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Peter Dyson

Scottish Tune Books

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Like Helen in the Irish tune book thread, I like tunebooks, and I was wondering if people would recommend their favourite books of Scottish tunes here.

 

I have had a lot of fun with "Scottish Fiddlers' Session Tune Book" originally published in two volumes, now available in one from Taigh na Teud. It contains Scottish and Shetland reels, some jigs, hornpipes, and marches.

 

"The Fiddle Music of Scotland" from James Hunter includes 365 tunes and an historical essay on Scottish music and composers. There are laments, waltzes, a ton of strathspeys, marches, airs, pastorals, reels and rants.

 

Then there is "The Cunningham Collection" from the incomparable Phil Cunningham with 55 tunes including "The Ross Memorial Hospital", "Quendale Bay" and others. While it is pretty easy to pick up some of Phil's slower tunes by ear, the guitar chords included with each tune make it worth the price of admission.

 

And finally, it is a lot more traditional (in the sense that people have been doing it for hundreds of years) to first learn a tune from the dots than it is to use computer software to slow down a digital recording.

 

Cheers,

 

Peter Dyson

Bellingham, WA

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Oh gosh, Peter, I think I love you.

 

You found a way to make tunebooks traditional!

 

I was all set to tell you about a great tunebook, but I see that the name of it is the Scottish Fiddler's etc. and you already have that one. I do have another, but I can't seem to locate it just now. I'll go look.

 

Lots of luck. I got oodles of ideas from people and felt oh so supported.

 

Helen

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I really like Susie Petrov's Book of Musick, Being a Selection of the Finest Jigs, Reels, Strathspeys in Arrangements Suitable for Scottish Country Dancing. She is an amazing musician (piano & piano accordion) and a mainstay of the Scottish Dance crowd.

 

A Great selection of both traditional and contemporary tunes. This book is such a recent addition to our stock that we haven't gotten it listed on our web site yet so you'll have to e-mail or call our store about it.

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Hi Peter,

 

You might find it worth a look at 'The Celtic Fake Book' published by Hal Leonard Corporation. Price is about $20 US and it has 400+ tunes, pretty much all within the compass of an English Treble. There is a good cross section of Scottish, Irish and Welsh tunes, mostly in keys that are not too difficult, but watch out for the occasional one in B (5#). Quite a few are in C, D or G, which would also suit the Anglo. All the tunes have full lyrics (some in Gaelic) plus chord symbols above the melody line. It has help rekindle memories of some of the songs I knew as a child growing up in Scotland and I'm sure will keep me busy for a while!

 

The publisher's web site may be of help.

 

Hal Leonard (Music Publishers)

 

Regards,

 

Charles Mackay

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Don't overlook the pink book, Scott Skinner's "The Scottish Violinist". It's got lots of traditional tunes as well as Skinners original compositions like 'The Mathematician' and 'The Laird of Dunblair'. Many of them are a real workout on concertina (english or anglo).

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Don't overlook the pink book, Scott Skinner's "The Scottish Violinist". It's got lots of traditional tunes as well as Skinners original compositions like 'The Mathematician' and 'The Laird of Dunblair'. Many of them are a real workout on concertina (english or anglo).

Sandy, you're right, _The Scottish Violinist_ is great. Also _The Neil Gow_ collection by Carlin, The Simon Fraser collection, the Atholl collection, and one of my favorites, Jerry Holland's Tune Book number one (I don't have number 2).

 

-Eric Root

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........The Skye Collection...marketed in Ontario by P.Cranford

Collection of Strathspeys reels,Marches etc

Composed by Alexander Walker

Violin Music of Cape Breton...Dunlay\Greenberg

Fiddle music of PEI......Mel Bay

Beauties of the North....Bill Hardie

Caledonian Companion...Alistair Hardie

Highland Tunes for the Fiddle....Ceol Na Fidhle

Vols 1-4

and finally a book of new tunes that has been ,I think , advertised here on C.net.,written in the Scottish styleby Matt Heumann for the English Concertina (among others)

The Braeburn Collection

All these are FULL of wonderful tunes

Regards Robin

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Matt Heumann has some lovely Skinner style tunes in his tunebooks, among others---well worth the purchase. You can contact him at heufam@ameritech.net . BTW, Matt has won several prizes in tune writing competitions for Scottish trad. music. :rolleyes:

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Hi gang,

 

I see lots of good sources here that I hadn't run into. Additionally, there is:

 

Robin Williamson's English, Welsh, Scottish, & Irish Fiddle Tunes. It has a wide variety of tunes ranging from simple to almost excruciating. As indicated in the titile, the tunes are segregated by nationality. He also has a whistle book with a number of fine tunes, some Scottish.

 

Then there's The Gow Collection of Scottish Dance Music . It's compiled and edited by Richard Carlin. There are numerous tunes by members of the Gow family. This was mentioned above--sorry for the repitition.

 

The Fiddler's Fake Book also has piles of tunes, some Scottish. These three were published by Oak. I don't know if they are still in print.

 

Aly Bain"s 50 Fiddle Solos has a number of Scottish, Shetland and other nationalities between its covers, plus a tape of the tunes for the printed music impaired; it also has Phil Cunningham helping out. Some help!

 

Thanks for all of the additional suggestions. As a fellow of Scottish heritage, I'm always on the look out for tunes from that part of the world.

 

Jim

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I started off with "Kerr's Merry Melodies for the Violin", 4 volumes, and over 400 tunes in each.

Sadly these books are now out of print.

The first volume has many of the traditional tunes commonly played in Scotland.

Other volumes borrowed (without naming the composer) from many of the 18th and 19th century collections.

By volume 4, they were scraping the barrel a bit.

 

Many of the tunes in the 18th & 19th century collections were reprinted in other collections.

The "Skye collection" is one of these.

Also available is the "Athole Collection" recently reprinted by the Highland Music Trust.

They have also reprinted the "Glen Collection", which contains much historical information.

Have a look at their web site (search for "Highland Music Trust")

 

Another interesting collection, reprinted in Cape Breton, is Simon Fraser's Collection (published about 1815) containing many Gaelic tunes.

It was said of Simon Fraser that "he could make the fiddle speak gaelic".

 

For more recent tunes, the book "The 90s Collection" was published following a competition for new tunes, and contains the winners and the best of the rest.

 

If asked to pick one book, I would recommend "The Fiddle Music of Scotland" compiled by James Hunter.

 

Personally, my great interest is in the music for the bagpipe, pipe marches, etc.

Christine Martin's books from Harpstring House have many of them, but there's hundreds in the two volumes of the Scots Guards Collection of Pipe Music.

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Thanks for all the great suggestions. I had forgotten Skinner's Pink Book. It contains some real finger-twisters, but also some lovely slow tunes such as "The Flower o' the Quern" and "The Music o' Spey".

 

And for David who likes pipe tunes, have you looked at the out-of-copyright books sold by Unicorn at:

 

Unicorn Limited

 

They also have the Simon Fraser Collection and the Skye Collection too.

 

Cheers,

 

Peter Dyson

Bellingham, WA

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