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.
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.
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.
to Dunkeld History