The Repository of Scots & Irish Airs, Strathspeys, Reels &c.
by John McFadyen

Full title: The Repository of Scots & Irish Airs, Strathspeys, Reels &c. Part of the Slow Tunes adapted for 2 Violins & A Bass; Others with Variations. The Whole with improved basses for the Harpsichord or Piano-Forte. Most respectfully dedicated to the Right Honourable Lady Montstewart.

Publisher: Glasgow: McGoun, [n.d.]

Printer: A. McGoun; J. McFadyen

Date: [1785-1796?]


This collection has a somewhat unclear lineage, with inconsistent dating in catalogues, and the possibility that McFadyen edited or reprinted an earlier publication by McGoun.
A publication of the same name was printed for Goulding ca.1785, the earliest date available (GB-Lbl a.9.b.(7)), but for the 'German Flute, Violin or Fife' - a title close to the flute version found in GB-Du and GB-Gm.
GB-Gm also has the same volumes 'For the German Flute or Fife' which contain tunes only, transposed where necessary. Again, Vol.2 lacks the titlepage. 'Containing all the Tunes that is not on the Flute key in the Harpsichord Vols. of the Repository which makes this a necessary Appendix to the work for Flute Players. Price 2sh. Printed and sold by A McGoun Stationer & Music seller Glasgow where may be had the Repository for the Harpsichord or Violin with a large assortment of Music and Musical Instruments.'
McFadyen and McGoun are both believed to have bought James Aird's plates: although the collection could have been based on tunes in Aird, initial comparison suggests not, as the repertoire here is wider. There are strathspeys, reels, jigs, song tunes, and Irish airs.


There are snippets of violin fingering, some cello double stop unisons, tempo indications 'Quicker', and some evidence of solid musicianship, with a wide variety of bassline styles.
p.47 of vol.2 has 'Lady Ann Gordon's Reel' with the note, 'this inserted a 2d. time by Mistake.'!
Attributions in vol. 2 include 'Irish', 'A.M. Esqr.' (McGoun?), 'H.R.', 'R.R.' (Riddell?) 'McI_h' (Mackintosh?), 'Welsh Air'. Variations on 'Miss Admiral Gordons Strathspey' [by Marshall] appear near the end. Geographical locations are principally in the west of Scotland.

Gore: MC7-2

Biographical info: John McFadyen senior fl. in Wilson Street, Glasgow, c.1790-1817 as music seller/publisher, taking over some of Aird's plates. SBTI does not list him as early as 1800, but traces his business as late as 1844. The business was continued by sons Joseph and John. (Kidson, SBTI, Humphries & Smith)


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-DUcl 92487 (McFadyen; for violins)
GB-DUcl 92525 (for flute: fewer airs)
GB-Gm M8895/786.456 (McFadyen, 2 vols.; 2nd lacks titlepage)
GB-Gm M9366 (McGoun)
GB-Gm M9778 (McGoun)
GB-Lbl b.58.c (McGoun)
GB-Lbl a.9.b.(17.) (London: Goulding [1785?])
GB-Ob Harding Mus.F.296(1) & (2) (McGoun)
GB-Ob Mus 61.d.62(1) & (2) (McFadyen)
GB-P Bd59 (McGoun: watermark 1796)

    Digitised items

    This source has not been digitised.