Keiking Glasse (The)

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KEIKING GLASSE, THE. Scottish, Air (4/4 time). F Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). ABB. The melody appears in the Skene Manuscript (c. 1620), one of the most important early collections of Scottish music. It is a personal music-book in tablature for the mandour or mandore (a small Renaissance lute). Dauney, in Ancient Scotish Melodies, (1838) dismisses it as "in the style of the masque tunes of the reign of James VI.; without any tincture of Scottish melody."

A 'keiking glasse' is a mirror, a convenience that is mentioned as being hawked by peddlers in the 15th century, probably of poor quality. Queen Mary is recorded as having "ane fair steill glas" and a small faceted mirror described as "ane uther less, schawing monie faces in the visie." By the next century mirrors were in general use, albeit probably small and personal. An old song goes:

Sweet Sir, of your courtesie,
When ye come by the Bass then,
For the love ye bear to me
By me a keiking glass then!

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Carlin (Master Collection), 1984; No. 130, p. 81.

Recorded sources: Alison Kinnaird - "The Keiking Glasse."




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