Gordon F. MacQuarrie

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Gordon F. MacQuarrie


 Given name:     Gordon
 Middle name:     F
 Family name:     MacQuarrie
 Place of birth:     
 Place of death:     
 Year of birth:     1897
 Year of death:     1965
 Profile:     Collector, Composer, Musician, Publisher
 Source of information:     

Biographical notes[edit]

Editor and compiler of the Cape Breton Scottish Music Collection (Boston, 1940), a collection of mostly original compositions of Gordon F. MacQuarrie and his local contemporaries, the first published book of Cape Breaton fiddle music. MacQuarrie had a sense of humor: a 1967 publication is called Stories of the Old Duck Hunters and Other Drivel. MacQuarrie was also a Highland bagpiper. John G. Gibson, in his Traditional Gaelic Bagpiping, 1745-1945 (2000), records:

Perhaps the most interesting of the rank and file Cape Breton Highlander pipe band pipers was Gordon MacQuarrie. Sutherland described him as an ear-learner piper who did not have the obair urlair (Sandy Boyd said that he had an "open style"). However, MacQuarrie fell into a quite different category from Sutherland and Boyd. MacQuarrie was both a reader and writer of music who was fluent and literate in both Gaelic and English. The orginal printing of The Cape Breton Collection of Scottish Melodies, compiled and arranged by Gordon F. MacQuarrie, was done in 1940. Sutherland told me that while the regiment was in Perth, Scotland, Red Gordon MacQuarrie wrote letters in Gaelic to the BBC in Scotland. MacQuarrie, like Black Angus MacDonald from Mount Young, obviously chose to continue to play the bagpipes by ear. For both men literate piping was an inadequate form of expression.