OT: 26 March 1910 – John MacLennan

The Oban Times, 26 March, 1910

The Piobaireachd Society’s Publication

26 Arden St.,

Edinburgh, 19 March, 1910

Sir,–”Loch Sloy,” in your issue of the twelve instance tacitly admits the correctness of my letter of the fifth, and only eulogizes the Society and their good intentions. I approve the Society’s good intentions quite as much as he does, but no one with the slightest knowledge of music can possibly approve of the book I referred to.

“Mal Dhonn,” in your issue of the nineteenth instant, puts it that I wrote disparagingly in reference to the four men who assisted the Society in writing the book. They are for personal friends of my own, and I would never think of casting the shadow of a slight on any of them. My paragraph can only convey one meaning, that is.–That if the Society did well in taking four good men into their confidence, they would have done better still by taking other four.

“Mal Dhonn’s” defense is the weakest I have ever come across. He carefully avoids giving any mistakes I made in my criticism, because he cannot. He simply compares the book with mine, with Mackays, and with a book in his own possession. All that has nothing to do with the correctness of the book in question. “Mal Dhonn” appears to me to have taken up a defense he cannot maintain, and makes the best show he can by throwing out a few harmless side feints. Take the tri-lugh fosgailte of “Weighing from Land”: will he say that ever he heard the variation played so written? No; not even the men who wrote it, for in playing they give it quite a different time.

This Fourth Part must be very badly written indeed, before the gentleman who has been thanked and applauded by the Society for giving them their best sets of tunes would find himself obliged to agree with me in my criticism.–I am, etc.,

John MacLennan