Mrs. Duncan's Reel
X:1 T:Mrs. Duncan’s Reel M:C| L:1/8 R:Reel B:MacDonald – 2nd Collection of Stathspey Reels (1789) Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:Cmin g | c<cgc ecgc | e<cgc dBBd | c<cgc ecge | dbfg ecc :|| G | (cde)c GcEc | DBFB DB,B,G | cdec GcEc | DEFD ECCG | (cde)c GeFd | EcFB DB,FD | Ccec =Bdfa | gfed ecc ||
MRS. DUNCAN. Scottish, Reel. C Minor (Gow, MacDonald, Stewart-Robertson): D Mixolydian (Anderson). Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB. Composed by Nathaniel Gow (1763-1831), it appears in his Fourth Collection (1800) though the melody had previously been published by MacDonald in 1789. Malcolm MacDonald was the bass player in Gow's band at the time and probably heard him play it he may or may not have realized the composition was Nathaniel's own. Another early appearance of the melody was as "Mrs. Duncan's Reel," published by Alexander Leburn in his collection of 1793, and who listed himself as the composer. John Glen (1895) is inclined to credit him with the composition of the tune, notwithstanding Nathaniel Gow's claim, apparently on the evidence of Leburn's word and the respective dates of publication. MacDonald included several tunes by other composers in his 2nd collection, and did not give composer credit to any.
Edinburgh-based musician John Anderson set the tune in D mixolydian in his c. 1820 volume, and the composition works quite well in that mode.
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