Doric Psalms to Grace Forgue Kirk

Doric Psalms to Grace Forgue Kirk

Notice of the premiere of a new composition in Doric, which is part of a PhD project undertaken jointly with the Music Department and the Elphinstone Institute.

Composer and native Doric speaker, Robert Milne, is creating a body of work featuring musical settings of Doric poetry, bringing the language to the concert hall, as part of a PhD at the University of Aberdeen.

Many Doric speakers of a certain age will remember that when they started school they were expected to speak “proper English” and speaking Doric in the classroom was liable to result in punishment. Doric was regarded as “sloppy English” or even slang. Happily, this attitude is changing and the use of Doric is now being more actively promoted.

Far from being “bad English”, Doric is a distinctive dialect of the Scots language, with many cognate words with languages found around the North Sea, and some specialist vocabulary due to Aberdeen having been a major centre of trade with continental Europe at least as far back as the fifteenth century.

It is said that the best way to preserve a language and to raise its status is to write it down and Doric’s written tradition extends from centuries ago to the present day. While Doric in the twentieth century was often associated with humour, it has always been capable of sincerely expressing serious emotion and drama. As Dr Tom McKean, of the Elphinstone Institute, University of Aberdeen, says, “Sheena Blackhall’s poetry and translations of classics such as Jane Eyre and Gordon Hay’s translations of the Bible showcase Doric’s immense capability and range.”

Musically, Doric is commonly associated with Bothy Ballads and humorous songs, but little, if anything, has been produced for the concert hall. In 2018, the Elphinstone Institute produced the Doric Messiah, pairing Handel’s timeless music with Gordon Hay’s powerful translation. According to Tom McKean, “the effect on Doric speakers was profound. Hearing the language of home and heart in the high-status setting of St Machar’s Cathedral was transformative.”

Milne aims to build on this transformative potential by setting works old and new, with a native speaker’s sensitivity to sound, intonation, and rhythm. His latest composition, “Sangs For Gyan Up”, makes use of Doric translations by Gordon Hay of verses from the Psalms. The work was commissioned by the Friends of Forgue Kirk to mark the bicentenary of the opening of the building.

The work will have its premiere at a special event at the Kirk, near Huntly, on Sunday 21st November at 3 p.m., exactly two hundred years since the building was opened.

Search News

Browse by Month

2021

  1. Jan
  2. Feb
  3. Mar
  4. Apr
  5. May
  6. Jun
  7. Jul
  8. Aug
  9. Sep
  10. Oct
  11. Nov
  12. Dec There are no items to show for December 2021

2020

  1. Jan
  2. Feb
  3. Mar
  4. Apr
  5. May
  6. Jun
  7. Jul
  8. Aug There are no items to show for August 2020
  9. Sep
  10. Oct
  11. Nov
  12. Dec There are no items to show for December 2020

2019

  1. Jan
  2. Feb
  3. Mar
  4. Apr
  5. May
  6. Jun
  7. Jul There are no items to show for July 2019
  8. Aug
  9. Sep There are no items to show for September 2019
  10. Oct
  11. Nov
  12. Dec There are no items to show for December 2019

2018

  1. Jan
  2. Feb There are no items to show for February 2018
  3. Mar
  4. Apr
  5. May
  6. Jun There are no items to show for June 2018
  7. Jul
  8. Aug There are no items to show for August 2018
  9. Sep
  10. Oct
  11. Nov
  12. Dec

2017

  1. Jan There are no items to show for January 2017
  2. Feb
  3. Mar
  4. Apr
  5. May
  6. Jun
  7. Jul
  8. Aug
  9. Sep There are no items to show for September 2017
  10. Oct There are no items to show for October 2017
  11. Nov
  12. Dec

2016

  1. Jan There are no items to show for January 2016
  2. Feb There are no items to show for February 2016
  3. Mar There are no items to show for March 2016
  4. Apr There are no items to show for April 2016
  5. May There are no items to show for May 2016
  6. Jun There are no items to show for June 2016
  7. Jul There are no items to show for July 2016
  8. Aug There are no items to show for August 2016
  9. Sep
  10. Oct There are no items to show for October 2016
  11. Nov
  12. Dec

2015

  1. Jan
  2. Feb
  3. Mar
  4. Apr
  5. May
  6. Jun
  7. Jul
  8. Aug
  9. Sep There are no items to show for September 2015
  10. Oct There are no items to show for October 2015
  11. Nov There are no items to show for November 2015
  12. Dec There are no items to show for December 2015

2014

  1. Jan
  2. Feb
  3. Mar There are no items to show for March 2014
  4. Apr
  5. May
  6. Jun There are no items to show for June 2014
  7. Jul There are no items to show for July 2014
  8. Aug
  9. Sep
  10. Oct
  11. Nov
  12. Dec There are no items to show for December 2014

2013

  1. Jan
  2. Feb There are no items to show for February 2013
  3. Mar There are no items to show for March 2013
  4. Apr There are no items to show for April 2013
  5. May There are no items to show for May 2013
  6. Jun There are no items to show for June 2013
  7. Jul There are no items to show for July 2013
  8. Aug
  9. Sep
  10. Oct
  11. Nov
  12. Dec There are no items to show for December 2013

2012

  1. Jan
  2. Feb
  3. Mar There are no items to show for March 2012
  4. Apr
  5. May
  6. Jun There are no items to show for June 2012
  7. Jul
  8. Aug There are no items to show for August 2012
  9. Sep
  10. Oct
  11. Nov
  12. Dec There are no items to show for December 2012

2011

  1. Jan
  2. Feb
  3. Mar
  4. Apr
  5. May
  6. Jun There are no items to show for June 2011
  7. Jul
  8. Aug
  9. Sep
  10. Oct
  11. Nov There are no items to show for November 2011
  12. Dec

2010

  1. Jan
  2. Feb
  3. Mar
  4. Apr There are no items to show for April 2010
  5. May
  6. Jun
  7. Jul There are no items to show for July 2010
  8. Aug
  9. Sep
  10. Oct
  11. Nov
  12. Dec