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The Collection
Further Reading

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There are 900 entries.

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Image Title Item Description
Mair Rozit
Mair Rozit The title of Skinner's reel 'Mair Rozit' refers to the fiddler's need for rosin - used on bow hair to make it sticky, so it will make the strings vibrate. It shows Skinner in a humorous mood with this tricky reel, which Skinner would have probably played very fast indeed during concert performances. After he had played it he certainly would have needed - more rosin.
Peter Baillie, or The Lonach Highland Fling
Peter Baillie, or The Lonach Highland Fling Peter Baillie (1774-1843) lived at Loanhead, Midlothian and was a mason, known as 'the fiddling tinker'. His strathspey was published in 1825. Perhaps Skinner rewrote the piece for the Lonach Gathering and Highland Games, started in 1822. As part of the celebrations The Men of Lonach parade wearing full Highland dress, carrying pikes and Lochaber axes. They also visit local residents, sometimes accepting a 'dram' (a shot of Scotch whisky). Gavin Grieg's beautifully presented arrangement hardly hints at the festivities, or the spirited dancing of the Highland Fling.
Gertie Gibb
Gertie Gibb Skinner describes Gertie Gibb as a Nursery Schottische, to be played simply. The melody in the Harp and Claymore is the same, but the bass line is cleaner and neater, usually with just four single notes in each bar, with no chords. The skipping rhythm has a certain childlike charm, kept light by the moduation from D major to E major in the second section. Compare this version with JSS0640.
The Reel o' Tullich
The Reel o' Tullich In his note to the strathspey the Reel o' Tulloch (its title in the Harp and Claymore) Skinner expanded his information about the composer to read: There is a tradition that this wild effusion was composed and danced by John MacGregor, Castle Grant, about 1640. The key signature, with a G natural rather than a G sharp, indicates that Skinner thought of the piece as associated with the Great Highland bagpipes, which cannot play G sharp. At the bottom of the page he writes: To Engraver, please run on the Violin Var(iation)s from 'Scottish Violinist' minus the accompaniment. But unlike some of his variations elsewhere, none of the seven in the Harp and Claymore, which take up a page and a half of music, can be played on the pipes.
The Reel o' Tullich (verso)
The Reel o' Tullich (verso) Skinner's note, sightly amplified in the Harp and Claymore, to the Reel o' Tullich, followed by his source of the information: This wild effusion was composed & danced by John MacGregor (Freuchie) Castle Grant 1640 - see Glenmore's Highland Legends. Edin.? John Lindsay 39 South Bridge.
The Reel o' Thuilleachan
The Reel o' Thuilleachan The Reel o' Thuilleachan and the Reel o' Tullich (or Tulloch) are two different versions of the same basic tune, which require different types of steps when danced. Skinner's crossed-out note at the bottom of the page reads: Note wanted to describe difference from Reel o' Tullich. Slow Strathspey Time - Thuilleachan - no strathspey or Fling Steps (Thuilleachan) all cutting & shuffling. See Dr Reids Speyside Guide. (over)
The Reel o' Hoolichan (words)
The Reel o' Hoolichan (words) A printed text of Robert Ford's words for 'The Reel o' Hoolichan'. One chorus and all seven verses are on the page facing 'The Reel o' Thuilleachan' (JSS0116, JSS0117) in the Harp and Claymore.
Reel o' Hoolichan words (verso)
Reel o' Hoolichan words (verso) Note in Skinner's hand on the verso of JSS0117. 'This slip to be added to Harp & Claymore - M.S. with Mr Dunbar, Huntly and appended to 'Reel o' Tulloch' to add interest to the old air. Author unknown [-] Robert Ford 137 Ingram St: Glasgow
Whistle o'er the Lave o't
Whistle o'er the Lave o't Manuscript in Skinner's hand, for the Dance Sean Trews [Seann Triubhas], the tune [by] John Bruce. Skinner hasn't given detailed bowing, but tells the player to use '4 bows' to each bar. The printed bass line uses only octave crotchets. Along the right margin he wrote 'The composer died in Dumfries Poorhouse.' Bruce (c. 1720-1785), b. Braemar, Aberdeenshire, d. Dumfries, was a Jacobite soldier, played for dances, and was a 'remarkable Reel Fiddler'. Click on the audio link below to hear Skinner playing it.
Ghillie Callum or Sword Dance
Ghillie Callum or Sword Dance Manuscript in Skinner's hand of his version of '"Ghillie Callum" or "Sword Dance" - old.' The music is in the 'piper's scale', of A major with 'Flat 7ths', and a G natural in the key signature. (The pipes are unable to play G sharp.) Skinner's note reads ' * The Sean Trews is a very ancient Highland Dance [where] the Sporran & Kilt are replaced by Tartan Trews all the rest of the Garb remaining as before -'.

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