J [Lament for Dunyvaig Castle: first 2 bars] Common Time Slowest J:17v.1
C2 A Glas C2.62: 142
K1 Cumha Casteal Dhunaomhaig / Lament for the Castle Dunyveg K1.101: 232
KK Cumha Caisteal Dhunaomhaig / Lament for the Castle of Dunyveg KK.81: 161
Notes on Gaelic Titles
Cumha Chaisteil Dhùn Naomhaig Cumha Casteal Dhunaomhaig / Lament for the Castle Dunyveg K1; Cumha Caisteal Dhunaomhaig / Lament for the Castle of Dunyveg KK. Lament for Dunyvaig Castle. It is unusual for a genre term like cumha to be attached to a building rather than a person. Ronald Smith suggests that it is not the building which is being lamented, but the demise of the Islay branch of Clan Donald (see his comment below, 2015-05-15). The last chief, Sir James MacDonald, 9th of Dunnyveg, died in 1626. For the background to the fall of ‘Clan Donald South’, see J. Michael Hill, ‘The Rift within Clan Ian Mor: The Antrim and Dunyveg MacDonnells, 1590-1603. The Sixteenth Century Journal, Vol. 24, No. 4 (Winter, 1993), pp. 865-879. Cf Pìobaireachd Dhùn Naomhaig (PS 201).
A’ Ghlas / A’ Ghleus / Glas / Gleus A Glase C1.49; A Glass C2.43; A Glas C2.62. The Joining / The Prelude / A Joining / A Prelude. Colin Campbell’s three titles can be resolved either to glas or to gleus and his initial “A” could be either an English indefinite article or a Gaelic definite article. A’ Ghleus is possibly the strongest of the four contenders on the basis of Campbell’s spelling “Glase” rhyming with the English word “chase” and the likelihood that Campbell would have expressed the English indefinite article as “One of the…”, given “One of the Irish Piobarich“, “One of the Deads Lament“, and “One of the Cragich” (five times in vol. 1 and four times in vol. 2); we would expect “One of the Glase”, and Campbell’s only other uses of “a” in his tune titles are as the Gaelic definite article in “Lassan Mhic a Cheaich” and as an epenthetic vowel in “Prinsah beg Sate loum a thu“. Edward Bunting also rendered gleus as “glass” in 1840, working from notes made in Belfast in 1792 – see Colm Ó Baoill’s notes on Tead a’ leithghleas (2002). The fact that all three of Campbell’s tunes use 8 of the chanter’s 9 pitches and consist of only 1 or 2 cycles strengthens the case for interpreting these as “Preludes”, or short pieces of music that 1) warm up the fingers, 2) check that the notes required are in tune, and 3) prepare the piper and the audience for something bigger. The verb gleus has general meanings of ‘prepare’ or ‘put into trim’. Bridget MacKenzie reports an explanation she heard from Eric Murray, of Rogart: “The term “aglase” was often used of the finger movement which was characteristic of the work… People used to compose these wee piobaireachds, which were not as wild or heavy as the “full” piobaireachd.” – Piping Traditions of the North of Scotland (1998) p. 261. It is possible, however, that Murray’s explanation stems from Campbell’s manuscripts, copies of which were made in 1909. These “wee” pibrochs should not to be confused with the much shorter tuning preludes called Deuchainn Ghleusaidh found in Joseph MacDonald’s treatise (f 16r) and the instructional pages of Donald MacDonald (D1) and Angus MacKay (KB) – see S. Donnelly, ‘Feaghan Geleash’. Ceol Tire, 25 (1984) pp 5-6, 11-12.
In contrast to Campbell’s three tunes, all settings of A’ Ghlas Mheur (PS 132) have 7 or 8 cycles and only 5 pitches. This weighs in favour of the other word for this tune: a’ ghlas, meaning ‘the grip…’, ‘the bond…’ or ‘the joining of the fingers’ – see Ronald Smith’s comment at www.altpibroch.com/tunes/ps132 (2015-03-24). The spellings “Glaisvair” and “Glais-mheur” in tune lists of 1778 and 1785, however, suggest that this title may be a corruption of A’ Ghleus Mheur, ‘The finger warm-up’ – R.D. Cannon, ‘Gaelic names of pibrochs: a classification,’ Scottish Studies, 34 (2000-2006), section 7.3, pp 40-42.