Atholl Highlanders (1) (The)

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X:1 T:Athole Highlanders' March [1], The M:6/8 L:1/8 R:Pipe March B:William Ross -- Ross's Collection of Pipe Music (1869, No. 22, p. 70) Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion K:Amix c/d/|e3 ecA|ecA Bcd|e3 ecA|Bcd cBA| e3 ecA|ecA Bcd|c<ae fed|cdB A2:| |:a<ee edc|a<ee edc|a<ee edc|Bcd cBA| |1 a<ee edc|a<ee edc|B<ae fed|cdB A3:| |2 a<ee a<ee|f>df fed|c<ae fed|cdB A3|| Ace ecA|Adf fed|cde edc|Bcd cBA| Ace ecA|Adf fed|c<ae fed|cdB A2:| a|e2A c2a|e2A c2a|e2A c2a|eac B<Ba| e2A c2a|e2A c2a|eae fed|cdB A2a| e2A c2a|e2A c2a|e2A c2a|eac B<Bg| aee fee|aee fed|c<ae fed|cdB A2|| |:B|c>Ac c>Ac|d>Bd d>Bd|c>Ac c>Ac|B>GB Bcd| c>Ac c>Ac|d>Bd dcB|A<ae fed|cdB A2:| |:Ace Ace|Adf Adf|Ace Ace|Bcd cBA| Ace Ace|Adf Adf|Aa>e fed|cdB A2:|



ATHOLL HIGHLANDERS [1], THE. AKA - "Athol Highlanders Jig." AKA and see "Duke of Atholl's March (1)," "Highland Fabrick," "Lord Athlone's March," "Three Sisters (1) (The)" (Shetland). Scottish (originally), Irish; Pipe March (6/8 time) or Jig. Scotland, Perthshire. Ireland, Donegal. A Major/Mixolydian (Brody, Hinds, Martin, Neil, Ross, Songer, Sweet): G Major (Kerr). Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB (Kerr): AABB' (Neil): AABBCC (Brody): ABCD (Sweet): AABBCCDD (Hinds, Martin, Songer): AABB'CCDD'EEFF (Ross). The name Athole (or Atholl) derives from the Gaelic ath Fodla, generally translated as New Ireland, and stems from the first invasion of the northern land by the Irish tribe the Scots in the 7th century (Matthews, 1972). The tune, described sometimes as a Scottish warpipes melody, is dedicated to the private army of the Duke of Atholl, the last private army still legally existing {albeit on a token level} in the British Isles (Boys of the Lough). Musically, the tune contains a characteristic melodic cliché in Scottish music in which a figure is followed by the same or a related figure on the triad one tone below or above (Emmerson, 1971). The original Athole Highlanders (and the ones associated with the tune) were the old 77th Highland Regiment, raised in 1778 and commanded by Colonel James Murray. The 77th served in Ireland and was not engaged in active service, though its garrison services were apparently useful in freeing other units for the conflicts with America and France. They were disbanded in 1783 after those conflicts ended (although the disbanding may have come about because of a mutiny). The tune was later taken up as a march past by the 2nd Battalion of the Cameronians, the 90th Light Infantry, who over the years had shed their Scottish origins. However, when pipers were introduced in 1881 they recollected their Perthshire origins and chose to play "The Atholl Highlanders" (also known in pipe literature as "Gathering of the Grahams (The)"). The tune is associated in modern times with the dance called The Duke of Gordon's Reel, so much so that Scottish dance musicians will sometimes call "Atholl Highlanders" by the name "Duke of Gordon's Reel" (despite the fact that "Atholl Highlanders" is a jig, but referring to 6/8 time tunes as 'reels' is an old convention, often used, for example by Robert Mackintosh, c. 1745-1808). See also the early printing of the tune in Jane Morison's Highland Airs and Quicksteps, vol. 1 (No. 19), where it appears as "Duke of Atholl's March." A still earlier version of the melody appears as "Highland Fabrick" in Henry Colclough's tutor for the uilleann pipes (c. 1830).

In some areas of Scotland (Peter Cook collected it under that title in Yell, Shetland) the tune is called by the title "Three Sisters (1) (The)." Susan Songer notes that when played for contra dances once through the tune is twice through a dance.


Additional notes
Source for notated version : - the tune was first brought to the Portland, Oregon, area by Seattle accordion player Laurie Andres and Olympia fiddler John Culhane in 1989 when playing at the first Spring Festival, and subsequently entered contra dance repertoire in that region [Songer].

Printed sources : - Brody (Fiddler's Fakebook), 1983; p. 27. Hinds/Hebert (Grumbling Old Woman), 1981; p. 20 (appears as "Athol Highlanders Jig"). Kerr (Merry Melodies, vol. 3), c. 1880's; No. 265, p. 29. Martin (Ceol na Fidhle, vol. 1), 1991; p. 23. Neil (The Scots Fiddle), 1991; No. 117, p. 155. William Ross (Ross's Collection of Pipe Music), 1869; No. 22, p. 70. Songer (Portland Collection), 1997, p. 21. Sweet (Fifer's Delight), 1964; p. 37.

Recorded sources : - Banff SBS5406, "Graham Townsend, Champion Folk Fiddler." Green Linnett GLCD 3090, Mairead Ní Mhaonaigh & Frankie Kennedy - "Ceol Aduaidh" (1983/1994). Nimbus NI 5320, Ciaran Tourish et al. - "Fiddle Sticks: Irish Traditional Music from Donegal" (1991). Philo 1042, Boys of the Lough- "Piper's Broken Finger" (1976). Tradition 2118, "Scottish Dances: Jigs, Waltzes and Reels" (1979). Transatlantic 341, Dave Swarbrick- "Swarbrick 2." "Bob Smith's Ideal Band, Better Than an Orchesta" (1977).




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