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A Peak at Scottish Fiddling History
"Wild horses of the Prairie"?
Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 (0 votes) 

November 23, 2020 - 11:32 pm
Member Since: June 10, 2020
Forum Posts: 3440
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Yehudi Menuhin has been quoted, saying "Scottish fiddlers are the wild horses of the prairie". 

Found this article pretty interesting! 


There appears to be a wealth of Scottish Fiddling information on this site. 

Please take a peek at the "Contents" page! 



- Emily 


@BillyG - let me know if you think this site is worth bookmarking or if it's garbage.

Brora, North-east Scotland
November 24, 2020 - 5:17 am
Member Since: March 22, 2014
Forum Posts: 3741
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@ELCBK - it's not a blog I had read - and so far I'm only part-way through it.  I am slightly (only slightly) put off by what appears to be a somewhat pejorative tone (pejorative too strong???  "prescriptive" tone maybe?) - but -  it IS a blog and one person's opinions and style of writing - but that's just how it hits me.

Nevertheless - there is a great fund of information there - and - in spite of my words above - sure- there is a lot to agree with.

Interestingly enough, I recall seeing that very broadcast with Yehudi Menuhin - 

Five years later, he took a televised lesson with the so-called ‘doyen’ of Scottish fiddle music, Hector MacAndrew (a fellow judge at the Perth competition), and as part of the same event was guest of honour at a recital featuring MacAndrew’s tune, ‘Yehudi Menuhin’s Welcome to Blair Castle’, performed by the combined orchestras of the Angus and Banchory Strathspey and Reel Societies. The event was documented by the BBC and broadcast on Channel One the same year (as it happens, on St Andrew’s Night again).

It was awesome to observe and listen to Menuhin's comments and approach to playing - I have a memory of him "trying" to get the Scottish feel to an old traditional piece - and then wowing us with a "classically played" version of the same tune...  Inspiring at the time - although it has taken me almost 45 years to get round to picking up the fiddle !!!! 

Also interesting references to the great James Scott Skinner  - here's an interesting (well I find it interesting) take on Skinner's "Bonnie Lass o' Bon Accord" - played by Ron Gonnella - where without any shadow of doubt classical techniques (ok, some vibrato, shifting, flying staccato and so on) are brought into play (which is precisely what Menuhin did on that program - although not that specific tune)

Anyway - I'm only about a third-way through the blog - I'll return to it later.  Things to do now! 

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh - guntohead.JPG

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)


March 1, 2021 - 4:02 pm
Member Since: June 10, 2020
Forum Posts: 3440
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Just loving this!  

Douglas Lawrence is a national treasure as a Scottish Fiddler & what a hoot! 

Here he plays this great tune, "Glen Caladh Castle", to use as his morning egg timer! (lol)  GREAT Scottish Fiddling tips on how to play it, too.


Niel Gow's Fiddle played on Niel Gow's Fiddle! 

Famous 18th Century Scottish Fiddler/composer.  Performed by Ron Gonnella.  





Start tomorrow morning off with a tune... and some eggs! 🤣

- Emily


March 13, 2021 - 12:26 am
Member Since: June 10, 2020
Forum Posts: 3440
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Wish this was better quality video!

Alasdair Fraser Playing The Oldest Scottish Made Fiddle 


Here's a little clearer sounding "Fingal's Cave", nicely played as a march by Mikela Rayburn.



←"The Kelpies" - Andy Scott (Scotland) 


...big discussion of "March vs Strathsbey" at http://www.thesession.org 

Seems the only difference is 2/4 vs 4/4 time... sometimes. (lol)

- Emily

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