Tournament (The)

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X:1 T:Tournament, The M:6/8 L:1/8 R:Quick Step B:William Gunn - The Caledonian Repository of Music B:Adapted for the Bagpipes (Glasgow, 1848, p. 83) Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:Amix e|ABA ABc|efe ecA|BcB Bce|gag fea| ABA ABc|efe ecA|Bcd cBe|ABA A<A:| |:e|efg a2e|faf ecA|BcB Bce|gag fec| efg a2e|faf ecA|Bcd cBe|ABA A<A:|]



TOURNAMENT, THE. Scottish, Pipe Quick Step (6/8 time). A Mixolydian. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. This quick step march in 6/8 time was perhaps inspired or composed for Archibald Earl of Eglinton's grand medieval tournament, staged at Eglinton Castle, Ayrshire, in 1839 [1]. It was the Earl's homage to Sir Walter Scott's romance Ivanhoe (1819) and 19th century Gothic revivalism. While the pageant itself was impressive and magnificent, the overflow crowds were much larger than anticipated and overwhelmed the resources planned for them. In addition, the weather was rainy and the grounds prone to marshiness and flooding, further contributing to problems with crowd control. Finally, while some made a profit from the event, the Eglinton family's fortune never recovered from the cost of the event.
The Eglinton Tournament melee combat

American writer, poet and editor Nathaniel Parker Willis [2] was one of many of those attending who found accommodations in the surrounding area completely booked; he had to wash up in the pantry of a village inn that was the bedchamber of three of the inn's maids. His account of the catastrophe appeared in his periodical, The Corsair, and seems typical of many of the hardships endured by many of the spectators:

The rain poured in a deluge. The entire park was trodden into a slough, or standing in pools of water--carts, carriages, and horsemen, with fifty thousand flying pedestrians, crowding every road and avenue. How to get home with a carriage! How the deuce to get home without one! [...] Six hours of rain, and the trampling of such an immense multitude of men and horses, had converted the soft and moist sod and soil of the park into a deep and most adhesive quagmire. Glancing through the labyrinth of vehicles on every side, and seeing men and horses with their feet completely sunk below the surface, I saw that there was no possibility of shying the matter, and that wade was the word.


Additional notes

Source for notated version: -

Printed sources : -

Recorded sources: - William Gunn (The Caledonian Repository of Music Adapted for the Bagpipes), Glasgow, 1848; p. 83.



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