The Vocal Melodies of Scotland
by Nathaniel Gow
Full title: The vocal melodies of Scotland dedicated to His Grace the Duke of Buccleuch & Queensberry; arranged for the piano forte or harp, violin & violoncello, by Nathaniel Gow.
Publisher: Edinburgh: Nathaniel Gow & Son, [ca 1810-1820];
Printer: Printed for and sold by Nathaniel Gow & Son
Published in two volumes by Gow & Son (Nathaniel & Niel Junr., who died 1823), and subsequently published in two volumes by Gow & Galbraith from 1823, and in two volumes by Alexander Robertson c.1827. A rare second edition by Robertson extended to three volumes c.1830.
This collection simply contains the melodies, without words, and the arrangements are often reminiscent of mid-eighteenth century tune books. The opening text on aiming for 'Conformity in the playing of these Beautiful Simple Airs' is rather undermined by the fussy version of 'The Flowers of the Forest' under it. Some accompaniments are 'by the immortal HAYDN.', and several are printed on three staves. Only one tune in the book is not marked 'slow' or 'slowly', as in Barsanti Collection of old Scots Tunes. The exception is 'The Collier's Daughter', marked 'lively'. In vol.2 'The Blue Bell of Scotland' is marked 'Modern', 'Fairly Shot of Her' has extensive violin and piano variations, and the only tune not marked 'Slow', 'Slowly', or 'Very Slow', is 'The Murray's March', which is 'Bold'. Vol.3 has a new engraver and seems much more pianistic: there are many more pianistic figurations in small notes in this final volume, and also more faster tunes.
from page 1: "From the marked approbation with which the Public honoured Niel Gow and Sons’ Editions of Strathspeys and Reels, in adopting their Setts as Standard, the Editor is induced to hope that the following Collection of our Original Native Melodies may be favourably received, and should it have, even in any degree, the effect of producing a Conformity in the playing of these Beautiful Simple Airs, he will be amply repaid for his small share of trouble."
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
- 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-Gu (10 copies representing all imprints)
GB-Lbl h.830.i (Robertson's 2nd edition vols.1-3)
and further copies elsewhere
This source has not been digitised.