[The Airs and Melodies Peculiar to the Highlands of Scotland and The Isles, Communicated in an Original, Pleasing & Familiar Style, Having the Lively Airs Introduced as Medleys, to Form a Sequence to Each Slower Movement, With an Admired Plain Harmony for the Piano Forte, Harp, Organ or Violoncello, Intended rather to preserve Simplicity, than load with Embellishments; Edited by Capt S Fraser, Chiefly acquired during the Interesting Period from 1715 to 1745, through the Authentic Source narrated in the Accompanying Prospectus.] Edinburgh: Walker & Anderson, no date . Collation: [iv blanks; v-vii English titles in manuscript, alphabetized; xxi blanks; pages 11 – 104 engraved, numbered pages; x blanks]. White, watered silk endpapers. 232 two-voice pieces of music notated on two staves, G- and F-clefs, numbered consecutively 1 – 232. 35 cm x 26 cm. Titles engraved on the page above each musical selection in Gaelic first, then in English. Written in a contemporary hand above selection number one is “No. 2908 S. Fraser.” It is believed this is Simon Fraser’s copyright signature together with the number of the copy. Copyright signatures were necessary for printed music in 1816 as composers and editors saw the increasing need for authorizing each copy sold. To the left of Fraser’s signature is a presentation signature of Dr. George Dickson dated 1907: “To Mary from her affectionate Pa’ G. Dickson, M.D.F.R.C.E.” The first selection is “The Langour of Love.” There is an asterisk, with a footnote at the foot of the page, which states: “The airs marked thus * have Notes relating to them in the Appendix, to which the Numbers will lead.” No publisher’s appendix is present. The engraver and printer’s name, Walker & Anderson, appears at the bottom of the page. A printing plate flaw is in evidence on p. 90, not affecting musical notation or text. Bound in cloth, with quarter Morocco spine and corners, now worn. Raised bands evident on the damaged gilt backstrip. The hinges are cracked but holding. Page edges gilded all around. Two twentieth century leaves of notated music are laid in loosely. Lacks title page and the 10 introductory pages including the Index, Letter and Prospectus to the Highland Society.
The musical selections are identified as song, strathspey, jigg, dance and song and dance, and there are footnotes as to the history of various tunes. On selection 5, “The Highland Society of Scotland,” there is this note on the word “Society”: “rather an Association of the 1745.” On selection 60, “How shall we abstain from Whiskey,” there is this note: “The Editor has great pleasure in asserting his Countrys claim to this Melody lately introduced as Irish, under the name of the Legacy and supposed new, whereas it has been current in the North for Sixty Years as the Composition of John McMurdo of Kintail, since emigrated to America.” Following selection 135, “The Hawthorne Tree of Cawdor,” is a note: “From a M.S. of Mr. Campbell of Budyet, a century old. — Vide Appendix.” Above selection 148 is added, after the English title, “Caledonia’s Wail for Niel Gow Her favorite Minstrel,” the phrase: “in his own Strain.” There is a footnote to selection 178, “The Laird of Brodie,” stating: “This tune supposed to have been Composed by the roving King James was spread among all his subjects as his production, but I find the best sett of it is preserved in the Highlands and sung to Gaelic words.” Above selection 216 is this text: “Macpherson of Strathmashy,” whose recitations occasioned the publication of Ossian by his Friend.” Above selection 230 and marked by an asterisk: “The Editor’s thanks to Mr. Nathaniel Gow.” The footnote at the bottom of the page states: “THE Editor cannot conclude this tedious work, without expressing his thanks in the most public manner, for the aid afforded him by Mr. GOW, throughout this undertaking, and to the other eminent PROFESSIONAL MEN, who assisted in revisal of a work which might often require a Sacrifice of their Skill, in blending the Science of Music, with the wild and simple Effusions of Nature.” Above selection 231, “Gorthlecks Highland Plaid,” is a long paragraph titled “Postscript”: “The following Medley so properly belongs to this Work that after completing his Index, the Editor cannot resist adjecting it, having been composed on the following occasion. — Lord Lovat spent the last six Months previous to his being apprehended, chiefly in the house of Thos. Fraser Esqr. Of Gorthleck, the Editors maternal Grandfather, where he had his only Interview with Prince Charles after his defeat, and not at Castleduny as mentioned in the Culloden Papers. — His residence there, or elsewhere, rendered the Place for the time, the Focus of the Rebellion, and brought a concourse of Visitors, of all descriptions friendly to the cause; but chiefly, men of the best talents and address, not likely to commit themselves, if intercepted. — These, who were of course entertained according to the manner of the times, naturally joined in narrative and Song, & this considerably added to the many opportunities which the original Compiler of these Melodies had, of hearing and acquiring them, being a daily Visitor, not a Mile distant. — And Independent of Recitation from men of this Stamp, — he had the advantage of hearing many of the Airs , from Lord Lovats attendant Minstrel and Bard, who was the Composer of the following, complimentary of Old Gorthlecks appearance, on some of these occasions, in a new belted Plaid, whereupon the Minstrel claimed the old one as his reward, which was instantly granted, and the Music commemorative of it immediately performed and Sung.”
Landscape Historical Illustrations of Scotland and the Waverly Novels From Drawings from J M W Turner Professor RA Balmer Bentley Chisholm Hart ARA Harding McClise ABA Melville &c &c Comic Illustrations by G. Cruikshank Descriptions by the Rev G N Wright MA &c 1836-38