OT: 20 March 1926 – William Gray “Pipe-Major William Gray and Toarluath and Crunluath in Piobaireachd”

The Oban Times, 20 March, 1926

Pipe-Major William Gray
Toarluath and Crunluath in Piobaireachd

 Glasgow, 13 March, 1926

Sir,–An answer to your correspondent, “Is Fada Mar So Sinn,” in your columns of this date, may I state that I still adhere to what I have stated in my previous letters, namely, that there is a redundant “A” in Toarluath and Crunluath, as written by Mackay.

Your correspondent asks, can Pipe-Major Gray, or any other pipers refer to, furnish a better authority than Mackay for the correct method of noting Toarluath and Crunluath? Mackay himself has an additional footnote, which says–” From the Original MSS. in possession of the Highland Society of London,” and which your correspondent has failed to quote along with his other quotations.

I do not claim that the footnote on page 148 (Mackay) refers to triplets and variation 2 as your correspondent states, but I do say that the only triplets in this tune, as Mackay writes it, appear on page 146. The footnote on page 148 states clearly that it refers to the last two variations of Crunluath and Crunluath Mach. It further states that the 2nd quaver in each triplet in these last two variations is held. I would ask your correspondent to inform us where Mackay shows the 2nd quaver which has to be held in these last two variations on page 148? The tune to which the footnote refers is not called “The Highland Society of London’s Salute” in the MacArthur MS., but is called “The Highland Club,” by J. MacArthur. It is written in two sharps, stems upwards. Variation 2 is written in 2/4 time, and not in 4/4 as Mackay has it; also, there are no triplets shown in the variation. MacArthurs noting of the last two variations differs from Mackay, and shows only three melody notes, where Mackay shows four. Therefore, the footnote quoted by Mackay cannot possibly agree with Mackay’s noting. Nowhere in the MacArthur MSS. is there a Crunluath Mach on D resembling that shown in Mackay.

I again state that there is not one MacArthur tune in Mackay’s book copied correctly from MacArthur.

I would also inform your correspondent, “Is Fada Mar So Sinn,” that he is not due a reply from me since he writes under a “nom-de-plume”; but as I have answered his letter I hope he will be manly enough to give his name and address in his next effort.–I am, etc.,

William Gray

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