Miss Dundas of Arniston

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MISS DUNDAS OF ARNISTON. Scottish, Reel. D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB. The tune is attributed to Edinburgh fiddler-composer, music publisher and bandleader Nathaniel Gow (1763-1831). However, a variant of the tune appears in the music manuscript collection of Northumbrian musician William Vickers as "Sailor's Wedding," which, while somewhat distanced is none-the-less a cognate tune. It may be that Gow 'polished' and renamed an older melody.

Gow's title may refer to a daughter of Robert Dundas (1753-1819) of Arniston, a Scottish judge and politician. He served a term as an MP from Midlothian (1790-1796), was a Solicitor General and Lord Advocate, and was Baron Exchequer for Scotland from 1801 until his death. The elder of his daughters was Ann(e) Dundas (1791-1833), who married John Borthwick of Crookston (1788-1845).

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Carlin (The Gow Collection), 1986; No. 281. Gow (Fourth Collection of Niel Gow’s Reels), 2nd ed., originally 1800; p. 19. Stewart-Robertson (The Athole Collection), 1884; p. 119.

Recorded sources: Smiddymade SMD615, Pete Clark – Even Now: The Music of Niel Gow.”




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