OT: 6 January 1934 – Malcolm MacInnes [“The Music of the MacCrimmons”]

The Oban Times, 6 January, 1934

[The Music of the MacCrimmons]

 Ostaig, Skye, 20 December, 1933

Sir,–I welcome every support for the proposal that all available records of music be collected and published; but clearly Mr. Cameron’s object is not the same as mine. Pipers will certainly be glad to see his contribution, though it appears to be merely his own style of chanting tunes that are in staff already, and tunes that he or his teacher probably learned from a published book. The Piobaireachd Society ought to publish all possessed by them; they would get willing subscribers.

A recent correspondent asked for information about a Macdougall mentioned in A. Mackay’s MS. If this MS were published, his chances of a reply would be greater. The position suggests that the Piobaireachd Society ought to be compelled to publish. My motive is to trace the evolution of the structure of the Ceol Mor, though I fear that little evolution has taken place since our first record of it–D. MacDonald’s book. Another reason is the question of name and authorship of tunes.

I have already referred to the “Lament the Children,” attributed to a MacCrimmon who lost his sons. Is it not strange that this tune is not in Gesto, which was collected from the MacCrimmons? I consider it improbable that a father who had lost seven sons would have composed an intricate pibroch about it. I also consider that the same man composed the “Children” and the “Lament for Lady MacDonald,” attributed to MacArthur: they are practically the same.

I am, etc.,

Malcolm MacInnes