Pennycuick House

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PENNYCUICK HOUSE. Scottish, Slow Air (6/8 time). C Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. Composed by Niel Gow, Jr. (c. 1795-1823), the son of Nathaniel Gow (1763-1831) and the grandson of family scion, fiddler-composer Niel Gow (1727-1807). While it looks like a jig on paper, Gow directed it be played ‘Slowly’. The younger Niel briefly joined his father’s music publishing firm, and was showing great promise as a talented performer and composer before his untimely death. His father collected and published his son’s compositions in a Collection of Slow Airs, Strathspeys and Reels, being the Posthumous Compositions of the late Niel Gow, Junior, dedicated to the Right Honourable, the Earl of Dalhousie, by his much obliged servant, Nathaniel Gow (Edinburgh, 1849).

Pennycuick House, Midlothian, Scotland, takes its name from the nearby village of Pennycuick, anciently spelled Penicok, from the Gaelic Pen-y-coc, or the Cuckoo’s Hill. The mansion, which featured a Grecian portico of eight columns, was built in 1761 by Sir James Clerk, Baronet, and was surrounded by a wooded park containing Ossian's Hall.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Johnson (A Twenty Year Anniversary Collection), 2003; p. 9.

Recorded sources: Fiddletree Music, John Turner et al - "Fiddling Rogues and Rascals" (2003).




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