A Collection of Strathspey or old Highland Reels
by Angus Cumming
Full title: A Collection of Strathspey or old Highland Reels with a bass for the violincello, Harpsichord or Pianoforte
Publisher: Edinburgh, Angus Cumming
GB-Gu copy is 1st edition of 1780, self-published in Edinburgh by Cumming of Grantown.
A second, subsequent edition was published in Glasgow in 1782 with two fewer tunes and an altered title: A Collection of Strathspeys or old Highland Reels.
Subscribers list contains a very extensive list of Grants from around the globe, also 'the celebrated' James McPherson and Scottish antiquarian William Tytler.
The tunes are confidently chosen, and the volume includes a Preface about the Strathspey and primitivism. Many tunes appear with English and Gaelic titles.
In the basses there is much use of dotted rhythms, though a good variety of single note patterns, and some piano chords, octaves and dyads.
There is fairly sparse provision of trills, and there are even fewer grace notes. There is a long variation set on 'Reell of Tulloch'.
'The Dutchess of Athole Reell' appears in D major as 'A favourite Strathspey' in Aird's Selection of Scotch, English and Irish Foreign Airs, vol.2 p.18.
Pages: 20 p
Dimensions: 26 x 35
Biographical info: Cumming was born c.1750, in a family of whom generations had been musicians at Grantown, Strathspey. His collection is dated 1780, but nothing is known of his subsequent life. (Glen 1, x; HMT Highland Collections, iii; Alburger, 75-77)
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- National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh
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GB-P 34721 (titlepage torn, repaired with pencilled text)
GB-A Hend inst Cum c (lacks titlepage & pp.4-5: copies have been inserted)
GB-DU 53677 (lacks preface and 2nd page of subscribers list)
GB-Lbl Music Collections e.284.c.(1.) (2nd edition, Glasgow: J. Aird [1785?])
GB-En Glen 234 (2nd edition, Glasgow: J. Aird [1785?])
GB-A Lib R f78155 Cum c (reprint of 2nd edition, Glasgow: Jas. Steven 1798)
- A Collection of Strathspey or old Highland Reels [Glasgow University Library (GB-Gu), Ca11-y.24]