SM0732: Folio 49 The Dynamic Scottish Harper’s Companion

The Clarsach Society Folios
The Dynamic Scottish Harper’s Companion
New arrangements and compositions for the adventurous player
Advanced Ability Level
Cover Image

Tunes in the Book:
Gràdh Geal mo Chridh’ - arr. Anne Macdearmid
The Bob Parson’s Strathspey - Ian Lowthian arr. Patsy Seddon
The Bonnie Lass o’ Bon-Accord - J. Scott Skinner arr. Ingrid Henderson
The Soaring Hoolet - Fiona Rutherford
Nellie’s Strathspey / Silver Spire / Lassie wi’ the Yellow Coatie / J.S Kennedy from Stranraer
- 1 to 3 trad arr. Karen Marshalsay, 4 Karen Marshalsay
Màiri Nighean Alasdair - arr. Charlotte Petersen
The Hurricane - J Scott Skinner arr. Rachel Hair
Logan Water - arr. Corrina Hewat
Benlettery - Maeve Gilchrist
Iain Ghlinn’ Cuaich - arr. Anne Macdearmid

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Score Information

Clarsach Society Folio 49
Title: The Dynamic Scottish Harper’s Companion
Contents: 10 tunes (see above for titles)
Composer/Arranger: Collection (see above)
Instrumentation: Solo Lever Harp
Level: Advanced Ability
Format: Wire bound
Size: A4
ISBN: 9790708115229
Our Ref: SM0732
Publisher: Clarsach Society
Printer/Distributor: Creighton's Collection
Edition/Year: First Edition April 2023
Origin: UK

Sample page from the book

Sample page

Notes on the music

This volume is dedicated to Eleanor Holley (1937 - 2022)
A member of The Clarsach Society over many decades, her teaching, playing and singing introduced many to the music of Scotland, especially in the Gaelic tradition, which she loved.

Notes on the Music

Gràdh Geal Mo Chridh’ - Fair Love of My Heart arr. Anne Macdearmid
This is the original version of a tune which will be familiar to many as The Eriskay Love Lilt.

The Bob Parsons Strathspey Ian Lowthian arr. Patsy Seddon
This tune was written over 30 years ago by the accordionist, Ian Lowthian for the drummer in his London-based young progressive band which went by the name Ian Lowthian’s Heavy Metal Dance Band! Bob Parsons was the only band member whose style was typically “dance bandy”, the others playing in a mix of styles including traditional Scottish, Shetland, classical and jazz. It took a while for them to be accepted in the established Royal Scottish Country Dance Society scene, but they were soon being booked because they were a bit different.

The Bonnie Lass o’ Bon-Accord J. Scott Skinner arr. Ingrid Henderson
The Bonnie Lass O' Bon Accord was written by fiddler & composer James Scott Skinner in 1884 for Mina Bell who caught his eye while serving at a party in Aberdeen.

The Soaring Hoolet Fiona Rutherford
The Soaring Hoolet - A “hoolet” is the Scots word for an owl. Make this lullaby soar and swoop gently like an owl in flight!
The Sprite - Aim for a crisp, neat melody with this reel. Careful to keep the left hand ostinato steady!

Nellie’s Strathspey/Silver Spire/Lassie wi’ the Yellow Coatie/ J.S Kennedy from Stranraer
The first three are traditional, the fourth by Karen Marshalsay arr. Karen Marshalsay
The first three tunes are classic piping ones. I learned the strathspey from Dougie Pincock at a Feis Rois tin whistle class many years ago, and the two reels more recently from playing with Allan MacDonald. I wrote the last tune recently for my elder nephew who always complained that his younger brother had got a tune (Andrew's Smiles) when he was a baby but he never had. It would fit on the pipes if you move the low F#s up an octave.

Màiri Nighean Alasdair (Mary daughter of Alexander) arr. Charlotte Petersen
Sometimes known as Gaol na h’òige (Love of my youth), this arrangement was inspired by the wonderful singing of Darren McIlleathain for Celtic Connections in 2021. The song is written by William Mackenzie as he laments his wife of 20 years and contemplates following his children to Canada. Even though this will mean that he cannot be buried by the side of his beloved Mary, they will regain peace together in the afterlife.

The Hurricane J Scott Skinner arr. Rachel Hair
Subtitled in Scott Skinner’s own handwriting “The wind harping upon the woodpines.”

Logan Water arr. Corrina Hewat
This beautiful tune dates back to the 17th century, possibly earlier. The 18th century poet John Mayne of Dumfries, gave it words in which a young lass laments –“--fu’ of grief I herd my lane, While my dear lad maun face his faes, Far far frae me and Logan Braes”

Benlettery Maeve Gilchrist
This is a rather sentimental tune that I wrote in honour of the beautiful mountain in Connemara on top of which my husband proposed to me in 2021. Connemara has a special place in my heart with its diamond air and austere, wild beauty. When I play this tune, I have in mind the blue-tinged paintings of Paul Henry that so capture the majesty of the area. When playing this arrangement focus on a diversity of tones, playing with string placement in order to milk as much beauty out of the instrument as possible. Remember to hold back ever so slightly when in the uppermost range of the instrument to avoid any twanging and try and create the most atmospheric of sonic journeys with your phrasing and interpretation.

Iain Ghlinn’ Cuaich arr. Anne Macdearmid
A girl sings of her undying love for John of Glen Quaich who has left her