MacPherson's Rant (1)

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MACPHERSON'S RANT [1]. AKA- "MacPherson's Lament," "MacPherson's Testament." Scottish, English; Slow Air, Rant, Reel or Strathspey. England, Northumberland. F Major (Emmerson, Gow, Vickers): C Major (Johnson): G Major (Martin, Skinner). Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (Martin, Skinner): AABB (Emmerson/Gow): AABBCC (Vickers): ABCB (Johnson). Essentially the same tune as that entitled "MacPherson's Lament" or "MacPherson's Farewell", although versions with the 'rant' title seem, on the whole, to be dancable; see MacPherson's Lament for more. The melody appears in the Bodleian Manuscript (in the Bodleian Library, Oxford), inscribed "A Collection of the Newest Country Dances Performed in Scotland written by Edinburgh by D.A. Young, W.M. 1740." A related version also appears in Angus Cumming's 1780 collection (p. 12, see "Macpherson's Rant (2)"), and Gow's Repository, Part First, 1799. Matt Seattle notes that versions of "MacPherson's Lament/Rant/Testament" vary widely, and finds William Vickers' 1770 Northumbrian version to be within the span of variants in the first two parts, although is of the opinion that Vickers' third strain needs 'extensive reworking' to be playable. Johnson (1984) states that his version, reprinted from the Sinkler Manuscript (1710, as "MacPherson's Testament"), is the earliest known fiddle tune in strathspey rhythm.

Source for notated version: Sinkler Manuscript [D. Johnson]; William Vickers' 1770 music manuscript collection [1] [Seattle].

Printed sources: Emmerson (Rantin' Pipe and Tremblin' String), 1971; No. 47, p. 139. Hunter (Fiddle Music of Scotland), 1988; No. 10. Johnson (Scottish Fiddle Music in the 18th Century), 1984; No. 5, p. 23. Martin (Ceol na Fidhle), vol. 2, 1988; p. 27. Martin (Traditional Scottish Fiddling), 2002; p. 32. Seattle (Great Northern/William Vickers), 1987, Part 2; No. 397. Skinner (Harp and Claymore), 1904; p. 149.

Recorded sources:




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