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Posts Tagged ‘music’

Piping treasure on display in ‘The Piper’s Whim’ Exhibition

A collection of piobaireachd, or pipe tunes : as verbally taught by the M’Crummen pipers in the Isle of Skye to their apprentices / now published, as taken from John M’Crummen … [by Neil MacLeod, Gesto]. Edinburgh : Printed by Alex. Lawrie & Co., 1828. New College Library Gaelic Collections 137

Currently on display at St Cecilia’s Hall, Cowgate, Edinburgh is an instruction book on the bagpipe  (in Gaelic Pibroch, or, Ceol mor, or, literally, Big music) from New College Library’s Gaelic Collection. Entitled “A collection of piobaireachd, or pipe tunes”  it  includes ” Canntaireachd notation” which was a way of teaching pibroch using verbal sounds. At first sight this looks like a collection of texts, but is actually music in the traditional ‘verbal notation’ that pipers used. It was published by Captain Niel MacLeod of Gesto, in Skye.

The volume is on display as part of THE PIPER’S WHIM: Exhibition of Historic Bagpipes from Scotland, England and Ireland,  a special exhibition showing the full variety of bagpipes played in Britain from the past 250 years. These include Lowland and Border pipes, the more familiar Highland bagpipe, Northumberland smallpipes and Irish union or uillean pipes. The exhibition explores the traditions of piping, pipemaking and bagpipe ownership.

The Hammond Organ in history

Hymn 19Today, 11 January, is the anniversary of the birth of Laurens Hammond, inventor of the Hammond organ. New College Library holds this pamphlet, The Hammond Organ, published in the 1930s,  in the Hymnology collections.

Patented eighty years ago in 1933-4, the Hammond Organ was aimed at church and domestic use, and  it offered a new and cheaper alternative to the traditional pipe organ for church music. Later, it became popular for jazz, blues and rock music, as well as for church and gospel music.

Laurens Hammond was awarded the Franklin Institute’s John Price Wetherill Medal in 1940 for the invention of the Hammond electric organ.

This item was recently catalogued as part of the Funk Cataloguing Projects at New College Library.

Psalms for St Cecilia’s Day

Moore, Thomas “Psalm singers’ pocket companion”, Glasgow 1756. Hymn 264/1

The feast of St Cecilia’s Day is traditionally celebrated on November 22nd.  A 3rd century martyr, St Cecilia is known as the patron saint of musicians. Her legend relates that, as a young Christian,  she was betrothed to a pagan but she had already vowed her virginity to God. As the organs played at at her wedding feast, Cecilia sang (in her heart) to the Lord, asking that her heart remain pure.

Here’s a book of Psalms to remember her by. Thomas Moore’s Psalm singers’ pocket companion is a publication from the revival era known as Gallery Psalmody, where leading singers and choir were located in a loft of the church. The new style lasted for about a century from 1755, and its main features were choirs singing in harmony of usually three parts, with some solo sections. Thomas Moore (- d. 1792) was a music teacher from Manchester Cathedral who came to Glasgow to teach singing.

This item is small, or pocket sized, and contains a number of manuscript doodles which may testify to the singer’s mind wandering elsewhere. Also interesting are the pages of handwritten music staves, perhaps to allow the singer to make notes of new tunes or harmonies.

The Psalm singers’ pocket companion belongs to the Hymnology Collection, and was catalogued as part of the Funk Cataloguing Projects. With thanks to our Project Cataloguer, Oreste de Tommaso, for supplying details of this item.

Bagpipe music of the Isles

A collection of piobaireachd, or pipe tunes : as verbally taught by the M’Crummen pipers in the Isle of Skye to their apprentices / now published, as taken from John M’Crummen … [by Neil MacLeod, Gesto]. Edinburgh : Printed by Alex. Lawrie & Co., 1828. New College Library Gaelic Collections 137

I’m delighted to announce that just over 400 items which together form the Gaelic Collections at New College Library have now been catalogued online and their details can now be browsed online using the shelfmark “Gaelic Coll.”

One particularly interesting and unique item in New College Library’s Gaelic Collections  is an instruction book on the bagpipe  (in Gaelic Pibroch, or, Ceol mor, or, literally, Big music). Entitled “A collection of piobaireachd, or pipe tunes”  it  includes ” Canntaireachd notation” which was a way of teaching pibroch using verbal sounds.

At first sight this looks like a collection of texts, but is actually music in the traditional ‘verbal notation’ that pipers used. It was published by Captain Niel MacLeod of Gesto, in Skye and  it has a handwritten dedication to Hugh MacQueen, a Writer to the Signet.

With thanks to Patrick Murray, our Gaelic Cataloguer, for supplying details of this item.