Vaunting (The)

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X:1 T:Vaunting, The C:R. MacDonald Esqr. of Morar Q:"Andante" M:C L:1/8 R:Pipe Pibroch B:Angus MacKay - A Collection of Ancient Piobaireachd or Highland Bagpipe Music (Edinburgh, 1838, No. 27) Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion K:Amin eG A2 B/B/ A2G|eB/B/ B2 eB/B/ B2|d/B/ A2G B/B/A2G|eA/A/ A2 eA/A/ A2:| eG A2 G/d/G/B/ A2|eB/B/ B2 eB/B/ B2|d/B/ A2G B/B/A2G|eA/A/ A2 eA/A/ A2| eG A2 G/d/G/B/ A2|eB/B/ B2 B>e e2|d/B/ A2G B/B/A2G|eA/A/ A2 eA/A/ A2|| P:Variation 1 eG A2 G>BA<A|eB/B/ B2 eB/B/ B2|G>dA<A G>BA<!fermata!B|eA/A/A2 eA/A/ A2:| eG A2 G>eA<!fermata!d|eB/B/ B2 eB/B/ B2|G>BA<A G>BA<!fermata!B|eA/A/ A2 eA/A/ A2| eG A2 G>eA<!fermata!d|eB/B/ B2 eB/B/B2|G>eA<d G>BA<!fermata!B|eA/A/ A2 eA/A/ A2|| P:"Doubling of Variation 1" M:C L:1/16 G3AAA3 GB3AA3|B3BBB3 B3BBB3|G3dAA3 G3BAB3|A3AAA3 A3AAA3:| G3AAA3 G3eAd3|B3BBB3 B3BBB3|G3dAA3 GB3AB3|A3AAA3 A3AAA3| G3AAA3 Ge3Ad3|B3BBB3 B3BBB3|Ge3Ad3 GB3AB3|A3AAA3 A3AAA3|| P:"Trebling of Variation 1" |:B3AAA3 GB3AA3|AB3AB3 AB3AB3|Gd3AA3 GB3AB3|A3AAA3 A3AAA3:| G3AAA3 Ge3Ad3|AB3AA3 AB3AB3|Gd3AA3 GB3AB3|A3AAA3 A3AAA3| G3AAA3 Ge3Ad3|AB3AB3 AB3AB3|Ge3Ad3 GB3AB3|A3GAA3 A3AAA3|| P:Variation 2 M:6/8 L:1/8 G>AA A>AA|B>AA B2G|d>BA B2G|A>AA A>AA| G>AA e>AA|d>BA B2G|d>BB B2G|A>AA A>AA| G>AA e>AA|d>BA B2G|e>AA B2G|A>AA A>AA|| P:"Doubling of Variation 2 |:G>AA A>AA|B>AA B>AA|d>BA B>AA|A>AA A>AA:| G>AA e>AA|d>BA B>AA|d>BA B>AA|A>AA A>AA| G>AA e>AA|d>BA B>AA|e>AA B>AA|A>AA A>AA|| P:"Trebling of Variation 2" |:G>AA A>AA B>BB B>BB|B>dd B>BB|A>AA A>AA:| G>AA e>AA|B>dd B>BB|B>dd B>BB|A>AA A>AA| G>AA e>AA|B>dd B>BB|e>AA B>BB|A>AA A>A!fermata!|| P:"Crun-luath" |:GA/e/ e AA/e/e|BA/e/e B2G|dB/e/e B2G|AA/e/e AA/e/e:| GA/e/e eA/e/e|dB/e/e B2G|dB/e/e B2G|AA/e/e AA/e/e| GA/e/e eA/e/e|dB/e/e B2G|eA/e/e B2G|AA/e/e AA/e/e|| P:"Doubling of Crun-luath" |:GA/e/e AA/e/e|BA/e/e BA/e/e|dB/e/e BA/e/e|AA/e/e AA/e/e:| GA/e/e eA/e/e|dB/e/e BA/e/e|dB/e/e BA/e/e|AA/e/e AA/e/e| GA/e/e eA/e/e|dB/e/e BA/e/e|eZ/e/e BA/e/e|AA/e/e AA/e/e|| P:"Trebling of Crun-luath" |:GA/e/e AA/e/e|BB?e/e BB?e/e|Bd/e/e BB/e/e|AA/e/e AA/e/e:| GA/e/e eA/e/e|Bd/e/e BB?e/e|Bd/e/e BB?e/e|AA/e/e AA/e/e| GA/e/e e/e/e|Bd/e/e BB/e/e|eZ/e/e BB/e/e|AA/e/e AA/e/!fermata!e!D.C.!"Thema al fine||



VAUNTING, THE. Scottish, Pibroch. A piece of piobaireachd music attributed to Ranald MacAilean Og of Cross on the Island of Eigg (c. 1662–1741), said to have been a good performer on harp and fiddle, though he was best known as a piper (he was Piper of the family of MacDonald of Morar). There are numerous stories and legends about Ranald, colorful and robust. He is said to have been a man of enormous physical strength—he stopped a mill-wheel turning at full speed, and was called upon to hold down the dying chief of Clanranald, Evil Donald (Domhnall Dona Mac ‘ic Ailean), when the Devil came to claim him in payment for a debt Donald owed. Ranald was supposed to have overcome the ghost of a headless woman that was terrorizing the district of Morar and Arisaig. He was known to have been on good terms with the local witches (though he avoided participating in their rites), and they warned him that they had forseen impending danger, saving him from drowning on the river Lochy. In his old age he became blind and bedridden, but scarcely diminished in temper, for if he thought himself neglected by his kin he would lull them into approaching by his pleasant talk and calm demeanor, then cuff them a terrible blow about the head (Sanger & Kinnaird, Tree of Strings, 1992).

MacAilean is said to have composed the tune for a bagpipe student who had taken severely ill, and thought himself dying. It was originally intended as a lament, but the pupil insisted on hearing it before he expired. MacAilean played the tune for him, and the man remarkably recovered afterwards. "The Vaunting" was the title given to the piece, boasting of the powers of recovery of the tune.

Rodrick Cannon's 2009 researches produced this note[1]

Donald MacDonald implies a different interpretation. His story is that the tune was composed by while the subject was still alive, but ill and expecting to die, but when he heard it played he was so delighted that he recovered. When asked what he would do with the tune, the subject replied ‘We’ll make a Boalich of it’ which according to MacDonald ‘signifies Drollery’. But MacKay (KB, p.8) calls it ‘Boasting’ and Dwelly defines it as ‘idle talk, vain boasting, blustering, bombast’. In old competition records the name is also translated as ‘The Rage of Drunkenness’, according to the Piobaireachd Society editors (PS Book 7, p. 194).

The air was published in Angus MacKay’s Ancient Piobaireachd under the title "A Bhoilich. The Vaunting" and attributed to 'R. MacDonald Esqr. of Morar.'


Additional notes



Printed sources : - Archibald Campbell (Kilberry Book of Ceol Mor), 1948; no. 56. MacKay (Collection of Ancient Piobaireachd or Highland Pipe Music), 1838; no. 27, pp. 66–67. The Piobaireachd Society, Piobaireachd, book 7; p. 193. Thomason (Ceol Mor), p. 125.



See also listing at :
See/hear the tune played on bagpipes on youtube.com [1]
Hear the tune played on bagpipe by Pipe Major John D. Burgess MBEat Tobar an Dualchais [2]



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  1. Alt Pibroch Club--Music Materials, PS 235 The Vaunting [3]
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