Biography:Malcolm MacDonald

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Malcolm MacDonald

 Given name:     Malcolm
 Middle name:     
 Family name:     MacDonald
 Place of birth:     
 Place of death:     Inver, Perthshire
 Year of birth:     1750
 Year of death:     
 Profile:     Composer, Musician
 Source of information:     

Biographical notes

Biographical Sketches of Early Scottish Musicians and Musicsellers
(by John Glen, from a forward to The Glen Collection of Scottish Dance Music, Edinburgh, 1891)

MALCOLM M’DONALD. Malcom M’Donald published four collections of Strathspey Reels, &c. The first of these, as its title-page indicates, was entirely made up of his own exclusive compositions; but the subsequent three contain a number of tunes which are unquestionably the productions of other musicians. Many of the tunes composed by, or attributed to M’Donald, are of that strange wild nature so characteristic of the compositions of Daniel Dow.

Of M’Donald’s personal history little or no authentic information can be obtained. The place of his birth is unknown. His second and subsequent collections, however, bear on them that, at the time of their appearance, he resided “at Dunkeld.” The present editor has been informed that his residence was at Inver, in the Parish of Little Dunkeld; and in the list of Subscribers to Niel Gow’s Second Collection, we find the entry “Mr. Malcolm Macdonald, Inver.”

In a footnote appended to M’Donald’s Reel “Lady Haddo,” in Part II of The Beauties of Niel Gow (a work published by Nathaniel Gow), we are informed that M’Donald played the violoncello to Niel after the death of the latter’s brother Donald Gow.

M’Donald is said to have died at Inver, but we can find no record of the date of his death. He is supposed, however, to have predeceased Niel Gow by a few years. The Parish Registers of the locality were burned or otherwise destroyed about the beginning of the present century, for the supposed purpose of preventing information being procured regarding the ages of persons required to join the Volunteers, Fencibles, or Militia of that period.