Birnam Wood

Find traditional instrumental music
Jump to: navigation, search

Back to Birnam Wood


X:1 T:Birnam Wood M:C| L:1/16 R:Strathspey Q:"Slow" B:Archibald Duff – Collection of Strathspey Reels &c. (1794, p. 16) Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:D defe d3A B/d3/B2 AGFE|DFAB defd Te3dB2d2|defe d3ABd3 {B}A3g| {g}f2ed Bgfe|f2d2 d4:|A,(DFD) G(DFD) B(DFD) A(DFD)| (dcd)A {A}G/F/3 {F}E/3D/ {C}B,2E2 E2D,B,|A,DFD GDFD BDFD ADFD|.d.f.B.d .F.A.G.B, A,2E2 D2CB,| A,DFD GDFD BDFD ADFD|dcdA {A}G/F/3 {F}E/3D/ {C}B,2E2 E2FE| DAFd Afda fd'af gecA|BGdB cAge f2d2 d4||



Birbam Wood and Dunsinane
BIRNAM WOOD. AKA - "Birnom Wood." Scottish, Slow Strathspey (cut or whole time). D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB. The composition is attributed to John Gow (1764-1826), who established a London publishing firm with his brother Andrew, and who distributed brother Nathaniel Gow's publications, as well as his father Niel Gow's collections. Paul Stewart Cranford characterizes it as a "Marching Air". Birnam Wood was immortalized by Shakespeare in MacBeth, when the usurper believes he is safe until the very woods must march before he is defeated. The son of the King he assassinated, Malcolm, eventually gathers a force and stays a night in Birnam Wood on their march to battle with MacBeth. They gather bows in the morning and come to battle adorned with "the Wood". Perhaps more to the point of Gow's composition, the town of Birnam, Perthshire, sits on the River Tay, opposite the town of Dunkeld, home to Niel Gow and family.



Additional notes

Source for notated version: -

Printed sources : - Carlin (The Gow Collection), 1986; No. 11. Cranford (Jerry Holland: The Second Collection), 2000; No. 304, p. 109. Archibald Duff (Collection of Strathspey Reels &c.), 1794; p. 16. Gow (Complete Repository, Part 3), 1806; p. 6. John Gow (A Favorite Collection of Slow Airs, Strathspeys and Reels), London, c. 1804; p. 29. Edmund Lee (Mrs. Parker's Selection of Scotch Tunes, Strathspeys and Reels), Dublin, n.d.; p. 11 (early 19th century).

Recorded sources: -Carl Mackenzie - "Welcome to Your Feet Again" (1977. Appears as unidentified "Scottish Air").



Back to Birnam Wood