Better Late than Never

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X:1 T:Better Late then Never M:2/4 L:1/8 R:,Air or Country Dance Tune C:"by Pleyel" Q:"Allegro" B:John Watlen - The Celebrated Circus Tunes (Edinburgh, 1791, p. 18) Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion K:A A/B/|ccce|BB BB/c/|dddf|cc cA/c/| aagg|g2 fe|e^d=dc|c2B:| |:BBcc|ed B2|ccdd|fe cA/c/| aagg|f/g/a/f/ e2|(d/c/B/A/) (c/B/A/G/)|Aaa:|]



BETTER LATE THAN NEVER. Scottish, Country Dance Tune (2/4 time). A Major (Watlen): G Major (Aird). Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. The tune was published in John Watlen's Celebrated Circus Tunes (Edinburgh, 1791) attributed to composer Ignaz Jospeh Pleyel (1757-1831). Pleyel was a renowned composer whose reputation extended to Edinburgh. He was commissioned in 1793 by the Edinburgh Musical Society to arrange Scottish folk songs (as at various times were Haydn, Beethoven and others)[1]. His tune was reprinted some five years later by Glasgow publisher James Aird, without credit to the source.

Additional notes

Source for notated version: -

Printed sources : - Aird (Selection of Scotch, English, Irish and Foreign Airs, vol. 4), 1796; No. 113, p. 45. Watlen (The Celebrated Circus Tunes), 1791, p. 18.

Recorded sources: -



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  1. Kim Baston, "The Celebrated Circus Tunes: Music and Musicians in an Eighteenth-Century Circus", Popular Entertainment Studies, Vol. 9, Issue 1-2, 2018, p. 16.