Braes of Letterfourie (The)

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X:1 % T:Braes of Letterfourie, The C:Alexander Walker M:C L:1/8 R:Strathspey B:Walker - Collection of Strathspeys, Reels, Marches &c. B:(1866, p. 4) Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion F:http://digital.nls.uk/special-collections-of-printed-music/archive/105875158?mode=zoom K:A A|c<ee>c d/c/B/A/ F2|E>AE<C B,2 B>d|c<ee>c d/c/B/A/ F2| E>AG>B (A2A)A|c<ee>c d/c/B/A/ F2|E>AE<C B,2 B>d| c<ee>c (d/c/B/A/) c2|B<EG>E A2A||B|A/A/A (d/c/B/A/) e<Ac>A| B>Ec>E d>EB>E|A/A/A (d/c/B/A/) e>Ac>A|B<EG>E A2 A>E| A/A/A (d/c/B/A/) e>Ac>A|B<Ec>E d>EB>E|A,/A,/A, E>C F>DE>C|B,<BE>G (A2A)||



BRAES OF LETTERFOURIE, THE. Scottish, Strathspey (whole time). A Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AA'B. Composed by Aberdeenshire fiddler-composer Alexander Walker, born 1819, Rhynie, Strathbogie. Emmerson (1971) calls it the best-known of his earlier compositions, while according to Paul Stewart Cranford (1991) it still has currency among Cape Breton fiddlers. Once employed (as a gardener) and patronized by Sir Charles Forbes of Castle Newe, Walker emigrated to the United States at age 51 to join his brother in Vermont, and later in Williamstown, Mass., where he "was still going strong in 1898 as a farmer and land surveyor". He published 200 of his melodies before he left Scotland, and a further 180 in America (of which the latter appear to be lost).

Letterfourie House, Moray, was built in 1773 by famed architect Robert Adam, overlooking the Burn of Buckie. Braes is the Scots term for the banks of the river, although here the title means 'the banks of the river Buckie in the estate of Letterfourie'. Alexander Walker was apprenticed as a gardener at Letterfourie in the 1840's, then held by Sir James Gordon.

Printed source: Walker (A Collection of Strathspeys, Reels, Marches, &c.), 1866; No. 11, p. 4.

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