A Selection of Original Tunes
by Baillie, Peter

Full title: A Selection of Original Tunes Arranged for the Piano Forte and Violin Composed by Peter Baillie, To which is added a short sketch of the Life of the Composer.

Publisher: [Edinburgh?]: Peter Baillie

Date: [1825]


In the GB-En copy (from the Murdoch Henderson bequest), the first two pages and biographical sketch are traced in ink from another copy. Pencil note from Murdoch Henderson in GB-En copy, 'One other copy known' - presumably the GB-DUcl copy.


Book contains 13 tunes, all dedicated to men rather than women.
Wighton's 'sarcastic insinuations' about the authorship of P. Baillie's Strathspey, written in ink between the lines of the tune and at the bottom of page 7, are refuted by J M Henderson on an inserted paper slip. Wighton suggested that Baillie would have been too young to compose the tune before Gow published it in 1784, but Henderson suggests it more likely that Niel Gow took the tune down from a young Baillie's playing.
The basses are by 'Mr Clelland, an ingenious musician of this city'. They are simple, repeated basslines, some in octaves.

Gore: B2

Biographical info: According to Peter Baillie's grandson, Peter lived and worked at Loanhead near Edinburgh. Although known as 'Pate Bailie, the fiddling tinker', he was actually a horner, making horn spoons etc., and a stonemason. He was known for his vigorous bow-stroke, rapid, distinctive fiddling, and genius at improvisation, and was evidently a composer as well. He was a favourite at Dalkeith House and Stobo Castle, fiddling at aristocratic balls and parties. (Alburger, 168-9; Murdoch, 57-65). Biography from the volume itself: 'ADVERTISEMENT / PETER BAILLIE, the Author of the preceding Tunes, is about 46 years of age, was born in the parish of Libberton, and county of Mid-Lothian. His Parents belonged to the labouring class,- they had both a musical turn, but more particularly his Mother. He was the youngest of the family, some of whom he acknowledges surpassed him in playing on the Fiddle. PETER was originally bred a mason, a trade which he gradually relinquished, as by degrees he acquired skill in music. He married, at an early period in life, and had nine Children, several of whom can play on the Fiddle, but in a strain much inferior to their Father. When very young, he staid occasionally with several families of distinction, principally for the purpose of playing on the Violin. It was very likely at this time that his education was neglected. PETER may be regarded as a great musical genius in a state of nature, without the smallest cultivation, and had he been properly educated by some of the best teachers of the Art, there can be little doubt that he would have stood high among the Musicans of the present day. / A friend of the Author has been enabled, by the assistance of Mr CLELLAND, an ingenious musician of this city, to lay these Tunes, composed by PETER BAILLIE, before the Public. If success attends the publication, they will be continued in Numbers, of which this will be the first. / The proceeds of this Work, after defraying expenses, will be applied for the benefit of the Author’s family, which is at present in the greatest poverty. / EDINBURGH, August 1825.' In the Post Office Directory for Edinburgh 1825-26, musician Thomas Cleland is listed at Advocate's Close.


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-En MH.6(1) (first 2 pages and p.9 missing and replaced by J. Murdoch Henderson's hand-traced copy)
GB-DUcl H.10459 (complete, dated 1825 by Wighton in 1853)

    Digitised items

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