Loch Earn

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X:1 T:Loch Earn M:C L:1/8 R:Reel S:Gow - 2nd Collection of Niel Gow's Reels (1788) Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion K:G D|[G,2D2B2g2] dB ~G2 BG|~E2 AE FDDd|Tg2 dB ~G2 BG|EAFD G2G:|| d|(ef).g.e fgab|(gfg).e fddf|(ef)ge (fg)ag|(Tfe)fd g2 Bd| efge dBgB|ceBd .A(FTED)|GABG EGce|dBcA G2G|]



LOCH EARN REEL. AKA and see "Jumping Joan (2)." Scottish (originally), Canadian; Reel. Canada, Cape Breton. G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (Honeyman, Surenne): AAB (most versions). One of the better compositions by Nathaniel Gow (opines Francis Collinson), 1763-1831, who claimed 197 tunes; it is sometimes erroneously listed under Niel Gow's name (Skye) or as the ambiguous "N. Gow". It is certainly one of Nathaniel's most enduring compositions.

Loch Earn is in the west of Strathearn, Perthshire, Scotland, out of which the River Earn flows east to eventually join the River Tay Estuary. Unusually, the loch has a tide-like phenomenon (though unrelated to the moon) called a seiching, in which wind action over the surface of the water sets up an oscillating cycle resulting in a rise and drop of water levels over a 16-hour period. There exists a ruin called Loch Earn Castle, once the stronghold of the MacNeishes from the year 1250 to the mid-15th century. Reduced to plundering the country-side, the MacNeishes made the mistake of preying on the McNabs to the north, who responded with a daring raid that culminated in the utter destruction of the MacNeish clan. The McNab crest historically sports a depiction of the dead McNeish chief's head.

Loch Earn c. 1860


Additional notes
Source for notated version : - Joe Cormier (Cape Breton/Mass.) [Brody].

Printed sources : - Anderson (Anderson's Budget of Strathspeys, Reels & Country Dances), c. 1820; p. 9. Anonymous (A Companion to the reticule), 1833; p. 27. Brody (Fiddler's Fakebook), 1983; p. 172. Glen (The Glen Collection of Scottish Dance Music), vol. 2, 1895; p. 15. Gow (2nd Collection of Niel Gow's Reels), 1788; p. 2. Henderson (Flowers of Scottish Melody), 1935. Honeyman (Strathspey, Reel and Hornpipe Tutor), 1898; p. 31. Hunter (Fiddle Music of Scotland), 1988; No. 198. Kerr (Merry Melodies, vol. 1), c. 1880; Set 11, No. 4, p. 8. J. Kenyon Lees (Balmoral Reel Book), c. 1910; p. 6. Joseph Lowe (Lowe's Collection of Reels, Strathspeys and Jigs, book 1), 1844–1845; p. 11. MacDonald (The Skye Collection), 1887; p. 94. Moffat (Dance Music of the North), 1908; No. 25, p. 10. O'Farrell (Pocket Companion, vol. IV), c. 1810; p. 134 (appears as "Lough Earn"). Preston (Preston's Twenty-Four Country Dances for the Year 1804), 1804; No. 528, p. 224. Stewart-Robertson (The Athole Collection), 1884; p. 160. Surenne (Dance Music of Ireland), 1852; p. 24.

Recorded sources : - Beltona BL2128 (78 RPM), The Edinburgh Highland Reel and Strathspey Society (1936). Rounder 7012, Winnie Chafe- "Highland Melodies." Rounder 7004, Joe Cormier- "The Dances Down Home" (1977). Smiddymade SMD615, Pete Clark - Even Now: The Music of Niel Gow."

See also listing at :
Alan Snyder's Cape Breton Fiddle Recording Index [1]
Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [2]



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