Lady Ann Stewart's Strathspey

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X:1 T:Lady Ann Stewart's Favorite Strathspey M:C L:1/16 R:Strathspey B:Nathaniel Gow - single sheet issue of five tunes (Edinburgh, 1802) B:Nathaniel Gow - Beauties of Niel Gow, Part First (1818) Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion K:Bb (f/g/a)|b2f2-f3g Tf4 {ef}d2_ef|g3Bf3B A2c2c3a|b2f2f3g Tf4 {=ef}d2B2|(ABc2) {B}A3G F2B2B2:| dc|B2d2G2B2 F2B2D3c|(Bcd2) Tc3B A2c2-c3d|B2d2G2B2 F2B2D3B|(ABc2) {B}A3G F2B2B2 dc| B2d2G2B2 F2B2D3c|(Bcde) f3B Ac-cdc|B2.D2.E2.F2 .G3.AB2g2|fB3 {B}A3G F2B2-B2||



LADY ANN STEWART'S STRATHSPEY. AKA - "Lady Ann Stewart." Scottish, Strathspey. B Flat Major (Gow): C Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB. "Lady Ann Stewart's Favorite Strathspey" was composed and published by Edinburgh bandleader, violinist, composer and music publisher Nathaniel Gow (1763-1831), and first printed in 1803 on a single sheet issue containing five tunes (including "Cassencarrie, "China Orange-Man (The)," "Carolane'sCarolan's Purse," and "Dawning of the Day (The)"). Gow reprinted the tune sixteen years later in his first Beauties of Niel Gow collection. The strathspey was fashionable for a few years at society balls and events, but was easily confused with a contemporary tune and dance, "Lady Ann Stuart," and with the various spellings "Stuart/Stewart". Paul Cooper, dance and music researcher at Regency Dances suggests a candidate for the person of Gow's title was Lady Anne Stewart (c. 1742-1821), widow and cousin of Sir John Stewart (c. 1740-1797), 5th Baronet of Castlemilk, however, Notley notes that there are other viable candidates as well[1].

"Lady Ann Stewart's Strathspy" was also entered (as "Lady Ann Steuart") into the music copybook [1] of John Buttery (1784-1854), a fifer with the 37th Regiment, British army, who served from 1797-1814 and who late in life emigrated to Canada. Buttery's manuscript collection has also been identified as belonging to John Fife [2], with a suggested date of 1780. Fife, however, was a family name (as was Buttery), identified with the manuscript but Fife was not the author. Buttery set the tune as a reel rather than as a strathspey, in the fife-friendly key of 'G'.


Additional notes



Printed sources : - Anderson (Anderson's Budget of Strathspeys, Reels & Country Dances), c. 1820; p. 17. Elias Howe (Musician’s Omnibus Nos. 6 & 7), Boston, 1880-1882; p. 619. Gow (The Beauties of Niel Gow), 1818; p. . Laybourn (Köhler’s Violin Repository Book 3), 1885; p. 246. Manson (Hamilton's Universal Tune Book, vol. 1), 1844, p. 15. Surenne (Dance Music of Scotland), 1852; pp. 74-75. Wheatstone & Voight (A Selection of Elegant & Fashionable Country Dances, Reels, Waltz's &c. Book 1st), c. 1806; .






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  1. See Paul Cooper, "Lady Ann Stewart's Favorite Strathspey", Regency Dances [2].
  2. Early American Secular Music and Its European Sources, https://www.cdss.org/elibrary/Easmes/Index.htm