Mill (Da)

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MILL, DA. Scottish, March (4/4 time). Scotland, Shetland Islands. A Mixolydian. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. Christine Martin (2002) says the tune is a work tune, imitating the sound of a mill, and should be played very freely. The key is usually given as A mixolydian, but the tonality hovers between that and D major. A note with the tune in Anderson & Swing's Haand Me Doon da Fiddle (1979) records:

Ida auld days dey wir nae shop loaf bread an baps, an whit shops dere wis keepit very little flour or aetmael. Folk grund dir bere and aets in mills. Dey wir two kinds: da haand mill it wis keepit ida barn an da watermill it stõd it da side o da burn. Sometimes when dey hed a lok ta grind and dey wir plenty o' water dey wid grind maist o' da night. Dis tün wis made up be some een ta eemitate da motion o' da mill an du can hear foo shü rins roond an roond an sometimes seems to haver when shu gits ower muckle coarn. Nea doobt dey wir mony mill tüns in Shetland at ee time an we're still finnin dem here an dere. In Norrawa dey hed mill tüns as weel, an dey still mind a lok o' dem.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Anderson & Swing (Haand me doon da fiddle), 1979; No. 36 [1]. Martin (Traditional Scottish Fiddling), 2002; p. 98.

Recorded sources: Philo 2019, Tom Anderson & Aly Bain - "The Silver Bow: Shetland Folk Fiddling" (1976). Topic TSCD469, Tom Anderson & Aly Bain - "The Silver Bow: Shetland Folk Fiddling."




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