Miss Wharton Duff

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MISS WHARTON DUFF. Scottish hornpipe or listening piece. B Flat Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB. Composed by William Marshall (1748-1833). According to Moyra Cowie (The Life and Times of William Marshall, 1999), the tune may refer to Lady Ann Wharton Duff, daughter of Lord Duff of Banff, who in 1809 married her first cousin, Richard Wharton of Orton House near Inchberry in lower Speyside. As there is a tune on the next page of Marshall's 1822 collection called "Lady Ann Wharton Duff," however, it is perhaps more likely that the tune was named after one of the Duffs' three daughters.

The tune is sometimes heard transposed to the key of G major at Scottish sessions. The tune type was not specified in Marshall's 1822 publication. Hunter (1998) included it in his book among the "airs and pastorals" (with a metronome setting of 80 per quarter note), though others (as on the John McDougall recording cited below) have classed it as a hornpipe. It has been played as a wedding march, and Scottish fiddler Alasdair Fraser describes it as a "marching air."

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Alburger (Scottish Fiddlers and Their Music), 1983; Ex. 57, p. 86. Hunter (Fiddle Music of Scotland), 1988; No. 56 (arranged by James Hunter). Marshall, Fiddlecase Edition, 1978; 1822 Collection, p. 6.

Recorded sources: Brownigg LP BRG 009, Alasdair Fraser - "Portrait of a Scottish Fiddler" (1984). Rounder CD 11661-7033-2, Natalie MacMaster – “My Roots are Showing” (2000). Topic 12TS424, Jock Tamson’s Bairns (1982). Iona LP IR 011, Tony Cuffe - "When First I Went to Caledonia" (1988). Rounder 82161-7038-2, John McDougall on "Traditional Fiddle Music of Cape Breton, Volume 2: The Rover's Return" (2002.)




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