The Cape Breton Scottish Collection - 318 Tunes
Volume 8 of the Cape Breton Musical Heritage Series

Scottish settlers in Cape Breton have maintained traditions of instrumental dance music since the time of the highland clearances, a period which coincidentally coincided with the Golden Age of Scottish fiddle music.

This collection presents older Scottish fiddle music from the era 1740-1935. The settings of these tunes pay respect both to the composers' intentions as given in classic Scottish published collections, and to the Cape Breton traditions which have given this music new life and caused it to evolve.

Samples of music from the book. complete with chords and footnotes (showing Cape Breton sources).


Independent Review
(published in Fiddler Magazine)


Also available as a part of a multiple book bundle

Music Notation Samples (36 Tunes) addenda

-----Title (alphabetical)-------Tune Type-----

Cape Breton recording /source

Alexander Deas' Jig (19th century Scottish jig)

The Barra MacNeils

Appin House (18th century Scottish - AEAE tuning)

Joe Peter MacLean, Sandy MacIntyre

Brisk Bob (18th century Scottish strathspey)

Wilfred Prosper

Cease Your Funning (19th century Scottish reel)

Joe MacLean (78 disc), Carl MacKenzie

Charles Sutherland (20th century Scottish reel)

Winston Fitzgerald, Jerry Holland & Howie MacDonald

Cheap Meal (18th century Scottish reel)

Francis MacDonald

The Connoisseur (20th century Scottish strathspey)

Father Angus Morris

Culloden House (19th century Scottish strathspey)

Cameron Chisholm, Joe Cormier

D. Morison's Seven Thistles (20th century Scottish march)

Dan R. MacDonald & John Campbell

Dunt the Grund at Leisure (18th century Scottish strathspey)

Donald MacLellan

Factory Smoke (19th century Scottish hornpipe)

Theresa MacLellan, Lisa MacArthur

Flowerdale (19th century Scottish air)

Wilfred Gillis

The Forth Bridge (19th century Scottish reel)

Bill Lamey, Buddy and Natalie MacMaster

The Green Shades of Gask (18th century Scottish jig)

The Inverness Seranaders

The Hon. John Leslie Melville's (18th century strathspey)

Ian MacDougall

Hon. Mrs Maules Strathspey (19th century Scottish)

Doug MacPhee

James Ware of Wick - (19th century Scottish strathspey)

Dan Joe MacInnis

Lady Betty Hay (18th century Scottish)

Joe Peter MacLean

Lassie and Silver (18th century Scottish jig)

Paddy LeBlanc

Light and Airy (18th century traditional jig)

Angus Chisholm

Loch Leven Side (18th century Scottish jig)

Aliie Bennett

MacLauchlan's Reel (18th century Scottish)

Dan J. Campbell, Dave MacIsaac

McLauchlan's Scottish Measure (18th century march)

Hector MacKenzie and Stan Chapman

Miss Clemintina Stewart (18th century Scottish reel)

Dan Hughie MacEachern

Miss Johnston of Byker's (18th century reel)

Johnny Wilmot

Miss Lucy Johnstone's Compliments to Niel Gow (18th century Scottish jig)-

Ray Ellis

Miss Menzies of Culdares (19th century Scottish reel)

Andrea and Kinnon Beaton

Miss Robertson - 18th century Scottish reel

Bill Lamey, Ashley MacIsaac

Mr. Douglas of Springwood Park (19th century Scottish strathspey)

Winnie Chafe

Mr Morrison's (18th century Scottish jig)

Carl McKenzie

Mrs. Hamilton of Pincaitland (18th century Scottish air)

John Allan Cameron

Mrs Wemyss of Cuttle Hill (18th century slow strathspey) addenda

Mary 'Hughie' MacDonald

Sir Alexander Don - (18th century strathspey)

Little Jack MacDonald

Sir James Baird - (18th century slow strathspey or air)

The Rankin Family

Square and Compass - (18th century Scottish reel)

Johnny Archie MacDonald

Sweet is the Lass Amongst the Heather (18th century marching air)

David Greenberg with Puirt a Baroque

Watson's Class (18th century march)

Alex Francis MacKay


Miss Mary Stewart of Derculloch - B2 typo corrected

Captain Grant - an alternate strathspey setting to McLauchlan's Reel

The Bonny Highland Hills - with 4th part composed by David Greenberg

Lady Viscountess Duncan's - a marching air popularized by Joe MacLean (to be included in future digital editions)

Miss Dalrymple - a Daniel Dow Bb jig played in G by Alex Gillis (to be included in future digital editions)

Mrs. Ross's Reel - A William Marshall tune mis-identified ?

Sodger Laddie - Scottish jig recorded by Dan Joe Macinnis on a '60s LP (to be included in future digital editions)

The Gobbie O - a 2nd setting with added history and influence from earliest sources

Lochgary's Strathspey - a diffent 18th century setting related to Mrs. Wemyss of Cuttle Hill

Mrs. Ramsay of Barnton - revised Cape Breton setting of an F# minor strathspey playe by Joe Cormier

The Cape Breton Scottish Collection

A review from Fiddler Magazine

You know how when listening to any medley of Cape Breton tunes recorded in someone's kitchen in the 1950s there is often one tune that jumps out right through the layers of sonic mud typical of a dub of a dub of a dub? And as it replays in your mind for two weeks you can't shake the tune but you also can't quite learn it because most of the third line is obliterated by the sound of a teapot falling on the piano and when at last you learn the title and are able to trace the tune to an 18th century Scottish tune book, it turns out - if you can find a copy - that the book version isn't quite the same as the tune on the recording?

I have good news for you. Three hundred and eighteen of just these sort of tunes, in their Cape Breton versions, have been gathered, edited, and printed clear and large by Paul Cranford in the eighth volume of his Cape Breton Musical Heritage Series. "The Cape Breton Scottish Collection" is exactly what the title suggests. All the tunes originated in Scotland. Most are in old tune books in somewhat different versions. A few are from aural tradition, and all are presented in Cape Breton versions gathered from one or another great fiddler and sometimes expertly assembled in a compatible whole from the disparate versions of several fiddlers. Every tune is followed by annotation of source(s) and sometimes by historical and/or anecdotal information as well. This adds depth and dimension to the book users' experience. Several introductory pages of well-thought-out history and philosophy give context and further meaning to the music. There are 120 pages. Tunes are organized according to key. There is an alphabetical index.

I haven't found a tune in this book that I don't like. I was happy to at last find the titles of tunes I've been hearing for years, amused to find printed versions of tunes that accord with settings that I arrived at independently, and delighted to find improvements to my settings of other tunes. There are also plenty of good tunes in this excellent book that I've never heard before. Chords are given for each tune. Perhaps they are meant to clarify melodic editing choices. I find the chord choices viable but not inevitable or inviolable. They are printed large enough to see and small enough to ignore. Finding just the right size to print the chords is typical of the care that went into putting together "The Cape Breton Scottish Collection". I recommend this book to anyone interested in Scottish fiddle music.


Jody Stecher

The Cape Breton Musical Heritage Series

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