The Complete Repository, Part 2
by Gow, Niel & Sons

Full title: Part Second of The Complete Repository of original Scots Tunes, Strathspeys, Jigs and Dances (the Dances arranged as Medleys in their Respective Keys for the Harp, or Piano-Forte, Violin and Violoncello &c. humbly dedicated to Her Grace the Dutchess of Buccleugh by Niel Gow & Son's [sic]

Publisher: Edinburgh: Nathaniel Gow & William Shepherd

Date: [1799-1813]


The Complete Repository was published in four parts by Nathaniel Gow in partnership initially (1799-1813) with William Shepherd in Edinburgh, and also sold by Nathaniel’s brother John in London after c.1805. Around this time they published a second edition of the first part, when the title was extended to advertise “the dances arranged in medley’s [sic] in their respective keys”. William Shepherd ceased trading in 1813; Gow subsequently had it engraved and printed by Walker and Anderson (1815-1816), then entered partnership with Robert Purdie at some stage until the early 1820s. He published with J M Galbraith in 1826-1828, and Alexander Robertson in the 1830s. (See SBTI and Kidson.)
The first part ran to four editions, and the subsequent parts to three, with some slight changes in titles. Notably, Part 2 was entitled Complete Repository of original Scots tunes, strathspeys, jigs and dances, until Purdie’s early 1820s editions, corrected and improved by Nathaniel Gow, when the ‘jigs’ were dropped from the title. The music was re-engraved for Purdie’s third edition, but looks almost identical – see extant copies and IMSLP digitisation. At the same time, some copies were now designated as for ‘piano-forte or harp’, rather than the earlier ‘harp [or] piano-forte, violin and violoncello.'
There are in excess of 60 copies in Copac alone, and many more in WorldCat.


Slow tunes are given at the beginning as in Part 1, including 'Highland Laddie'). 'Good Night and Joy be we ye a'' is marked 'Slowish' (to be sung?). Basslines are simple as in Part 1.
2nd edition has been reset, almost identically to the 1st.

[From the 2nd edition, GB-Gu Ca11-y.30, p.1]. Part the Second. “To Her Grace the Duchess of Buccleugh. With the greatest deference and respect, we lay this Second Volume of our Repository before your Grace and the public.
“The ORIGINAL SCOTS STRATHSPEYS, REELS, and JIGS, of which this Collection Consist, are brought forward with a view, to serve as a STANDARD of those NATIONAL TUNES and DANCES; for, we Cannot avoid mentioning, that in every part of SCOTLAND where we have occasionally been, and from every observation we were able to make, have not ONCE met with TWO PROFESSIONAL MUSICIANS who play the SAME notes of ANY tune! This being the Cace [sic], the Standard now proposed, will we hope, appear abundantly apparent; and that a CONFORMITY in playing those tunes, may with great propriety be adopted. We are encouraged to entertain this idea, from the favourable reception which our former publications have been received by the Public, whose approprobation, with that of your GRACE we shall always esteem, and be proud of acknowledge. [sic]
“In the hope, that our efforts to add to the Stock of NATIONAL MUSIC, will have a happy tendency, we send this Collection forth into the world; & will deem ourselves highly gratified to hear, that it meets with approving reception.
“We have the honour to be with profound respect, your Grace’s most obedient, much obliged, and very humble Servants. Niel Gow & Sons.”
[At foot of p.1]: “As the Tunes now Published differ more or less from any Sett formerly published the Publishers have entered them in Stationers Hall agreeable to Act of Parliament.”
[NB the 3rd edition, ‘corrected and improved by Nath: Gow’, resets the words, corrects ‘proud of’ to ‘proud to’ and ‘honour’ to ‘honor’, but otherwise the dedication and footnote remain unaltered. 'Cace' is mis-spelt in dedication of 2nd edition, but is correct in the 1st, with long 's'.]

RISM: G3258(2)

Gore: G11-2

Link: IMSLP (Purdie - third edition, 'Selected and improved by Nath. Gow'.)

Biographical info: Niel Gow (1727-1807), father of the famous Gow family, lived in Inver near Dunkeld. (Glen 2, viii-xiv; Grove; Alburger; Murdoch, 41-48) Gow's fourth son Nathaniel (1763-1831), violinist and Edinburgh publisher, was perhaps the most famous of the siblings; but his brothers William, John and Andrew also traded in music (John and Andrew in London). Nathaniel's son, Niel Junr., lived 1795-1823.


Aberdeen University Library
Birmingham University Library
Cambridge University Library
University Library, Durham
Dundee Central Library (Wighton Collection)
National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh
Edinburgh City Library
Edinburgh University Library
Mitchell Library, Glasgow
Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Glasgow
University of Glasgow Library
Royal Academy of Music, London
British Library, London
Royal College of Music, London
Vaughan Williams Memorial Library, Cecil Sharp House, London
Manchester Public Library
Manchester University Library
Newcastle University Library
Bodleian Library, University of Oxford
A K Bell Library, Perth
Saint Andrews University Library
Sheffield University Library
National Library of Ireland, Dublin
Trinity College Dublin

GB-A In SB f7864 Gow fi: copy 2 (2nd edition)
GB-A In Hend inst Gow s (3rd edition)
GB-Cu Item no. 2 in volume MR340.a.80.1. (3rd edition)
GB-DRu Fleming SF.538(c)
GB-En Glen.410(4)
GB-Gm M8784 / 786.45 (Kidson's copy of 1st edition)
GB-Gu Ca11-y.30
GB-Gu Ca12-y.37 (3rd edition, Purdie; earlier edition, Purdie)
GB-Gu Ca12-y.38 (2nd edition)
GB-Gu Ca12-y.39
GB-Gu Ca12-y.40
GB-Lbl 5 copies
GB-P Af34
GB-P Af37
GB-P Af23
GB-SA Finzi Collection 118

further copies in COPAC and WorldCat

    Digitised items

    This source has not been digitised.