Antony Murray's Reel

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ANTHONY MURRAY'S REEL. AKA and see "Hills of Cape Mabou," "Lord Murray's Strathspey," "MacArthur's Tune," "Miss Murray's Reel (3)," "Port 'Ic Artair." Scottish, Canadian; Strathspey. A Major. A popular and much-recorded strathspey by Scottish and Cape Breton fiddlers. "Anthony Murray's Reel" first appears in print in the 1780 collection of bandleader and fiddler-composer Alexander "King" McGlashan. Later in the decade it was printed by Glasgow fiddler Joshua Campbell (in AEae tuning notation) with the title "Miss Murray's Reel (3)." The reel was commonly played in scordatura tuning (AEae) on the fiddle in Scotland in the 19th century and earlier, and is currently played on Cape Breton in AEae tuning.

Cape Breton musicians sometimes call the tune "Christie's Sister" because it is so frequently played in a medley following "Christie Campbell." John Shaw, in the booklet for Topic 12TS354 writes: "According to tradition in the Inverness-Mabou area (the tune) was associated with the family of MacArtair Mor (Big MacArthur) of Mabou Coal Mines, whose father was born on the Isle of Canna, Inner Hebrides Scotland."

Source for notated version: Buddy MacMaster and Mary MacDonald (Cape Breton) [Dunlay & Greenberg].

Printed sources: Joshua Campbell (A Collection of New Reels & Highland Strathspeys), Glasgow, 1789; p. 6 (as "Miss Murray's Reel"). Dunlay & Greenberg (Traditional Celtic Violin Music from Cape Breton), 1996; p. 125. Martin (Traditional Scottish Fiddling), 2002; p. 28. McGlashan (Collection of Strathspey Reels), c. 1780/81; p 15.

Recorded sources: ACR4-12940, Buddy MacMaster (Appears as "Traditional Strathspey"). EMI E4 80683, John Morris Rankin - "North Country"(1993. Appears as "Lord Murray Strathspey"). Overton 1829-I-LM 88, Dwayne Cote - "Introduction" (1992. Appears as "Cnuic Rudha Mhabou"). RLP 107, Joe MacLean - "And his Old Time Scottish Fiddle" (c. 1967). Rounder 7009, Doug MacPhee - "Cape Breton Piano"(1977. Appears as "Hills of Cape Mabou"). Topic 12TS354, John Willie Campbell - "Cape Breton Scottish Fiddle" (1978. Appears as "Port 'ic Artair"). WRC1-1548, Carl MacKenzie - "And his Sound is Cape Breton"(1981. Appears as "Strathspey").

See also listing at:
Alan Snyder's Cape Breton Fiddle Recordings Index [1]




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