String Bass part from The Laird o’ Drumblaire (Medley for Solo Violin with Guitar and String Bass Accompaniment)

James Scott Skinner
2 minutes
Folk music and World music
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I have always loved Celtic fiddle tunes (particularly Scottish, followed by Irish). The late Don MacAlpine, a friend, neighbor, fellow teacher, and very proud Scot, introduced me to this pair of dances about twenty years ago. One is ’The Laird o’ Drumblaire’, but I can’t recall the name of the other. (If any of the listeners recognize it, please drop me an email with the title.) The occasion of a ’Fiddle Fare,’ a local old-time fiddlers’ competition, caused me to haul this old favorite of mine out of the closet. I have arranged it here to be accompanied by guitar and string bass.

The ’Laird o’ Drumblair’ was composed by James Scott Skinner (1843-1927), a key figure in Scottish traditional music. He raised the art of Scottish fiddle music to a new height through both his playing and his compositions. The Laird of Drumblair, the namesake of the piece, was William McHardy, one of Skinner’s benefactors. McHardy made more than �100,000 from engineering work in South Africa, before returning to live at Drumblair House, Forgue, by Huntly, Aberdeenshire.

One can checkout Skinner’s original manuscript of the piece at:

The arrangement I have posted here varies in a few notes and rhythms from Skinner’s original. My arrangement is based upon a version performed by a Scottish National Fiddle Champion of the mid-1960’s (whose name I do not recall) in a recording played for me by Don MacAlpine (above).

The University of Aberdeen maintains a web site dedicated to Skinner, the ’King of the Strathspey’ at the following web site: where the information on Skinner (above) was obtained.

If I get time, I’ll try to start loading up my collection of fiddle tunes for others to enjoy.

Check out my classical fare, over 200 arrangements, mainly for string quartet (see below) at my Sibeliusmusic home page:

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