Annotation:Miss Mary Balfour’s Strathspey

Find traditional instrumental music

Back to Miss Mary Balfour’s Strathspey

MISS MARY BALFOUR’S STRATHSPEY. AKA - "Mary Balfour." Scottish, Strathspey. E Minor. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB. Composed by John Gow (1764-1826), youngest son of famed Scots fiddler-composer Niel Gow (1727-1807). John, along with his older brother Andrew, established a branch of the Gow family publishing business in London in 1788. They were the English distributors of the Gow publications, but also published independently.

Miss Mary Balfour, a poet who ran a school for young ladies, was on a committee with Irish collector Edward Bunting and Dr. James MacDonnell founded in 1808 to teach blind children to play the harp in the traditional Irish manner. In 1810 she published her own volume in Belfast, called Hope, a Poetical Essay with Other Various Poems, which included translations from Irish. She also contributed translations to Bunting's 1809 Second Collection (see "The blush of morn at length appears", her poem set to the air "Dawning of the Day", which was stated to be a literal translation of the Irish, although was not).

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Carlin (The Gow Collection), 1986; No. 136. Gow (Fifth Collection of Strathspey Reels), 1809; p. 31.

Recorded sources:

Back to Miss Mary Balfour’s Strathspey