1784 – Patrick MacDonald (P)

A Collection of Highland Vocal Airs. Never hitherto published. To which are added a few of the most lively Country Dances or Reels of the North Highlands & Western Isles: and some Specimens of Bagpipe Music. By Patrick MacDonald Minister of Kilmore in Argyleshire.

First published Edinburgh [1784]. 11 editions are described in A Bibliography of Bagpipe Music. The images below are from Edition I.

This source contains material relating to 4 pibrochs:

P:38  PS 200  Cumha Mhic a h Arasaig / McIntosh’s Lament
P:41  PS 057  Cha till mi tuil
P:42  PS 132  A’ Ghlas Mheur / A bagpipe lament
P:43  PS 204  Coma leam, coma leam cogadh na’ sith / Alike to me peace or war

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3 thoughts on “1784 – Patrick MacDonald (P)

  1. I’ve payed these 4 tunes for a period of time. What struck me in particular was the beauty of MacIntosh’s Lament, a setting unlike any other I know of in the piping tradition.

    Patrick MacDonald has been discredited as being a non-piper. However he states quite clearly in the Preface (p7) that he made a special journey to Lochaber to record those 4 tunes and I suspect that he recorded them reasonably accurately – he had practice with other instruments on his collecting tours. Patrick stated quite clearly that he struggled to record ‘graces and flourishes’. However a piper familiar with the styles of MacArthur and MacDonald can insert these as appropriate.

    • Good observation Allan, but the p.40 fiddle set of McIntosh’s Lament, as well as A’ Ghlas Mheur, are clearly in a strong traditional fiddle style and quite un-pipey, so I suspect a different, fiddle source for these two settings.

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