Devil Among the Mantua-Makers

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DEVIL AMONG THE MANTUA-MAKERS. Scottish, Reel. A Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB. "Named so, at the request of a Lady in (Elgin) Moray-Shire" (Marshall). Mantuas were a woman's loose gown, called a mantie or mantua in the 17th and 18th centuries from the French word manteau. Alternately, it referred to a mantle fashionable in the second and third decade of the 19th century, also for women, derived from the custom of wearing a "plaid." However, since they were of open crochet or lace work, they didn't hide the face and thus were more stylish for dance assemblies. A dictionary also equates the term 'mantua-makers' with dressmakers, and says a mantua is a "woman's loose outer skirt." Mantuas were manufactured as an Edinburgh women's cottage industry in small workshops or at home.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Marshall, Fiddlecase Edition, 1978; 1822 Collection, p. 19.

Recorded sources:




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