Mathematician (The)

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MATHEMATICIAN, THE. Scottish, Hornpipe. D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). ABB' (Hardie): AA'BB (Skinner). Composed by J. Scott Skinner for a Dr. Clark, Cairo, it appears in his Scottish Violinist (1900) and Harp and Claymore (1904) collections. Clark was an academic at Aberdeen University prior to his move to Egypt. The tune is technically demanding on the left hand, and Donegal fiddler John Doherty held the view (according to Alun Evans) that Skinner wrote it "to fool the country fiddlers."

J. Scott Skinner



Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Hardie (Caledonian Companion), 1992; pg. 97. Skinner (Harp and Claymore Collection), 1904. Skinner (The Scottish Violinist), 1900; p. 45. Skinner (Harp and Claymore), 1904; p. 130.

Recorded sources: Flying Fish FF 70572, Frank Ferrel - "Yankee Dreams: Wicked Good Fiddling from New England" (1991). Green Linnet Records SIF 1058, Matt Molloy & Sean Keane - "Contentment is Wealth" (1985). Green Linnet SIF-1101, Sean Keane - "Playing with Fire: the Celtic Fiddle Collection" (1989).

See also listings at:
Alan Snyder's Cape Breton Fiddle Recording Index [1]
Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [2]
Alan Ng's Irishtune.info [3]
See J. Scott Skinner's handwritten manuscript of the tune at the Univ. of Aberdeen's Skinner site [4]
See Gavin Greig's ms. setting for the Harp and Claymore [5]




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