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Reference material for Scottish music

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Scotland's Music

A History of the Traditional and Classical Music of Scotland
from Early Times to the Present Day
by John Purser
Published by Mainstream, 1992.
(7 Albany Street, Edinburgh, EH1 3UG)
ISBN 1-85158-426-9
311 pages; 225mm x 285 mm, hardback, 25 pounds (and worth every penny)

I got this book after seeing a lecture given by the author, now Dr. John Purser. This groundbreaking award winning book evolved from John's BBC radio series (covering 45 hours). The book covers the whole of Scotland's music - from 8th Century BC to the present day. The book covers both classical and traditional music individually and the links between them. Includes early Celtic plainchant; ballads in Scots and Gaelic; Renaissance music; music for lutes and virginals; music today: operatic; symphonic; Gaelic; folk revival and pop.

Chapters include
The Scottish Idiom
Bulls, Birds and Boars (800BC - AD400)
Briton, Pict and Scot (600-800)
The Bell and the Chant (500-1100)
Cathedral Voices (800-1300)
Ballads, Bards and Makars (1100-1500)
Gaelic bards, bagpipes and harps (1100-1600)
The Golden Age (1490-1550)
Reform (1513-1580)
The two Maries (1540-1590)
At the courts of the last King (1570-1630)
Music of the West (1530-1760)
From Covenanters to Culloden (1630-1750)
From Rome to Home (1660-1720)
The Temple of Apollo (1740-1770)
The Scots Musical Museum (1760-1850)
The Withdrawing room and the concert hall (1820-1920)
Sea, field and music hall (1820-1910)
The classical takes root (1910-1970)
A new accommodation (1950-)
also includes
select bibliography; select discography; libraries and archives; glossary of Scottish musical terms; plates in colour and black
and white; over 200 musical examples; full index.

An absolutely brilliant work, meticulously researched, magnificient in scope and beautifully presented. A must for anyone interested in learning in depth about one of Europe's most musical cultures.

A double CD set was also issued, (1) including one track of particular interest to soc.culture.scottish:
"Calgacus", by Edward McGuire (for orchestra + pipes), performed by an unnamed piper and the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Can anyone name the piper? George McIlwham, perhaps?
(1) "Scotland's Music" (Linn Records 1992, LINN CKD 008; Linn Products Ltd, Floors Road, Eaglesham, Glasgow G76 0EP).

Musica Scotica

A new series of scholarly editions of Early Scottish music, edited by Dr Kenneth Elliott of Glasgow University. The series is being published in stages. Titles planned include:
The Complete works of Robert Carver
The Complete Sacred Music of Robert Johnson
16th Century Scots songs for voice and lute
17th Century Scots songs for voice and lute/harpsichord
The Cantatas of Sir John Clerk of Penicuik
Early Scottish Music for Keyboard
Early Scottish Psalm-settings

For more information, contact

Dr Kenneth Elliott
General Editor Musica Scotica
Department of Music
University of Glasgow
G12 8QQ
Tel: 0131 339 8877 (extn 4094)
Fax: 0141 307 8018

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