Blaydon Flats

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BLAYDON FLATS. English, Reel. England, Northumberland. D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. A tune often attributed to Tyneside fiddler and composer James Hill (c. 1811-1853), however, it was an earlier composition of Scottish fiddler and composer Abraham Mackintosh (b. 1769) who called it "Miss Aubone Surtees’ Favourite." Mackintosh, like James Hill, was a Scottish fiddler and composer who had removed to Tyneside area of north eastern England, although Mackintosh seems to have moved there much later in his career and is not so indelibly associated with the area. Mackintosh's tune was originally set as a reel, however, hornpipe versions are common especially post-assciation with Hill, who was renowned for his hornpipes. The melody also appears in the William Hall Lister music manuscript collection [1], another Tyneside musician contemporanious with Hill.

Blaydon Flats, the name of alluviial meadows in Northumberland, was once the site of the famous sporting event the Blaydon Races, which enhances associations with Hill, who was an avid racing fan.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Köhlers’ Violin Repository, Book 1, 1881-1885; p. 66. Miller (Fiddler's Throne), 2004; No. 278, p. 167.

Recorded sources: Whirlie CD1, Aly Bain - "1st Album" (1984).




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