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Sources for Gaelic harp music

Straloch manuscript

present whereabouts unknown

The original manuscript of this Scottish book of lute tablature, written in 1627-9 by or for Robert Gordon of Straloch, is lost; fortunately a handwritten copy of some of the contents which was made by George Farquhar Graham in 1847 survives (National Library of Scotland ms adv.5.2.18). Graham's copy contains five ports.

Editions

Cripps

Wayne Cripps
The Straloch Manuscript
Lyre Publications, 1995
Transcription of the whole of Graham's copy of the Straloch lute book, in tablature by Wayne Cripps. Click here to order from the Emporium.

Early Gaelic harp tunes in this source

p.4 A Port
Recommended recordings: Rob MacKillop (lute), Flowers of the Forest; Rob MacKillop (lute), online video at Vimeo.
Transcriptions: Robert Phillips, Music for the Lute in Scotland p. 48 (tablature) & 49 (staff)

p. 5-6 Port Preist
Other versions: Wemyss: Port Robart; Dow: Fuadh na mfilairan - The Fidler's Contemt By Rory Dall
Recommended recordings: Rob MacKillop (lute), Flowers of the Forest; Simon Chadwick, online video at Youtube
Transcriptions: Alasdair Codona, Gaelic Harmony online facsimile, transcription and analysis.

p. 19 A Port / Port Jean Linsey (linsay?)
Other versions: None known
Recommended recordings: Rob MacKillop (lute), Flowers of the Forest; Rob MacKillop (lute), online video at Vimeo; Javier Sáinz (early clarsach), Silva Caledonia track 14; Javier Sáinz (early clarsach), Allan MacDonald: Dastirum track 7

p. 20-21 A Port / Port Rorie Dall
Other versions: Skene: Port Ballangowne; Maclean-Clephane: Port 6th
Recommended recordings: Rob MacKillop (lute), Flowers of the Forest

p.23-24 A Port
Other versions: Dow p.14: Cumh Peathar Ruari - Rorie Dall's Sister's Lament
Recommended recordings: Rob MacKillop (lute), Flowers of the Forest; Simon Chadwick, online video at Youtube

What else is in this manscript?

This lute book was written by or for a wealthy East coast aristocrat and contains a selection of different music he world have performed on the lute. The repertory is mainly French and Spanish lute music, and scots song airs set for the lute. It appears that Graham's copy may have concentrated on Scottish repertory as there are title lists available for the lost original though I have not seen these.

How to read the manuscript

Click here for some information on how to approach the music in the manuscript.

Simon Chadwick