the one hand,
      there's a humorous lyric: Féill nan Crann.

      On the other hand, there is a tune forming part of a collection in
      which the collector purports to present non-vocal variations
      characteristic of the old harpers' style: 'an Leannan Sìth/a' Bhean
      Sìth', vocal set of the pipe lament 'Craobh nan Teud'.

      Willie Mathieson says that the Fraser set of the tune 'is one among
      several pieces for the harp in the Angus Fraser MS'. He is
      responsible for this statement too but if it is an old song dating
      from the time of the harpers, then there is nothing wrong with that
      statement. Angus Fraser likewise was clearly aware of the vocal
      nature of the piece. The only questionable element would
      be 'characteristic variations' added to the basic tune by Angus
      Fraser. However, being additional, these are subsidiary to the
      question of the suitability of the tune to the lyric.

      He then says Féill nan Crann 'can be regarded as a lament by the
      Harper for his lost harp-key'. He is completely responsible for that
      statement. Yes, it begins with a cartoon glum harper bewailing the
      shame of his lost crann but the song is essentially a yomping romp.

      He also says that 'the first part of the ... ground ... of this
      [pipe] lament fits the Harper's words'. Only if one does the pipe
      tune great mischief. He is completely responsible for that statement
      too.

      I hear what you say about the possibilities of online web publishing
      but I prefer the idea that it is the study which is pioneering rather
      than the book and my criticism isn't of the Reverend publishing a
      book; rather, I would criticise the content of a certain number of
      pages on a particular topic within the book. If one does publish a
      book though, and doesn't attribute the material within to anyone
      else, one is responsible for what is stated within. And when when
      anything one has said is disproven, it's advisable to warn the less
      informed of the unreliability of it.

      I remember that anecdote about Francis Collinson at that seminar.
      His studies did cover an enormous amount of territory; as does John
      Purser's 'Scotland's Music' which adopts the Féill nan Crann = Craobh
      nan Teud thesis. With a scope so large, sometimes the blindingly
      obvious is missed, never mind the subtleties. Not everyone can be a
      Keith Sanger no matter how earnestly that might be wished for.

      Some errors are easily corrected and, as you note, others prevail too
      long. The Féill nan Crann = Craobh nan Teud error is more difficult
      to convince people of: it requires a level of musico-linguistic
      sensitivity which isn't always there even with singers who have
      Gaelic, never mind singers who don't. You can hammer almost anything
      onto a certain number of syllables per line if you really want to,
      but it doesn't mean it's culturally appropriate. The lyric of Féill
      nan Crann suggests more than one possible musical metre and the metre
      of Craobh nan Teud is just not one of them.

      Beannachdan,



      Alasdair




      --- In clairseach@..., "sanger_keith"
      <sanger_keith@...> wrote:
      >
      > Dear Alasdair
      >
      > Rolling back the tide of conventional wisdom can be a never ending
      > exercise, for example a recently published academic tome continued
      to
      > peddle the 'fact' that bagpipes were proscribed following 1745. As
      > far as William Matheson is concerned I think you will find that
      even
      > some of the academic establishment find his iconic status with
      > tablets of stone authority applied to his work a little frustrating
      > at times.
      >
      > However, that was not my point, nor I re-emphasise was I
      disagreeing
      > with yours. Within the academic way of working at that time,
      > photocopiers were yet to come, Collinson who was working with the
      > Angus Fraser papers would seem to have handwritten a copy of the
      air
      > and passed it to Matheson with the additional comment that the tune
      > was repeated later in the MS but with fiddle variations, After all
      > Matheson was competent enough to have worked out for himself they
      > were fiddle variations if he had in fact seen the original.
      >
      > If he had been aware of what Angus Fraser had claimed to have done
      > with title and tune surely Matheson would have dealt with it in
      > someway? In terms of the pipe version of Coire an Esa he cites both
      > the Kilberry Book and the version in vol 8 of the PS collections.
      > Reading the notes in vol 8 should have shown an amber light which
      if
      > he had then discussed it further within the piping world would
      > probably have turned red.
      >
      > Since the subject of the Angus Fraser set had arisen in your post I
      > was simply making available to those who do not have easy access to
      > those manuscripts what the author himself claimed to have done with
      > the title and tune. Once again it was not a value, or judgement
      > statement other than providing as full a picture as possible.
      >
      > To be fair I have no doubt that if Matheson had been able to avail
      > himself of online web publishing with its ease of updating and
      > correction, then his printed work would probably have evolved over
      > the course of time, and as it is without the sort of pioneering
      > editions like An Clarsair Dall none of us would be as far forward
      as
      > we are if at first we had to go back and cover the ground he did.
      >
      > Collinson however was a curious character. He managed to cover the
      > subject of the harp in his National and Traditional Music of
      > Scotland, which was pretty much what the Clarasach Society used as
      > its 'history', but without any reference to Armstrong, who was not
      > exactly hard to find. In the old Edinburgh Central Music Library it
      > was thoughtfully cross referenced under Armstrong and also under
      Harp.
      >
      > In the early 1970's Edinburgh University in a rare (for that time)
      > recognition that piping existed sponsored a one day seminar at the
      > Reid Hall on Piobaireachd. It was conducted by John MacLellan and
      > Donald MacLeod who made it clear that questions could be asked at
      > anytime. Collinson was sitting right at the front and was the
      > principle 'interruptor' either through his hearing aid emitting
      that
      > high pitch squeal heard by everybody but the owner, or by asking
      > questions many of which by their nature, confirmed by his follow up
      > question to the answer merely confirmed that he did not have a
      grasp
      > on the subject at all.
      >
      > Donald used circular breathing when blowing his practise chanter to
      > illustrate points and towards the end in response to a question
      from
      > Collinson who had noticed and asked how he did it, was so fed up
      that
      > he simply put his chanter in his mouth played a few bars and said'
      > like that'.
      >
      > Despite that it did not stop Collinson from going on and publishing
      a
      > book on the Bagpipe which is unfortunately still much quoted.
      >
      > Best wishes
      >
      > Keith
      >
      >
      > --- In clairseach@..., "Alasdair Codona"
      > <calumcille@> wrote:
      > >
      > > Dear Keith,
      > >
      > > I don't feel I have the information to assess why Willie
      Mathieson
      > > went with this idea: in publication, he only credits Francis
      > > Collinson with regard to the evaluation of Angus Fraser's musical
      > > variations. I hope I pay due regard to your view about Francis
      > > Collinson's impact but I've got a website myself and am
      responsible
      > > for what I put up there. We all make mistakes and it is
      reasonable
      > > to expect authors to take responsibility for information which
      they
      > > don't attribute to others.
      > >
      > > Willie Mathieson did publish a book, no less, in 1970, a book
      which
      > > aficionados of the Gaelic harp resort to for information, and he
      > > spends almost four pages worth of material on this item so, in
      view
      > > of my assessment of the material, I feel it's worthwhile warning
      > > against it as illustration of what doesn't work and why.
      > >
      > > Just because Angus Fraser tells us that the song 'An Leannan
      Sìth'
      > is
      > > linked with 'Craobh nan Teud' doesn't automatically exclude the
      > > possibility that the lyric of 'Féill nan Crann' be linked
      > > with 'Craobh nan Teud'. Popular song tunes often have multiple
      > > lyrics. Willie Mathieson was surely capable of assessing the
      > > metrical evidence himself, being a learned Gaelic singer who
      worked
      > > on the reconstruction of a number of songs which he sang and who
      > > would naturally have been exposed to the pipe port. He would
      have
      > > had access to the words of 'An Leannan Sìth' and it would have
      been
      > > blindingly obvious to him that the metre of the Leannan Sìth
      lyric
      > > was different from that of 'Féill nan Crann'.
      > >
      > > The idea that 'Cumha Craobh nan Teud' could be the tune of Féill
      > nan
      > > Crann is still quite current amongst harp aficionados and I feel
      it
      > > is worthwhile advising folks to ignore that section of the
      Clàrsair
      > > Dall book.
      > >
      > > In the black and white world of 'experts/teachers you shouldn't
      > argue
      > > with' and 'amateurs/students who aren't sufficiently well-
      > informed',
      > > this kind of detail gets printed by someone of some authority and
      > > then it is repeated in other publications and becomes a de facto
      > > apparent 'academic consensus' which can be difficult to unseat.
      > >
      > > A bit like the notion that all ceòl mór uses binary sonorities!
      > >
      > > Beannachdan,
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > Alasdair
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > --- In clairseach@..., "sanger_keith"
      > > <sanger_keith@> wrote:
      > > >
      > > > Dear Alasdair
      > > >
      > > > Your comments on Feill nan Crann are certainly on the right
      > lines,
      > > > but I don't think the blame can be solely laid at Willie
      > Mathesons
      > > > door as in this case I think he was seriously led astray by
      > Francis
      > > > Collinson who seems to have been his major source of
      information
      > > > regarding what was in the Angus Fraser MS.
      > > >
      > > > Collinson on several occasions missed the obvious and this is a
      > > case
      > > > in point where he ignored what Angus Fraser himself actually
      > tells
      > > us
      > > > when he makes what he has done quite clear. In the
      > > historical 'notes'
      > > > to the first part of the MS and on the same page as his
      expanded
      > > > version with fiddle variations Fraser states that;-
      > > >
      > > > Craobh na'n teud the name preserved by the pipers along with
      > their
      > > > set of this air has been retained but the vocal set of it found
      > > > associated with the old traditional song 'A Bhean Sith' or 'An
      > > > Leannan Sith' ie, the fairy lover has been adopted (for this
      work,
      > > > [crossed out]) as more in accordance with the style and object
      of
      > > > this work, than the pipers theme and variations. Mr Angus McKay
      > > late
      > > > piper to her Majesty published the set adapted to his own
      > > instrument
      > > > and he tells us that it is a very old and excellent
      piobaireachd.
      > > > The old song to the fairy lover may be seen in a collection of
      > > > Gaelic poetry published at Inverness by James Fraser in 1821
      > page
      > > > 69. This air is a remarkable instance of the great difference
      > that
      > > > exists between the vocal and pipe sets of Gaelic airs and urges
      > > upon
      > > > all patriots to collect without delay the remains of our music
      > > before
      > > > the voice of Song becomes utterly extinct in our land.
      > > >
      > > > Angus MacKay in his note on the tune adds a further layer of
      > > > confusion because he states that 'In the north it is called
      Bean
      > > > Sith, either from being the 'fairy tune' or so named from a
      noted
      > > > hill in Sutherland distinguished as the fairy mountain'.
      Although
      > > > that would geographically bring it quite close to the actual
      site
      > > > of 'Coire an Easa' but as far as the pipe tune of that name
      goes
      > > it's
      > > > actual authenticity is 'not proven'.
      > > >
      > > > So logically there is no reason why either the Angus Fraser or
      > the
      > > > pipe varients should fit the Clarsair Dall song.
      > > >
      > > > The Banks of Claudy tune is interesting especially as a varient
      > of
      > > a
      > > > tune that Matheson himself traces back to fourteenth century
      > > France,
      > > > reminding us of course that nothing is totally original and
      that
      > > just
      > > > as the origins of 'Danta Gradha' lay in the courtly love poetry
      > of
      > > > Provence so many of the airs associated with that poetry also
      > > passed
      > > > into the Gaelic world at the same time, probably via the
      incoming
      > > > Normans. It is unlikely to be a coincidence that like for
      > example,
      > > > Earl Gerald, many of these Norman Irish families were early
      users
      > > of
      > > > that Gaelic poetic form.
      > > >
      > > > Best wishes
      > > >
      > > > Keith
      > > >
      > > > --- In clairseach@..., "Alasdair Codona"
      > > > <calumcille@> wrote:
      > > > >
      > > > > Dear Paul,
      > > > >
      > > > > Sorry, wrong pairing - Airs by Fingal I and III are in common
      > > time.
      > > > >
      > > > > The first one only is pentatonic. Airs by Fingal II & III
      are
      > > > > hexatonic.
      > > > >
      > > > > Beannachdan,
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > > Alasdair
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > > --- In clairseach@..., "Alasdair Codona"
      > > > > <calumcille@> wrote:
      > > > > >
      > > > > > Dear Paul,
      > > > > >
      > > > > > I've just had a quick look for other pentatonic harp items
      > for
      > > > > you.
      > > > > >
      > > > > > Port 8th in the Torloisk MS
      > > > > > Airs by Fingal, I & III, in Bowie
      > > > > > Gràdh Dhùghaill Òig in Dow
      > > > > > Se mo rùn an t-ògan in Dow
      > > > > > Port Priest / Port Robart / Fuath nam fìdhleirean /
      Féachaint
      > > > Gléis
      > > > > > Thug Bonny Peigi dhòmhsa pòg / P. MacD. 141 / Burns' March
      > > > > >
      > > > > > The following were probably or possibly also originally
      > > > pentatonic.
      > > > > >
      > > > > > Suipear Tighearna Leoid
      > > > > > Cumha Iarla Wigton in Dow
      > > > > > Fàilte Mhic Coinnich in Dow
      > > > > > Port Atholl (major 3rd)
      > > > > > Fàilte na Muisg
      > > > > >
      > > > > > A number of the Clàrsair Dall songs also have pentatonic
      > > versions
      > > > > of
      > > > > > their tunes. Not all the versions are published in Willie
      > > > > Matheson's
      > > > > > book partly because there are so many; it's quite
      interesting
      > > to
      > > > > note
      > > > > > that one of his songs was composed to a tune of which the
      > Banks
      > > > of
      > > > > > Claudy is a version.
      > > > > >
      > > > > > As an aside, I do not at all consider Cumha Chraobh nan
      Teud
      > to
      > > > be
      > > > > > the tune of the Clàrsair Dall song Féill nan Crann. The
      fact
      > > is
      > > > > that
      > > > > > the lyric of Féill nan Crann would more easily be squeezed
      > into
      > > > the
      > > > > > tune of A' Cheud Diluain dhan Ràithe than it would into
      > Craobh
      > > > nan
      > > > > > Teud. The Craobh nan Teud sets clearly do not suit the
      Féill
      > > nan
      > > > > > Crann lyric metrically and one does them injustice by
      > > attempting
      > > > to
      > > > > > make them do so. Willie Matheson's published solution pits
      > the
      > > > > > stresses of the lyric against the obvious stresses of the
      > pipe
      > > > > melody
      > > > > > in a very unnatural way.
      > > > > >
      > > > > > Rob Donn's song Òran nan Suirghean has a very similar
      melody
      > to
      > > > the
      > > > > > Angus Fraser set of Craobh nan Teud. (It is no.112 in
      > Patrick
      > > > > > MacDonald but unfortunately not barred consistently: the
      > second
      > > > > half
      > > > > > should have the bar line placed one crotchet later to match
      > the
      > > > > > system used for the first half.) Having a different stress
      > > > pattern
      > > > > > to the lyric of Féill nan Crann, the lyric of Òran nan
      > > Suirghean
      > > > > > could thus be made to fit the Angus Fraser tune with much
      > > greater
      > > > > > ease and highlights the unsuitably of the Féill nan Crann
      > lyric
      > > > to
      > > > > > the same tune.
      > > > > >
      > > > > > Beannachdan,
      > > > > >
      > > > > >
      > > > > > Alasdair
      > > > > >
      > > > > >
      > > > > >
      > > > > > --- In clairseach@..., "Alasdair Codona"
      > > > > > <calumcille@> wrote:
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > Dear Paul,
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > You could start by looking at Carolan's John Hart / John
      > > > Jones /
      > > > > > Robert
      > > > > > > Jordan complex which is pentatonic. Miss Crofton (25) is
      > > also
      > > > an
      > > > > > > almost completely pentatonic version of Thomas
      Connellan's
      > > Lady
      > > > > > Iveagh.
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > Beannachdan,
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > Alasdair
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > --- In clairseach@..., paul best
      <hempson1@>
      > > > wrote:
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > Hi Folks,
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > I want to explore Pentatonic tunes - could you give me
      > > > examples
      > > > > I
      > > > > > > could learn from the Irish and Scottish traditions ??
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > Paul
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > >
      > > > >
      > _________________________________________________________________
      > > > > > > > Windows Live Messenger just got better .Video display
      > pics,
      > > > > > contact
      > > > > > > updates & more.
      > > > > > > > http://www.download.live.com/messenger
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > >
      > > > > >
      > > > >
      > > >
      > >
      >
    • sanger_keith
      Dear Alasdair I don t think I was trying to construct an argument, but simply to clarify Angus Fraser s part in it, or not as the case really seems to be, and
      Message 2 of 13 , Feb 24, 2009
        Dear Alasdair

        I don't think I was trying to construct an argument, but simply to
        clarify Angus Fraser's part in it, or not as the case really seems to
        be, and I don't think we are in disagreement regarding the basic part
        played by Fraser. He recognised that the pipe tune and a vocal air
        with two titles were varients of each other, and used the title of
        the pipe version over the music of the vocal version, presumably
        because as he adds his collection was of vocal airs, not pipe tunes,
        although why he did not use both vocal title and music with footnote
        to the pipe tune is one for the birds.

        However he makes no connection at all with either An Clarsair Dall or
        his poem on the lost harp key. And there is no reason why he should
        have, of the three sources of the poem identified by Matheson, only
        one (in a Manuscript) existed in Frasers lifetime and he was unlikely
        to have come across it, and in any case Fraser seems to have
        principally relied on published sources whenever he refers to actual
        verse, (judging by his manuscript two volume Gaelic Musical
        Dictionary).

        Matheson in casting around looking for the music to fit the harpers
        poem alighted on the pipe tunes and Frasers air and attempted to
        shoehorn the poem into those and I do not think we are in
        disagreement here either, Nor in that statement that songs and their
        associated airs, if old enough to have been sung and accompanied by
        the harp were 'harp music', Patrick Macdonald makes more or less the
        same statement and as a generalisation it is true, although it does
        not have to mean that those particular versions of the air, or the
        song for that matter were what was actually what was originally
        performed.

        Where I would however leap to the defense of Angus Fraser is the
        claim that 'characteristic variations' with the suggestion that
        Fraser added these intentionally in imitation of harp music. He did
        not, and makes no mention of the harp at that point. Even the
        reference to 'A collection of the Vocal Airs of the Highlands of
        Scotland communicated as Sung by the people and formerly played on
        the harp....' which occurs on the first page and repeated further on
        in the manuscript is as far as the title page concerned not by
        Fraser.

        Setting up to view my microfilm of the manuscript is somewhat of a
        fankle involving feeding the film through an old slide projector and
        viewing displayed on the wall in the dark, makes for much brighter
        pictures than the proper library viewers but I don't have the
        inclination to set it up just now, but from the index I started
        constructing linked to frame number, the description on the first
        page is signed off by someone whose initials I could not fully be
        sure of, but as the first one was definitely J tends to rule out
        Angus.

        The idea of more Keith Sangers is a horrendous thought, although
        perhaps not difficult to achieve, I am simply a sieve and if you go
        to a beach and simply sieve your way methodically through all the
        sand you will inevitably come across the odd lost item, sieving is
        not difficult, playing a harp is far harder and requires more skill.

        Keith
      • Alasdair Codona
        Dear Keith, Regardless of whoever actually composed the text of the first page, the general thrust of Angus Fraser s thesis does bear on the material and its
        Message 3 of 13 , Mar 1, 2009
          Dear Keith,

          Regardless of whoever actually composed the text of the first page,
          the general thrust of Angus Fraser's thesis does bear on the material
          and its relationship to the old harpers.

          This discussion encourages me to pass on some of the relevant
          quotations to group members. These were made in an opportunistic
          hurry from photocopies of the MSS so don't regard the notes as one
          hundred per cent reliable.

          The following statement about his Cath-lu fosgailte clearly
          demonstrates that Angus Fraser regarded his metrical categories as
          singable by bards.

          "Capt. Fraser gives us a specimen of the measure from an air sung to
          a gathering song of 1745, as adapted to the violin. See No. 90 of
          his volume of Airs and Melodies &c 1816. It exceeds the utmost
          rapidity of utterance permitted by the bard in singing for when they
          reached the sextupling, they sung slower as in ordinary songs, and
          generally omitted the netoides [?] or fifth notes of the sextuplet in
          succession."

          This statement about his Taor-lu triobuilleach dùinte, or Caithream
          fàilte tartarach/taor-taorach, demonstrates the same.

          "The ternary salute, also a jig. This air is used for song but is
          seldom danced in the Highlands, probably in consequence of its being
          appropriated for salutes... It is much danced in Ireland, but the
          quaternary jig is preferred in Scotland."

          And the following statement about his Taor-lu ceithir-bhuilleach
          dùinte does the same.

          "The last poetic salute in this measure was composed by Ailean Dall
          [underlined] to Captain Alain Cameron of Errachd on his being
          promoted to Major. The bard being illiterate and the metre
          difficult, it is no wonder that he deviated from it in some degree
          into congenial variations of quaternary time in all but the first
          stanza which also requires a slight adjustment of the verse to the
          music of the bard [?} who was [...]"

          Then there is this statement, after his Taor-lu ceithir-bhuilleach
          dùinte section, which clearly links the concept of both sung and
          instrumental variations to harpers.

          "It may be here noticed that as no Gaelic or Scottish poetry has been
          discovered adapted to the rhythm of the 7th. + 9[th.?] suits of
          variations, whether they are played in a quick, slow, or elided form,
          the ancient music of Scotland may be said to have really seperated
          from the poetry at this point, for the bards have not been able to
          follow the harpers into these remote variations"

          And this statement.

          "The music of the Duan [underlined] is a trochaic tripling, and that
          of the Dan [underlined] is an iambic sescupling,- both kinds have
          occasional contractions.

          We also find the following.

          "Caithream air ceol-cuirm the festive dance or Strathspey

          Ùrlar ceòl Càm-dhan Theme of an iambic air [plus musical example]

          Fonn socair dhàna a-réir cleachdadh nam bàrd Iambic air for slow
          recitation according to bardic usage [plus musical example]

          An giorrachadh trì-throidheach the trimeter contraction of phrases
          for melodic recitation [plus musical example]

          The Lament for the children of Keppoch, 1663, & many others are sung
          to iambic airs & have their metre precisely like the present [plus
          musical example]"

          In other words, Angus Fraser is presenting Gaelic song metres as
          belonging to a system of musical metres used by pipers and harpers as
          much as bards. I haven't noticed a quote which makes it clear that
          he regards the pipe terminology itself as being used by the bards,
          but he is surely promoting the notion that the musical metres were a
          system which related to piping terms.

          Bunting's evidence, which he was aware of, makes it clear that the
          harp terms, and thus the piping terms, are mostly related to figures
          of melody or fingering rather than to poetic or musical metre. The
          ancient nomenclature for poetic metres, which are quite different, is
          of course also evident.

          Angus did not use the names of the poetic metres, nor did he use the
          piping terms for primarily melodic or fingering purposes. His focus
          was on poetic and melodic rhythm: he systematised Gaelic musical and
          poetic metre according to Greek metres and staff notation, using
          piping terminology to provide a nomenclature for the categories.

          In light of all this, I can now proceed to my point. On one page we
          find written,

          "Ceol-Suaicheantas Morair Bhraidh'-Albainn.
          The distinguishing Family Tune
          of
          The Lords of Breadalbane.
          An ancient Gaelic Melody

          Extended according to its true vocal capacity,
          for the
          Pianoforte,
          By means of characteristic variations,
          From which are naturally aduced
          A few of the Metrical forms assumed by choraic airs,
          As they are sung in Gaelic, its War-Songs, Laments, & Elegies,
          Or as played for dances, and War or Funeral Marches.
          The Whole preceded by a selection from the Gaelic names
          Traditionally used by the Highland Bards, Harpers, and Pipers,
          With a translation, ascriptive of denominative of each variation,
          And generally indicative of the purpose for which it was used
          in remote ages.

          Regardless of who wrote this, one can argue that this last quote
          displays complete congruence of thought with presentations made
          elsewhere in the MSS of Fraser's system of metrical terminology, ie,
          that the quote follows the thesis that the names of the siùbhlaichean
          pertain to a system of metrical nomenclature which was also used by
          harpers and even bards.

          Thus, Angus Fraser's 'characteristic variations' are
          called 'characteristic' because they, in his view, bear the nature of
          the unified harp/bard/pipe system of musical metre for which he makes
          claim. By adding these, he believes he imitates harp music,
          certainly.

          Beannachdan,



          Alasdair




          --- In clairseach@..., "sanger_keith"
          <sanger_keith@...> wrote:
          >
          > Dear Alasdair
          >
          > I don't think I was trying to construct an argument, but simply to
          > clarify Angus Fraser's part in it, or not as the case really seems
          to
          > be, and I don't think we are in disagreement regarding the basic
          part
          > played by Fraser. He recognised that the pipe tune and a vocal air
          > with two titles were varients of each other, and used the title of
          > the pipe version over the music of the vocal version, presumably
          > because as he adds his collection was of vocal airs, not pipe
          tunes,
          > although why he did not use both vocal title and music with
          footnote
          > to the pipe tune is one for the birds.
          >
          > However he makes no connection at all with either An Clarsair Dall
          or
          > his poem on the lost harp key. And there is no reason why he should
          > have, of the three sources of the poem identified by Matheson, only
          > one (in a Manuscript) existed in Frasers lifetime and he was
          unlikely
          > to have come across it, and in any case Fraser seems to have
          > principally relied on published sources whenever he refers to
          actual
          > verse, (judging by his manuscript two volume Gaelic Musical
          > Dictionary).
          >
          > Matheson in casting around looking for the music to fit the harpers
          > poem alighted on the pipe tunes and Frasers air and attempted to
          > shoehorn the poem into those and I do not think we are in
          > disagreement here either, Nor in that statement that songs and
          their
          > associated airs, if old enough to have been sung and accompanied by
          > the harp were 'harp music', Patrick Macdonald makes more or less
          the
          > same statement and as a generalisation it is true, although it does
          > not have to mean that those particular versions of the air, or the
          > song for that matter were what was actually what was originally
          > performed.
          >
          > Where I would however leap to the defense of Angus Fraser is the
          > claim that 'characteristic variations' with the suggestion that
          > Fraser added these intentionally in imitation of harp music. He did
          > not, and makes no mention of the harp at that point. Even the
          > reference to 'A collection of the Vocal Airs of the Highlands of
          > Scotland communicated as Sung by the people and formerly played on
          > the harp....' which occurs on the first page and repeated further
          on
          > in the manuscript is as far as the title page concerned not by
          > Fraser.
          >
          > Setting up to view my microfilm of the manuscript is somewhat of a
          > fankle involving feeding the film through an old slide projector
          and
          > viewing displayed on the wall in the dark, makes for much brighter
          > pictures than the proper library viewers but I don't have the
          > inclination to set it up just now, but from the index I started
          > constructing linked to frame number, the description on the first
          > page is signed off by someone whose initials I could not fully be
          > sure of, but as the first one was definitely J tends to rule out
          > Angus.
          >
          > The idea of more Keith Sangers is a horrendous thought, although
          > perhaps not difficult to achieve, I am simply a sieve and if you go
          > to a beach and simply sieve your way methodically through all the
          > sand you will inevitably come across the odd lost item, sieving is
          > not difficult, playing a harp is far harder and requires more skill.
          >
          > Keith
          >
        • simon@simonchadwick.net
          Hello Alasdair I dont thnk we included on our list, that Port Gordon appears in the Neale Scotch Tunes book, p.26 according to Fleischmann s big catalogue.
          Message 4 of 13 , Mar 4, 2009
            Hello Alasdair

            I dont thnk we included on our list, that Port Gordon appears in the
            Neale 'Scotch Tunes' book, p.26 according to Fleischmann's big
            catalogue. It is a similar version to Bunting/Dow/Oswald. (though not
            identical). 16+16, in F with one flat.

            Does anyone here have a the Neale Scotch book? I have never seen a copy.

            Simon
          • Alasdair Codona
            Dear Simon, I don t have anything from that book at all. Great you remembered it and thanks for reminding me at least. Math gu bheil thu ann! Beannachdan,
            Message 5 of 13 , Mar 4, 2009
              Dear Simon,

              I don't have anything from that book at all. Great you remembered it and thanks for reminding me at least. Math gu bheil thu ann!

              Beannachdan,


              Alasdair



              --- In clairseach@..., simon@... wrote:
              >
              > Hello Alasdair
              >
              > I dont thnk we included on our list, that Port Gordon appears in the
              > Neale 'Scotch Tunes' book, p.26 according to Fleischmann's big
              > catalogue. It is a similar version to Bunting/Dow/Oswald. (though not
              > identical). 16+16, in F with one flat.
              >
              > Does anyone here have a the Neale Scotch book? I have never seen a copy.
              >
              > Simon
              >
            • sanger_keith
              Simon Neales collection of Celebrated Scotch Tunes is fairly rare, I think that the nearest copy to you,(as the crow flies), would be the one in the Bunting
              Message 6 of 13 , Mar 5, 2009
                Simon

                Neales collection of 'Celebrated Scotch Tunes' is fairly rare, I think that the nearest copy to you,(as the crow flies), would be the one in the Bunting Collection which of course also has his copies of Dow and Oswald. What of course Neale, Dow and Oswald all have in common is that they are fiddle settings.

                For anybody interested in hard to find early printed Scottish Music the two volumes of 'Celtic Melodies', volume two circa 1830, have now been scanned and can be found on Ross Andersons site at
                www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~rja14/music/index.html

                There is also the first draft of a dictionary of the Gaelic Names of Piobaireachd for those with more esoteric interests.

                Keith




                --- In clairseach@..., simon@... wrote:
                >
                > Hello Alasdair
                >
                > I dont thnk we included on our list, that Port Gordon appears in the
                > Neale 'Scotch Tunes' book, p.26 according to Fleischmann's big
                > catalogue. It is a similar version to Bunting/Dow/Oswald. (though not
                > identical). 16+16, in F with one flat.
                >
                > Does anyone here have a the Neale Scotch book? I have never seen a copy.
                >
                > Simon
                >
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