In the third of a three-volume set of The Scots Fiddlea, J. Murray Neil has compiled a collection of the fiddle music of Scotland from the West Highlands, Hebrides, Orkney & Shetland. It includes a wonderful selection of traditional fiddle tunes and song airs that are played and sung wherever Scots meet at festivals and on special occasions. Extensive biographical sketches, narratives and anecdotes accompany the tunes and provide a fascinating insight into the rich inheritance of Scottish and Gaelic culture. Famous fiddler/composers and songwriters, past and present; famous characters and landmarks; history, legends and traditions, language and dialect, poetry and song are represented in a stimulating account. The selection contains over 160 tunes, including airs and pastorals, reels, strathspeys, marches, jigs, hornpipes, waltzes, polkas and minuets. There are melodies by well known and lesser-known fiddler/composers and songwriters, new and unpublished tunes, as well as compositions from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. aThe Scots Fiddlea is not only an excellent fiddle music reference book, it is a book about Scotland and should appeal to all those with an interest in their cultural traditions.
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J. Murray Neil retired from a career in hospital pharmacy in 1992. He plays fiddle with the East Lothian Strathspey and Reel Society and is a regular guest tuba player with Selkirk Silver Band at Selkirk Common Riding. He lives in Lasswade, Midlothian.
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