Merry Making (1) (The)

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MERRY MAKING, THE (A' Chridhealachd). Scottish, Pipe Reel. F Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABCCD (Cranford/Holland): AABB'CCD (Fraser, Stewart-Robertson). "The Highlands of Banffshire, extending south of the Spey, have been long famous for the best dancers of the strathspeys, which must have been well performed to inspire them sufficiently. In this district also lie the most picturesque scenery, the finest sporting grounds and deer forests, perhaps in Great Britain, belonging to the Duke of Gordon, Earl of Fife, &c., long inaccessible to strangers, from the badness of the roads, and want of bridges. (This tune) is one of the pipe-reels referred to in Note 13" (Fraser). Emmerson (1971) suggests the tune may have been written for a bellows-pipe ("they have the staccato characteristics of the 'closed' chanter"), like the Irish Union pipes or the Northumbrian small-pipes, which were known in the Highlands and the Isles before the 18th century.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Cranford (Jerry Holland: The Second Collection), 2000; No. 175, p. 66. Emmerson (Rantin' Pipe and Tremblin' String), 1971; No. 46, p. 138. Fraser (The Airs and Melodies Peculiar to the Highlands of Scotland and the Isles), 1816; No. 36, p. 12. Manson (Hamilton's Universal Tune Book, vol. 1), 1853; No. 2, p. 2. Stewart-Robertson (The Athole Collection), 1884; p. 231.

Recorded sources: Culburnie COL 113D, Aladair Fraser & Tony McManus - "Return to Kintail" (1999).

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