Annotation:Honorable Charles Bruce (The)

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X:1 T:Honorable Charles Bruce’s Reel, The C:Miss Magelene Stirling M:C| L:1/8 R:Jig B:John Bowie – “Collection of strathspey reels & country dances &c.” B:(Edinburgh, c. 1789, p. 20) F: Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:Bb V:1 d|BFDB GBFB|EBDB C/C/C CF|BFDF Bdfd|Tc(Bc)d B/B/B B:| d|B/B/B (dB) fBbd|Bdfd Tc>(Bc)d|B/B/B dB fBbd|Tc>Bcd B/B/B Bd| B/B/B dB fBbd|Bdfd Tc>Bcd|BGFD FGBg|fdcd B/B/B B|| V:2 clef = bass z|D,2B,,2E,2D,2|C,2B,,2F,2E,2|D,2B,,2D,2B,2|E,2F,2B,,2B,:| z|D,2B,2D2B,2|D2B,2A,2F,2|D,2B,,2D,2B,2|E,2F,2B,,2 z2| D,2B,,2D,2B,2|D2B,2E,2F,2|G,2B,2D,2 G,E,|F,2F,,2B,,2B,||

HONORABLE CHARLES BRUCE, THE. Scottish, Reel (cut time). B Flat Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB. "The Honorable Charles Bruce" was composed by Miss Magdalene Stirling (1765–1846) of Ardoch, and was first printed in in Perthshire fiddler-composer biography:John Bowie's c. 1789 collection where she was credited with the composition. Magdelene was the youngest of five daughters of Christian Erskine and Sir William Stirling, the 4th Baronet of Ardoch, and from an old Perthshire family, a branch of whom held lands in the parish of Muthill. She was a friend of fiddler-composer and Edinburgh music publishers Niel Gow and his son Nathaniel, who included a few of her compositions in their publications. She also had compositions published under her own name in an age where women composers frequently chose to remain anonymous, perhaps the most famous of which is "Perthshire Hunt (The)". Some of her work also was published without attribution, including by the Gows. Miss Stirling privately published her collection in 1796, and a small volume of her melodies was publicly issued in 1812. Magdalene was also a sister-in-law of Ebenezer Oliphant, a subscriber for whom Bowie composed a few tunes in his c. 1789 collection (see "Mr. Oliphant of Condie's)."

Charles Andrew Bruce (1768–1810) was briefly Governor of the East India Company's outpost of Prince of Wales Island (now called Penang, Malaysia) from March 24, 1810, until his death in office in December 1810. He probably succumbed to Malaria, so rampant on the island that Penang earned the epithet "the White Man's Grave". Bruce was one of the sons of Charles Bruce (1732-1771), 5th Earl of Elgin and Martha Bruce, Countess of Elgin and Kincardine (1739–1810) and a brother of the collector Thomas Bruce, 7th Earl of Elgin.

Additional notes

Printed sources : - John Bowie (Collection of strathspey reels & country dances &c.), Edinburgh, c. 1789; p. 20. Glen (Collection of Scottish Dance Music, vol. 1), 1891; p. 41. Stirling (Twelve Tunes), 1812; p. 4.

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