Tullochgorum: A Case Study in the Transmission of Scottish Fiddle Music

Ronnie Miller Gibson

Research output: Contribution to conferenceUnpublished paper


The recorded history of the Scottish dance tune, 'Tullochgorum,' can be traced back to 1734 and its first appearance in music notation in the Duke of Perth MS. Of unknown authorship, the tune is believed to have originated on the bagpipes on account of it being in the mixolydian mode, but it is now considered to be among the core repertoire of Scottish fiddle music. It was first published in print in 1757 by music publisher, Robert Bremner, and since that time has been included in at least thirty-eight other printed collections. Examples of the tune also exist in audio recordings, the earliest of which is a performance by James Scott Skinner from 1905. It is exceptional that there should be so many examples of an individual tune, but, as will be explained, the tune itself was made exceptional when lyrics were written to it by Episcopal minister, the Reverend John Skinner. This paper will attempt to gauge whether or not differing notated examples of the tune, 'Tullochgorum,' can be interpreted as an index of changing performing practices through both space and time by identifying and interpreting similarities and differences between them. In addition, the symbiotic relationship between music notation and performance will be examined by considering audio examples.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 27 Apr 2013
EventMusica Scotica Eighth Annual Conference - Open University, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: 27 Apr 201327 Apr 2013


ConferenceMusica Scotica Eighth Annual Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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