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Welcome to The Traditional Tune Archive
    The Semantic Index of North American, British and Irish
 traditional instrumental music with annotations, formerly known as
                          The Fiddler's Companion.
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Brechin Castle

Played by: Soomee85
Source: Instagram
Image: Brechin Castle, Angus

Brechin Castle

BRECHIN CASTLE [1]. AKA and see - Miss Douglas of Brigton, Lady Harriot Hay's Strathspey. Scotland, Strathspey. B Flat Major (most versions): A Mixolydian (McLachlan). Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (Surenne): AAB (Balmoral, Gow, Hunter): AABB (Honeyman, Kerr, McLachlan, Skye): AABB' (Athole). A popular and frequently published strathspey. The melody was known by the alternate titles until Gow published it under the "Brechin Castle" title in his 1st Repository (1799). The name Brechin is purportedly derived from Brychan the son of Brychan, who moved to the area from southern Wales. The Round Tower at Brechin probably dates from around c. 990 when Kenneth II took control of the area. Subsequently, around 1150, a cathedral and bishopric were founded there. Hunter (1988) notes that Brechin Castle [1] is the seat of the Earls of Dalhousie. "Brechin Castle" (misspelled as "Brichin Castle") was also entered into the music copybook [2] of John Buttery (1784-1854), a fifer with the 37th Regiment, British army, who served from 1797-1814 and who late in life emigrated to Canada. Buttery's manuscript collection has also been identified as belonging to John Fife [1], with a suggested date of 1780. Fife was a family name, like Buttery, identified with the manuscript. The fifer set it in the fife-friendly key of 'G' major, in reel time, rather than as a strathspey.

...more at: Brechin Castle - full Score(s) and Annotations


X:1 T:Brichan [sic] Castle T:Brechan Castle [1] M:C| L:1/8 R:Reel S:The Buttery Manuscript (c. 1784-1820, No. 831) N:John Buttery (1784-1854) joined the 34th Regiment in Lincoln, N:Lincolnshire, England, in 1797 and served as a fifer until discharged in N:1814. His large ms. contains marches, duty calls, dance tunes and airs. N:EASMES identifies this as the Fife MS. and suggests a date of 1780, see N: https://www.cdss.org/elibrary/Easmes/Index.htm Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:G G/G/G G2 GBdB|G/G/G G2 FAFD|G/G/G G2 GBdB|ceBd AGFD:| |:dG c/B/A/G/ dG ce|dG c/B/A/G/ FAFD|dG c/B/A/G/ dGBd|ceBd AGFD:|]

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Who Builds The Archive

Who Builds The Archive

Although we are not trained musicologists and make no pretense to the profession, we have tried to apply such professional rigors to this Semantic Abc Web as we have internalized through our own formal and informal education.
This demands the gathering of as much information as possible about folk pieces to attempt to trace tune families, determine origins, influences and patterns of aural/oral transmittal, and to study individual and regional styles of performance.
Many musicians, like ourselves, are simply curious about titles, origins, sources and anecdotes regarding the music they play. Who, for example, can resist the urge to know where the title Blowzabella came from or what it means, or speculating on the motivations for naming a perfectly respectable tune Bloody Oul' Hag, is it Tay Ye Want?
Knowing the history of the melody we play, or at least to have a sense of its historical and social context, makes the tune 'present' in the here and now, and enhances our rendering of it.
Andrew Kuntz & Valerio Pelliccioni

Please register as a user to make the most of the many functions of the TTA, and enjoy the many ways that information about traditional tunes can be elicited and combined, from simple to complex situations. Users may make contributions, which, when reviewed by an editor, become part of this community project. Serious user/contributors may become editors through the TTA's autopromotion process, in which quantity and quality of entries allows increased levels of permission to edit and review the entire index.
Above all, the developers wish you joy in the use of the TTA.

Help Getting started

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Navigation: Registered users can navigate the Traditional Tune Archive for information in a number of ways.

  • Search. The Search function is located at the top right, and can be used to search the entire index for any key word. See Search help pages
  • Alphabetically by tune title. Under “The Archive” on the SideBar on the left is “The Index”. Click on it to open up the list of tune titles in the TTA arranged in alphabetical order, 200 titles to a page. At the top of the page is an alphabetical breakdown that serves as a shortcut to pages. Clicking on any title will bring one to the music and tune fields. Once the tune appears, clicking “Tune Discussion” at the bottom of the page (below the notation) will open up the narrative information on the tune.
  • Query the Archive. The “Query the Archive” function under “The Archive” in the sidebar can be used to draw down reports from the TTA in either in single items or in a number of combinations. One might, for example, use a single item query to run a report in the TTA for a particular composer/core source. Clicking on the arrow at the right of the bar draws down a list of composer/core sources, or one may be typed in. For example, clicking on “Bill Pigg” and then the “Run Query” tab at the bottom left will result in a list of all compositions listed in the TTA that the Northumbrian piper either composed or is the core source for. Reports may also be run in combinations, as, for example, by selecting “William Marshall” as a composer/core source, “Three Flats” for the number of accidentals, and “Major” for the Key/Mode. This will result in a report of all Eb Major compositions of Scottish fiddler/composer William Marshall that are indexed in the TTA.
  • Tune Books/Magazines in the TTA can be accessed under “Publications” in the left side bar. These are reproductions of publications for which access has been granted to the TTA by the copyright holder, under the Creative Commons license.
  1. Early American Secular Music and Its European Sources, https://www.cdss.org/elibrary/Easmes/Index.htm