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Neil Gow

The Gow Collection of Scottish Dance
The Gow Collection of Scottish Dance...

Aly Bain
Aly Bain
Niel Gow's Lament for His Second Wife

Niel Gow's Lament for His Second Wife


Neil Gow

Just across the A9 road from Dunkeld is the wee village of Inver. It was here that carriages changed their horses. A carriage accident at Inver in 1854 killed Count Rochenstart, the last known descendant of Bonnie Prince Charlie. Inver is, most famously, the home of Neil Gow. ( 1727 - 1807 ) By far the best known of the Scots fiddle composers, from whose dance tunes Robert Burns drew many of the airs for his songs. Gow (the first of a family of Scots dance music composers) was 60 when Burns met him on his Highland tour. In his Journal, Robert Burns described Gow, who played for him, as 'a short, stout-built Highland figure, with his greyish hair shed on his honest social brow, an interesting face, marking strong sense, kind open heartedness mixed with unmistrusting simplicity'. Robert Burns later visited Gow's house in Inver. Gow's main publications were a Collection of Strathspey Reels, 1784, 1788 and 1792, and the Complete Repository of Original Scots Slow Strathspeys and Dances, 1799, 1808, 1822. Neil was appointed fiddler to the Duke of Atholl, and, along with his brother and sons he formed an ensemble which played at Highland Weddings and balls in the great houses of Britain. Neil had his portrait painted several times by Raeburn.

Strathspey Players: Past and Present Divided into two parts, 'Strathspey Players' looks at both the life and legends surrounding the famous Perthshire fiddler Niel Gow, before examining the dilution of the traditional style of strathspey playing, of which Gow and J. Scott Skinner were such fine exponents.

Scottish Fiddle Music of the 18th Century When it first appeared in 1984, Scottish Fiddle Music in the 18th Century was a trailblazing book, making available 100 years of completely unknown fiddle music. Two decades later, the book is still essential reading for everyone concerned with Scots fiddling and its history, exploring the tradition’s musical and cultural influences. For players, this large format book includes 90 pieces of important Scottish music, found in no other collection.

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