Mar Castle (1)

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MAR CASTLE [1]. Scottish, "Pastoral Air" (4/4 time). E Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (Hardie): AAB (Hunter, Skinner). Composed by J. Scott Skinner (1843-1927), the tune appears in both his Scottish Violinist (1900) and Harp and Claymore (1904) collections. In the engraver's copy editor Gavin Grieg noted that the air (which he originally categorized as a strathspey--Skinner corrected him) was "for Alexander Troup, Ballater."

J. Scott Skinner



Mar is an ancient district of south west Aberdeenshire, subdivided into Braemar, Midmar and Cromar. There are several "Castles of Mar," namely Midmar, Fyvie, Castle Fraser, Cragievar and Crathes Castle, were built by a prominent family of Bell masons, headed by Master Mason George Bell whose "signature" is inscribed right into the walls of the castles (which are, strictly speaking, baronial dwellings rather than real castles). The castles are located outside of Aberdeenshire, Scotland.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Hardie (Caledonian Companion), 1992; p. 99. Hunter (Fiddle Music of Scotland), 1988; No. 155. Skinner (Harp and Claymore Collection), 1904; p. 10. Skinner (The Scottish Violinist), 1900; p. 36.

Recorded sources:

See also listing at:
Alan Snyder's Cape Breton Fiddle Recordings Index [1]
See editor Gavin Greig's hand-written notation for the tune at the Univ. of Aberdeen's Skinner site [2]
Hear/see Bonnie Rideout play the tune on youtube.com [3] (2nd in medley, preceded by "Wolfe O' Badenoch (The)" and followed by "Devil and the Dirk (The)").




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