hms.scot

A Choice Collection of Scots Reels
by Robert Ross



Full title: A Choice Collection of Scots Reels or Country Dances & Strathspeys With a Bass for the Violincello or Harpsichord.

Publisher: Edinburgh: Robert Ross

Printer: J. Johnson sculpt. Printed Robert Ross.

Date: 1780

Description:

See also John Hamilton, A Choice Collection of Scots Reels, a reprint of this first edition of 1780, with title changes for no.11 (engraved) and no.51 (handwritten in ink).
The book was apparently originally issued in five 8-page numbers. The collection has well-chosen tunes with careful slurring, many offbeat slurs, and some strathspeys notated with dots under slurs.
There are many excellent tunes, with good basslines. The settings are well-crafted and stylish, apparently prepared by a musician who knows the tunes well, and how to make bassesfor them.
J. Murdoch Henderson's copy in GB-En contains many handwritten corrections in ink, mostly adding trills and slurs, many across barlines and strong beats, and some staccato markings.

Notes:

The Reel of Tulloch' and 'Miss McNeills Reel' are presented in ae'a'e'' scordatura.
The basslines are mostly simple four-beat lines with occasional pairs of dyads (intervals of 3rds and 5ths) in the 1st or 2nd half of bars. There is occasional chromaticism.
'The Masons Apron' appears in G as 'The Mason Laddie', with offbeat slurs and a two-note bassline with no cadences: an early version?
'Ness Side' (p.5) has a single dyad 5th used to underpin high leap in tune leading to cadence (cf Malcolm Macdonald). The final tune, 'Sally Kelly' has a possible misprint in the first two notes of bassline.

Gore: R11

Biographical info: A practising musician, possibly a guittar player, Ross was active as an Edinburgh music-seller, 1769-c.1805, but continued thereafter as a musician, and died in 1808. He traded from his house in Playhouse Close Canongate, Edinburgh, in 1769; the back of Fountain Well, 1770-1785; and Head of Carrubers Close 1785-1805. (Glen 1, viii; Humphries & Smith; MacKillop) He was a musician for Edinburgh Musical Society. (Alburger, 120) Although there is no clear relationship with composer John Ross who was born in Newcastle upon Tyne and spent his adult life as an organist in Aberdeen, both were published by John Hamilton, so there could be a hidden connection.

Location(s):

GB-A
Aberdeen University Library
GB-Bu
Birmingham University Library
GB-Cu
Cambridge University Library
GB-DUcl
Dundee Central Library (Wighton Collection)
GB-En
National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh
GB-Ep
Edinburgh City Library
GB-Eu
Edinburgh University Library
GB-Gm
Mitchell Library, Glasgow
GB-Grc
Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Glasgow
GB-Gu
University of Glasgow Library
GB-Lam
Royal Academy of Music, London
GB-Lbl
British Library, London
GB-Lcm
Royal College of Music, London
GB-Lcs
Vaughan Williams Memorial Library, Cecil Sharp House, London
GB-Mp
Manchester Public Library
GB-Mr
Manchester University Library
GB-NTu
Newcastle University Library
GB-Ob
Bodleian Library, University of Oxford
GB-P
A K Bell Library, Perth
GB-SA
Saint Andrews University Library
GB-SHE
Sheffield University Library
IRL-Dn
National Library of Ireland, Dublin
IRL-Dtc
Trinity College Dublin

GB-DUcl 92465
GB-Ducl 92532
GB-En Glen 91(1)
GB-En MH.s.52(3)