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Image Title Item Description
The Marchioness of Tullybardine
The Marchioness of Tullybardine To the left of the underlined title, "The Marchioness of Tullybardine", Skinner wrote 'March' / Met(tronome): 112.' 'Composed by', is at the right top, and parallel to the edge is 'to Engraver - Tullybardine'. The title Marquis of Tullibardine is given to the eldest son of the Duke of Atholl; his wife would become the Marchioness. Skinner may have found the tune in Macdonald's Skye Collection (1887). The 16-bar melody, set for violin and piano, is followed by a 16-bar 'Violin Var(iatio)n. The G natural in the key signature indicates this is a pipe set, since the pipe scale lacks G sharp, and the basic piano part uses octaves and fifths to suggest bagpipe drones. Skinner didn't complete the variation's bass line, writing only two bars. Under the music he wrote: Note to Engraver - if pressed for space, run on the var(iatio)n in small notes / without an accompaniment under the theme.
Clan Chattan
Clan Chattan Skinner's manuscript of his 'Pipe Quickstep' "Clan Chattan", a clan with the wildcat as its heraldic beast. The clan name links to the 6th-century Scottish Bishop, St Cattan, and has strong Gaelic connections with Old Irish catat, battle-mighty (modern Irish 'catta'n and a' chattan). The piece is in A major, 3 sharps, with the common-time signature omitted. The key signature has G natural and not G sharp, since the bagpipe scale lacks that note. The five two-part systems are on hand-ruled penciled staves. The two-part stave is for violin and piano. Only the tune and one variation (melody alone) are complete, pasted onto the page. Skinner may have planned more variations but had no time or inclination to complete them. Performers have a choice of modality: *When played on the violin, the G (sharp) may be played - which of course could not be done on the Bagpipe as all G's are natural on that Instrument.' The verso of this page, not given here, shows that the paper had been used as an envelope, addressed to 'Dr Keith Norman Macdonald, Fernie Bank, Bridge of Allan', with the red (old half-pence) postage stamp franked.
Grand Old MacKintyre
Grand Old MacKintyre Manuscript in Skinner's hand of 'March / met(ronome): 112 / "Grand Old MacKintyre" J. Scott Skinner/ Keith Aug: 15, 1888.' 'Pipe Scale all G's natural.' The tune is in Skinner's piper's key of A major, but with the last sharp, G, replaced with a natural sign, since G sharp isn't within the bagpipe scale. There are six two-part systems, the melody, or violin part, on the top line, piano part (left hand) on the lower. The melody is followed by one two-part variation, totalling 16 bars. At the bottom of the page is '*Grantown on Spey' (presumably referring to MacKintyre), and, in the lower right margin, diagonally, 'To/ Macintyre/ over'. Written along the right-hand edge of the page is 'Hot from the drain' (did he mean brain?).
Grand old MacKintyre (variation)
Grand old MacKintyre (variation) Verso of JSS0073. At the top left corner is 'Var(iatio)n 2', followed by four staves of music, containing the variation, the last two bars faint, as if Skinner was running out of ink. In the right margin (scored out with blue crayon or pencil) is 'Mr McIntyre is Com(mercial): Traveller. / Grantown / Has all my / works. he (sic) will write you him self (sic) to final(ise) title -'. Below left, in a large scrawl crossed out with blue crayon, is 'Macintyre will send title.' This tune is possibly the result either of Skinner offering to compose a tune for Macintyre, or Macintyre asking Skinner if he would. 'Grand Old Macintyre', commercial traveller, was a travelling salesman. From Skinner's erratic handwriting, they may have met one evening in a hotel or boarding house in Keith, Aberdeenshire (see JSS0073), where Skinner then lived. Macintyre might have paid Skinner to write the tune, since he had the final say on the title.
John McNeills Highland Fling
John McNeills Highland Fling Manuscript of 'John McNeill's Highland Fling' (left) 'Pipe Strathspey' (right) '*J. Scott Skinner'. Skinner wrote no time signature, since it is clear that the music has 4 crotchet beats to each bar. Skinner would have to trust the engraver to add 4/4 at the beginning of each staff. In A major, the G sharp is altered to G natural to show that Skinner planned this as a pipe tune, where G natural is possible, but G sharp isn't. The music is in three two-stave systems, the top for the melody, the bottom for the accompaniment. The bass line in the second system is parallel fifths, in crotchets, over which he writes 'Real effect of drones', emphasizing the link with the pipes. Pasted over the bottom of the page is Skinner's note: *The phrase, 'Where labour is apparent, grace is wanting' does not apply to such artists. Skinner thought highly of Edinburgh-based piper and dancer McNeill. At the Sword Dance competition at Bray, Ireland, in 1862, Skinner won first prize, playing the fiddle as he danced. But he 'honestly believed (the prize) should have gone to McNeill', and offered him the purse of 'three guineas' (£3.15). As Skinner tells the story in My Life and Adventures, McNeill replied '_ye're the best man that I've seen come out of the North', and was pleased to 'ha(v)e a dram' (a measure of neat Scotch whisky) with the 19-year old winner.
The Flap of the Eagle's Wing
The Flap of the Eagle's Wing Skinner's manuscript of the 'Pipe Reel', "The Flap of the Eagle's Wing", by 'J. Scott Skinner'. His dedication, beneath the music is: To my esteemed friend Mr W(illia)m Maclennan, & danc(e)r, / "The Flap of the Eagle's Wing" is an expression of (the) composer(')s as to that artiste(')s / vigorous style of cutting' (a heel to calf movement in Highland dancing). The three-staff systems are for 'Pipes', 'Violin', and 'Piano'. Skinner explains, below the music, that, in the next last bar: '*C (natural) here would lead to the bare G (natural) / better than the Natural effect / of C (sharp) -'. His footnote adds: '*The drones (of the bagpipes) are fixed and admit of no change, but then the / open air dispels the wildness that would be occasioned by attempting / to put A's in the Bass against a passage purely in G.' This is a musical convention, not a realistic device; Highland bagpipes drones are tuned an octave, not a fifth, apart. The music is in 2/4, the A major key signature with G natural, not G sharp, a note the pipes cannot play.
Ters naething like ta 'Talisker'
Ters naething like ta 'Talisker' Skinner's manuscript of: Ters naesing like ta "Talisker". On the left is 'Pipe Strathspey', and on the right ' J. Scott Skinner'. 'March 6 1890' has been crossed out with black ink. Roderick Kemp, the dedicatee, owned part of The Talisker distillery, on Skye, and was a judge at the Inverness competition (1863) where Skinner won the fiddle prize. The common-time tune is in the bagpipe key, A major with G natural instead of G sharp, not available in the pipe scale. Skinner has given different melodies to the piano and to the violin. He probably devised the music so that the violin part is the 'real' melody, and the piano melody is a variation, which could also be played after the main tune, as in other Skinner sets. Below the music is: ''To Engraver - place Violin part in small notes over the air. for new MS.' Compare this to JSS0761.
Note on verso of Ters naesing like ta 'Talisker'
Note on verso of Ters naesing like ta 'Talisker' Verso of JSS0077. Skinner writes: We will compare both copies & see if either is right - there is a Talisker published but I never play it - in fact I only play about 10 in every hundred - the others are Potboilers, can't always do the things one wants.'
The Rockin' Step (pr Manson's Highland Fling)
The Rockin' Step (pr Manson's Highland Fling) Although The Rockin' Step (a step used in the Highland Fling) for Skinner's son Manson is arranged by Gavin Greig and in his hand, the simple bass line looks more like Skinner's work. William Martin's verses could be sung to a simplified version of the tune. They begin: Ho! Fiddler tune your strings aright and play a strain of mirth and might, while lads an' lasses tripping light, Glide gaily through the Ree Hurrah! the Rocking Step rings out, Hurrah! with clap and snap and shout To right, to left, and round about, with nimble foot they wheel. 'To Engraver', on the right margin, reads: Words to be engraved under melody - not (to be set) for singing - S. S.
Gane is my Jean
Gane is my Jean Skinner's melody, arranged by Gavin Greig, was no doubt written in memory of his wife Jean Stewart ('gane', in Scots, means 'gone'). In 1885, shortly after the publication of his Elgin Collection (1884), and his bankruptcy, she was overcome by 'pecuniary embarassment', and admitted to the Elgin Asylum, where she remained until her death in 1899. The scored-out piece was not included in the Harp and Claymore, perhaps because Skinner couldn't face such unhappy memories.

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