Duchess of Hamilton's Strathspey (The)
DUCHESS OF HAMILTON'S STRATHSPEY, THE. AKA and see "Duchess of Hamilton." Scottish, Strathspey. G Major (Davie, Gow, Skye, Surenne): G Mixolydian (Athole). Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (Surenne): AAB (Athole, Davie, Gow, Skye): AABB' (Kerr). Composed by John Bowie. The melody in most collections begins in the mixolydian for the first strain, moving to major for the second. John Glen (1891) finds tunes with this title in Daniel Dow's c. 1775 collection (p. 11), Riddell's collection (p. 9), and Angus Cumming's 1780 collection (p. 3). This latter tune is also known as "Ruffian's Rant"). The Duchess of Hamilton and Argyll during Dow's time was the celebrated Elizabeth Gunning (1734-1790). See also the note for "Miss Gunning's Reel" for more on the Duchess. Samuel Bayard (Dance to the Fiddle, March to the Fife, 1981) recognizes a general resemblance between this tune and the Pennsylvania-collected "Hazel Dean" if the latter's notes are halved in value.
Source for notated version:
Printed sources: Carlin (The Gow Collection), 1986; No. 41. Davie (Davie’s Caledonian Repository), Aberdeen, 1829-30; p. 17. Gow (The First Collection of Niel Gow's Reels), 1784 (revised 1801); p. 24. Kerr (Merry Melodies, vol. 2), c. 1880's; No. 114, p. 14. MacDonald (The Skye Collection), 1887; p. 96. Stewart-Robertson (The Athole Collection), 1884; p. 161. Surenne (Dance Music of Scotland), 1852; pp. 120-121.
See also listings at:
Alan Snyder's Cape Breton Fiddle Recording Index