Mr. Nisbet of Dirleton’s Favorite

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MR. NISBET OF DIRLETON’S FAVORITE. Scottish, Slow Air (whole time). A Minor. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. Composed by William Hamilton Nisbet (1747-1822), an East Lothian laird who lived at Dirleton Castle, and “a gentleman distinguished for his classic taste and other acquirements. He was a very good amateur musician and a member of the Edinburgh Musical Society for much of his life. In 1779 he was elected a member of parliament representing East Lothian. Nisbet and his wife travelled abroad at least twice (as far as Constantinople in 1801-1802) and collected art, including Old Masters in Italy. The male line ended with him, and his estate devolved to his daughter, Mrs. Hamilton Nisbet Ferguson of Raith (1777-1855), previously the Countess of Elgin. See the notes for “Tail Toddle/Tail Todle” and “Sow’s Tail (for Geordie)” for more on Nisbet. Period tunes were also composed for Nisbet’s daughter—see “Miss Nisbet of Dirleton” and “Miss Nisbet of Dirleton’s Minuet.”

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Gow (Sixth Collection of Strathspey Reels), 1822; p. 6.

Recorded sources:




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