Highland Battle (A)

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HIGHLAND BATTLE, A. Scottish, Fiddle Pibroch. D Mixolydian. Standard tuning (fiddle). A programmatic piece composed (probably) by James Oswald (1711-1769) for the fiddle descriptive of a battle between the clans. It is divided into separate sections called "The March," "They Mend Their Pace," "The Battle Begins," "The Height of the Battle," "The Preparation for a Retreat," "The Chief is Killed," "The Retreat," and "Lamentation for the Chief." Johnson (1983) believes Oswald derived the idea for this kind of many-part descriptive pibroch from 16th century European battle pieces, and was perhaps especially influenced by a harpsichord suite by the English composer William Byrd entitled "The Battell." See also Oswald's similarly-themed "Marsail Lochinalie."

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Oswald (Caledonian Pocket Companion, Book 9), c. 1760; p. 6. Johnson (Scottish Fiddle Music in the 18th Century), 1984; No. 58, pp. 138-140.

Recorded sources:




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