OT: 23 October 1915 – W.C.F. “Gesto and the MacCrimmon Notation”

The Oban Times, 23 October, 1915

Gesto and the MacCrimmon Notation

18 October, 1915

Sir,–With reference to the discussion in “The Oban Times” about Captain Neil MacLeod, Gesto, a friend well-versed in Highland matters writes me as follows:–

“My mother, who was the niece of Mrs. Captain Macdonald of Rodil, Harris, it was brought up by her till she married my father, has often been told by her aunt (who, I may say without fear or favour, was considered one of the most celebrated players of Highland music of the pianoforte of her day) that she often played old Gesto’s accompaniments when he played the violin, and very particular he was too, especially as to time. There were very few that he would ask to accompany him, and if by chance, he got a bad accompanist, woe betide the lady. The old gentleman was not very choice in his language when angered.

“I have often heard my father say that Gesto had a large Academy for pipers, and many a good player he trained.

“I believe Mr. Grant is right about the notation, however, as the pupils were trained by a system closely resembling the Sol-fa.”

As my friend is one who can speak with some authority on Highland musical matters I venture to quote his words.–I am, etc.,