A Collection of Scots Reels or Country Dances
by Bremner, Robert

Tunes list

Copy details


Edinburgh and London, Robert Bremner


Robert Bremner


Robert Bremner, At the Harp and Hautboy






A K Bell Library, Perth (GB-P)




Published as 14 numbers of 8 pages each, c.1757-61, the last two numbers being published as the Second Collection. The engraving style of text (and sometimes music) changes between numbers. (The form of the '8' in 6/8 matches that in Bremner's Curious Collection only in some numbers.) The GB-A copy proves that the book was first published in Edinburgh, not London: 'Edinburgh, Printed & sold by Robt. Bremner, at the Harp & Hautboy, where may be had [...] Also all sorts of Music & Musical Instruments as cheap as at LONDON.' The later London edition has had 'Edinburgh' replaced by 'LONDON', with 'in the Strand' added underneath, and 'as cheap as at LONDON' removed! So Bremner took the plates south with him in 1762, advertising his London premises in December of that year. A note from Wighton inside the GB-DUcl copy reveals that the Scots Magazine advertised individual numbers as they were issued, e.g. 7 & 8 in November 1759, 10 in November 1760, and 11 & 12 in April 1761. In this copy (GB-P Bd45), pp.17-20 are missing and have been supplied from the Gb-P Bd19.


Bremner presents simple, repetitive four-beat basslines.This book is clearly the source for 'Miss Murray's Reel' in The Caledonian Muse, where the musical text is identical. Some tunes in scordatura. Titlepage: 'In playing these Basses on the Harpsichord, their Octaves may be also struck, as represented by small Notes in the Fyket. page 6th.' 'The Fyket' has dots printed an octave lower to show where to play the bass notes on the harpsichord. p38 'The Fir Tree - Strathspey NB: The Strathspey Reels are play'd much slower than the others.'

Copy notes

Lacks pp.17-20; images of these pages are from GB-P Bd19.


96 p




17 x 25



Biographical info

Bremner (c.1713-89) was a music-seller and publisher in Edinburgh until 1760, thereafter in London. John Brysson managed the Edinburgh business for Bremner after the latter's removal to London. (Glen 1, vii; Alburger; Grove)

Other locations

GB-P Bd19 (1759, lacking titlepage, index, pp.95-96, and has some cropping to the tops of pages)
GB-DUcl H.92496 (First and Second Collections. Occasional cropping to text at the top. Ink annotations from Wighton, e.g. The Grant's Rant 'Green Grows the Rashies O', correction of 'The Corporal' to 'G minor'. Plates seem slightly more worn than in Perth and IMSLP copies. Further notes, mostly on publication dates, appear throughout the book: some give alternate titles for certain reels. The second collection has an MS index.)
GB-A Pi 787 BRE (Edinburgh, 1757-59. First 4 numbers only, pp.1-32, lacking pp.3-4, 15-16)
GB-A Hend Inst Sco (London, 1765?)
GB-Gu Ca9-d.21 ([1775])
GB-Lbm b.58.b.(1.) ([1768])
GB-Lcs QM ([1765])
GB-Ob Harding Mus.F 295(1) ([1768])