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Published online by Cambridge University Press:  27 January 2012


This article examines the process of fashioning an idea of ‘national’ music, by considering the social and political conditions that made such an idea possible at a particular historical moment. An early example, Scotland, is the focus here, and helps to show the type of discursive and active work involved in giving meaning to the idea of ‘Scottish music’ in a cultural sense. I argue that the poet and song collector Allan Ramsay played a central role in the years beginning around 1720. Before Ramsay's generation, there was only a limited sense of ethnic identity translating into poetic or musical style. Furthermore, Ramsay himself, in attempting to harness song and music as national cultural capital, also had to contend with the fact that Scotland was ethnically, culturally and linguistically split along the Highland–Lowland divide, and in other ways as well. Through his song collection A Tea-Table Miscellany and his follow-up publication of tunes for that collection, as well as through his involvement with Edinburgh's elite musical community, Ramsay helped transform Scotland's musical culture from a manuscript-based milieu organized around specific musical functions and occasions to one in which national origins helped validate music, and printed collections enshrined such groupings. Lastly, in addition to its direct influence, Ramsay's work helped shape the emergent discourse about national song indirectly: an extensive outgrowth of thought rooted partly in Ramsay's own ideas led to his being used as a negative example among collectors of ‘folk’ music from the later eighteenth century onward.

Research Article
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2012

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1 From Andrew Fletcher of Saltoun, An Account of a Conversation Concerning a Right Regulation of Governments for the Common Good of Mankind: In a Letter to the Marquiss of Montrose, the Earls of Rothes, Roxburg, and Haddington, From London the 1st of December, 1703 (Edinburgh, 1704), 10; cited in Harvie, Christopher, Scotland and Nationalism: Scottish Society and Politics 1707–1994, second edition (London: Routledge, 1994), 7Google Scholar.

2 Leith Davis has illuminated the intricate history through which Ireland came to be associated with musical nationalism in the eighteenth century in Music, Postcolonialism, and Gender: The Construction of Irish National Identity, 1724–1874 (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 2006)Google Scholar, and Suzanne Aspden has deftly charted important early aspects of nationalism in music, especially in England. See ‘Ballads and Britons: Imagined Community and the Continuity of “English” Opera’, Journal of the Royal Musical Association 122/1 (1997), 2451CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

3 On the literary aspects of this see Crawford, Robert, Devolving English Literature (Oxford: Clarendon, 1992), especially 1644Google Scholar; see also Davis, Leith, Acts of Union: Scotland and the Literary Negotiation of the British Nation, 1707–1830 (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1998)Google Scholar, and Sorensen, Janet, The Grammar of Empire in Eighteenth-Century British Writing (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000)Google Scholar.

4 See Crawford, Devolving English Literature, 23. Another Scottish philosopher of the time, James Beattie, published a more extensive list of Scoticisms, Arranged in Alphabetical Order, Designed to Correct Improprieties of Speech and Writing (Edinburgh: W. Creech, 1787)Google Scholar to help eliminate localized dialect from his compatriots' use of English.

5 Raymond Williams has discussed the shift in the use of the word ‘culture’ itself later in the century, in Culture and Society, 1780–1950 (London: Chatto and Windus, 1958)Google Scholar. Ramsay's generation, without yet using the word ‘culture’ in the most specific modern sense Williams outlines, clearly conceptualized something similar.

6 It is noteworthy that the power of ‘low’ song came to be recognized not only as a positive force but as a potentially dangerous and subversive element from the point of view of those governing. The famous quotation from Fletcher of Saltoun actually comes in a passage discussing the regulation of corruption and lewdness, rather than in the context of forging a national identity, as it would for Ramsay and others; Fletcher of Saltoun argues that ballads, like large cities, can corrupt manners (Fletcher of Saltoun, Conversation Concerning a Right Regulation of Governments, 10). Note, however, that at this time ballads did not imply a low opposed to a high culture, but rather a body of material shared across all cultures. A pervasive fear among the governing classes of the influence of really ‘low’, ‘mass’ song did not develop until later in the century, when the French Revolution made the power of the masses abundantly clear. See Mason, Laura, Singing the French Revolution: Popular Culture and Politics, 1787–1799 (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1996)Google Scholar.

7 See Gelbart, Matthew, The Invention of ‘Folk Music’ and ‘Art Music’: Emerging Categories from Ossian to Wagner (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

8 See, for example, Watt, Tessa, Cheap Print and Popular Piety, 1550–1640 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991), 3Google Scholar, and Davis, Natalie Zemon, ‘Printing and the People’, in Society and Culture in Early Modern France (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1975)Google Scholar. Note that whereas in England (and France) elite culture may have separated from ‘low’ culture over the course of the seventeenth century, in Scotland the two remained closely tied together for longer. See Craig, David, Scottish Literature and the Scottish People: 1680–1830 (London: Chatto and Windus, 1961)Google Scholar.

9 Zenzinger, Peter, ‘Low Life, Primitivism and Honest Poverty: A Socio-cultural Reading of Ramsay and Burns’, Studies in Scottish Literature 30 (1998), especially 4345Google Scholar; Newman, Steve, ‘The Scots Songs of Allan Ramsay: “Lyrick” Transformation, Popular Culture, and the Boundaries of the Scottish Enlightenment’, Modern Language Quarterly 63/3 (2002), 277314CrossRefGoogle Scholar. See also Kinghorn, Alexander M., ‘Biographical and Critical Introduction’, in The Works of Allan Ramsay, ed. Martin, Burns, Kinghorn, Alexander and others (Edinburgh: William Blackwood and Sons, 1945–1974), volume 4, 32, 5556Google Scholar.

10 Cantus, Songs and Fancies: To Thre[e], Foure, Or Five Partes: Both Apt for Voices and Viols: With a Briefe Introduction of Musick, as is Taught in the Musick-Schole of Aberdene by T. D. Mr. of Musick (Aberdeen: John Forbes, 1662)Google Scholar; see also Johnson, David, Music and Society in Lowland Scotland in the Eighteenth Century (London: Oxford University Press, 1972), 12Google Scholar.

11 In the Highlands written sources were basically non-existent, but function predominated again as a way of grouping and compiling music. Thus the Highland pipe repertoire was divided into ceòl mòr (the ‘big music’; that is, pibroch) and ceòl beag (the ‘little music’ for dancing or entertainment), with laments and songs for other purposes sometimes conceived as ‘middle music’. See Collinson, Francis, The Traditional and National Music of Scotland (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1966), 174, 248Google Scholar.

12 See Gelbart, , The Invention of ‘Folk Music’ and ‘Art Music’, 89Google Scholar.

13 It is referred to in some contemporary plays, such as James Shirley's Hyde Park (1632) and Thomas Jordan's The Walks of Islington and Hogsdon (1641); see Ward, John M., ‘“Excuse Me”: A Dance Tune of John Dowland's Making’, in Libraries, History, Diplomacy, and the Performing Arts: Essays in Honor of Carleton Sprague Smith, ed. Katz, Israel J. (Stuyvesant: Pendragon, 1991), 380382Google Scholar. The tune appeared in later editions of Playford's Dancing Master; it also had a ballad hung upon it, and it survived well into the eighteenth century. The air also made it into a fiddle manuscript of ‘Scotch airs’ (volume 3 of the McFarlan manuscript (NLS MS 2085), 201).

14 See Ward, ‘“Excuse Me”’.

15 On a dancing master in Scotland at this early time see Alburger, Mary Ann, Scottish Fiddlers and Their Music (London: Gollancz, 1983), 24Google Scholar. On some later history of Scottish dancing masters, many of whom went south of the border later in the century, see Emmerson, George S., Rantin' Pipe and Tremblin' String: A History of Scottish Dance Music (Montreal: McGill – Queen's University Press, 1971), 6364CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

16 National Library of Scotland (NLS) adv. MS 5.2.17, fols 18–21; for interpretation and dating see also Stell, Evelyn Florence, ‘Sources of Scottish Instrumental Music, 1603–1707’ (PhD dissertation, University of Glasgow, 1999), volume 1, 100104, 291Google Scholar. Printed collections of country dances from south of the border share much of their repertoire with the Scottish manuscripts; and, not surprisingly, Playford's endless editions of The English Dancing Master and its countless spin-offs, from 1651 onwards, have similarly mixed and obscured sources. Apollo's Banquet (London, 1687), for instance, contains both ‘Ayres, Jiggs, and Several New Scotch Tunes for the Treble-Violin’ and ‘New French Dances Used at Court and Dancing Schools’. The interplay between court, country dance and ballad material was ongoing: in England, courtly galliards had become ballad tunes and new ballads had passed back to court constantly.

17 The two best-known examples from this last category are the Gairdyn MS (NLS Glen 37, formerly MS 3298), which includes only the incipits of most of the nearly four hundred tunes it holds (the rhythmic notation varies from relatively clear to sloppy to nonexistent), and the enigmatic Guthrie MS (Edinburgh University Library MS La.III.111). The latter is bound as the centre few pages of a manuscript book of James Guthrie's puritanical sermons, denouncing music among other things, but is itself a well-worn collection of dance tunes, probably dating from around 1680 – many even with extremely bawdy titles. The tablature has brought forth speculation from a number of investigators as to the intended instrument, but it is almost certainly for a violin or a kind of viol. On the shorthand used in the manuscript see Alburger, Scottish Fiddlers, 18; Stell, ‘Sources of Scottish Instrumental Music’, volume 1, 96; and Willsher, Harry M., ‘Music in Scotland during Three Centuries’ (PhD dissertation, University of St Andrews, 1945), volume 2, 8486Google Scholar.

18 Stell, ‘Sources of Scottish Instrumental Music’, volume 1, 103–104.

19 NLS MS 2833.

20 Stell, ‘Sources of Scottish Instrumental Music’, volume 1, 208–211.

21 See especially the famous passage in his Topographia Hibernica, published in Giraldi Cambensis, Opera, Chronicles and Memorials of Great Britain and Ireland During the Middle Ages (London: Longmans, Green, Reader and Dyer, 1867) volume 5, 153155Google Scholar. The relevant passage is quoted in translation in Collinson, Traditional and National Music of Scotland, 229–230. For an extended discussion of Giraldus's work, and his musical and cultural characterization of Ireland in particular, see Davis, Music, Postcolonialism, and Gender, 1–4 and later.

22 As an example, consider the massive 1650 treatise Musurgia Universalis by the German Jesuit Athanasius Kircher. Kircher's treatise went further than earlier works had done in isolating the ‘complexio’, ‘natural temperament’ including customary styles of several nations, ancient and modern, and the book had a relatively wide scholarly circulation, and an early partial translation from Latin into German. Parts of the book influenced many other theorists; but in a broader picture, we can see that the study nevertheless remained within a small erudite community (1500 copies of Kircher's treatise were printed.) See Margaret Murata's translation and notes in ‘The Baroque Era’, cited in the combined volume Strunk's Source Readings in Music History, revised edition (New York: Norton, 1998), 707Google Scholar.

23 For my purposes here, I use ‘national consciousness’ and ‘national identity’ as synonyms, though different scholars of nationalism have differing preferred terminology. See, for example, Smith, Anthony D., National Identity (London: Penguin, 1991), 14 and chapter 4Google Scholar; Kohn, Hans, The Idea of Nationalism (New York: Macmillan, 1945), 34Google Scholar; and Davidson, Neil, The Origins of Scottish Nationhood (London: Pluto, 2000), 723Google Scholar.

24 Reynolds, Susan, Kingdoms and Communities in Western Europe, 900–1300, second edition (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1997), 254256Google Scholar. For examples from Scotland specifically see Donaldson, William, The Jacobite Song: Political Myth and National Identity (Aberdeen: Aberdeen University Press, 1988), 7Google Scholar, and Davidson, Origins of Scottish Nationhood, 25, 59–60.

25 On distinctions between atypical identities held by some members of the ruling classes and larger group identities see Hobsbawm, Eric, Nations and Nationalism since 1780: Programme, Myth, Reality, second edition (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992), 1013, 7879Google Scholar.

26 For different influential discussions of these factors see Gellner, Ernest, Nations and Nationalism (Oxford: Blackwell, 1983), especially the summary on 139143Google Scholar; Kohn, Idea of Nationalism, especially the Introduction; Anderson, Benedict, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism, revised edition (New York: Verso, 1991), especially 3746Google Scholar; Kamenka, Eugene, ‘Political Nationalism: The Evolution of an Idea’, in Nationalism: The Nature and Evolution of an Idea, ed. Kamenka, Eugene, corrected edition (London: Edward Arnold, 1976), 78Google Scholar; Plamenatz, John, ‘Two Types of Nationalism’, in Nationalism: The Nature and Evolution of an Idea, ed. Kamenka, , 2425Google Scholar; and Davidson, Scottish Nationhood, 24–46.

27 While many historians distinguish clearly between political (or ‘romantic’) nationalism and cultural nationalism, when cast in terms of their intellectual history, cultural and political nationalism in no way appear as opposites but rather as twin concepts to be pressed into service at different times, both building on the same new link between ‘citizenship’ roles and naturally occurring cultural boundaries (rather than divine right). For a good discussion of this phenomenon focusing on two primary figures see Barnard, F. M., ‘National Culture and Political Legitimacy: Herder and Rousseau’, Journal of the History of Ideas 44/2 (1983), 231253CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

28 See Raguenet, François, Parallèle des Italiens et des François, en ce qui regarde la musique et les opéras (Paris: J. Moreau, 1702)Google Scholar, and the refutation in Le Cerf de la Viéville, Jean-Laurent, Comparaison de la musique italienne et de la musique française (Brussels: F. Foppens17041706)Google Scholar.

29 For example, Webb, Keith, The Growth of Nationalism in Scotland (Glasgow: Molendinar, 1977), 32, also 24, 41Google Scholar. For claims about the Declaration of Arbroath and ‘modern’ nationalism see, for instance, Hanham, H. J., Scottish Nationalism (London: Faber, 1969), 6566Google Scholar, and Christopher Harvie, Scotland and Nationalism, 8–9. It is worth noting that the fourth edition of this book from ten years later (London: Routledge, 2004) tempered such claims considerably. Kidd, Colin's Subverting Scotland's Past: Scottish Whig Historians and the Creation of an Anglo-British Identity (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993), 17CrossRefGoogle Scholar, also presents a more nuanced version of similar claims.

30 As Fiona Watson has argued with inimitable style, the Declaration of Arbroath, really an argument aimed towards Rome, was, in context, primarily a way of negotiating for papal support in dynastic concerns. See Watson, Fiona, ‘The Wars of Independence’, in Scotland: The Making and Unmaking of the Nation, ed. Harris, Bob and MacDonald, Alan R. (Dundee: Dundee University Press, 2006), volume 1, 3247Google Scholar. See also Watson, , ‘The Enigmatic Lion: Scotland, Kingship and National Identity in the Wars of Independence’, in Image and Identity: The Making and Re-making of Scotland through the Ages, ed. Broun, Dauvit, Finlay, R. J. and Lynch, Michael (Edinburgh: John Donald, 1998), 1837Google Scholar. As such, the Declaration was not atypical of its time. It was an example, if a particularly eloquent one, of ‘regnal’ rather than cultural solidarity. See Reynolds, Kingdoms and Communities, 274–276.

31 See Ditchburn, David and MacDonald, Alasdair J., ‘Medieval Scotland, 1100–1560’, in The New Penguin History of Scotland: From the Earliest Times to the Present Day, ed. Houston, R. A. and Knox, W. W. J. (London: Allen Lane/Penguin, 2001), especially 150154Google Scholar.

32 See Kohn, , The Idea of Nationalism, 166183Google Scholar; Kamenka, ‘Political Nationalism’, 7; and Greenfeld, Liah, Nationalism: Five Roads to Modernity (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1992), especially 187Google Scholar.

33 For example, Addison wrote famously in 1711 in The Spectator: ‘A Composer should fit his Musick to the Genius of the People, and consider that the Delicacy of Hearing, and Taste of Harmony, has been formed upon those Sounds which every Country abounds with’ (Spectator, number 29, quoted in The Spectator, ed. Bond, Donald F. (Oxford: Clarendon, 1965), volume 1, 122Google Scholar).

34 See Fiske, Roger, Scotland in Music: A European Enthusiasm (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983)Google Scholar.

35 See Broun, Dauvit, The Irish Identity of the Kingdom of the Scots in the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries (Woodbridge: Boydell, 1999)Google Scholar.

36 Grant, Alexander, Independence and Nationhood: Scotland 1306–1469 (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1991), 200203Google Scholar.

37 Bower, Walter, Scotichronicon: New Edition in Latin and English with Notes and Indexes, ed. and trans. Watt, D. E. R., volume 1 (Aberdeen: Aberdeen University Press, 1993), 185Google Scholar.

38 See Smout, T. C., A History of the Scottish People, 1560–1830 (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1969), 111113, 332334Google Scholar; Devine, T. M., The Scottish Nation: 1700–2000 (London: Penguin, 1999), 231233Google Scholar; and Davidson, Origins, 63–72, 75–76.

39 See Lynch, Michael, ‘A Nation Born Again? Scottish Identity in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries’, in Image and Identity, ed. Broun, , Finlay, , and Lynch, , 82104Google Scholar.

40 See Devine, Scottish Nation, 12, 31–48, 233.

41 The ‘forty-five’ was Charles Edward Stuart's attempt to retake the British crown; he came back from France, landed in western Scotland, amassed an army of Jacobite Highlanders, and took most of Scotland before his campaign collapsed (through a combination of factors) and his army was crushed at Culloden Moor, outside Inverness.

42 See Donaldson, Jacobite Song, 38–47.

43 Donaldson, Jacobite Song, 40 and 44; italics original.

44 He called the Scottish melodies he heard performed ‘the strangest ayre that ever I heard in my life, and all of one cast’. Quoted in Fiske, Scotland in Music, 4.

45 Thomas Kirke, A Modern Account of Scotland by an English Gentleman (1679), quoted in Early Travellers in Scotland, ed. Brown, P. Hume (Edinburgh: David Douglas, 1891), 264Google Scholar.

46 (London: William Pearson for Henry Playford, 1700.)

47 John Young repeated the Highland Reference in his A Collection of Original Scotch Tunes for the Violin: The Whole Pleasant and Comical, Being Full of the Highland Humour (London, c1721–1728). There was also a London ballad opera by Joseph Mitchell called The Highland Fair: Or, Union of the Clans (London: John Watts, 1731). Thomas D'Urfey had written for the London stage a ‘New Scotch Song’ (to a tune that was probably old; see Glen, John, Early Scottish Melodies (Edinburgh: J & R Glen, 1900), 4648Google Scholar), beginning: ‘Walking down the Highland Town, There I saw Lasses many; But upon the Bank in the highest Rank, Was one more gay than any’ (‘Catherine Logy’, in D'Urfey, 's Songs Compleat, Pleasant and Divertive: set to Musick by Dr. John Blow, Mr. Henry Purcell, and other Excellent Masters of the Town (London: W. Pearson for J. Tonson, 1719), volume 2, 200201Google Scholar). By this time the exotic Highland lover had become a trope both north and south of the Tweed.

48 See Finlay, Richard J., ‘Caledonia or North Britain? Scottish Identity in the Eighteenth Century’, in Image and Identity, ed. Broun, , Finlay, and Lynch, , 144Google Scholar.

49 See Ross, Ian and Scobie, Stephen, ‘Patriotic Publishing as a Response to the Union’, in The Union of 1707: Its Impact on Scotland, ed. Rae, T. I. (Glasgow: Blackie & Son, 1974), 94119Google Scholar. For an interesting examination of the combination of earlier racial national conceptions with increasing intermingling of arguments based on shared cultural history in Scottish resistance around the time of the Act of Union see Davis, Acts of Union, 19–45, also 115–116.

50 Whatley, Christopher A., The Scots and the Union (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2006), 10CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

51 See Gelbart, , Invention of ‘Folk Music’ and ‘Art Music’, 28Google Scholar.

52 One of the many indicators of this thinking is the relatively slow application of copyright law to music; see, for example, Hunter, David, ‘Musical Copyright in Britain to 1800’, Music and Letters 67/3 (1986), 269282CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

53 James Watson, A Choice Collection of Comic and Serious Scots Poems: Both Ancient and Modern, by Several Hands (Edinburgh: James Watson, 1706). The tartan and haggis appear in ‘The Blythsome Wedding’ (10), and the quotation about the dialect is from an unpaginated introductory address to the reader. Along similar lines William Hamilton of Gilbertfield would publish his paraphrase of ‘Blind Harry's’ famous medieval heroic epic ‘The Wallace’ in 1722, allowing its patriotic overtones to be read in a new ethnic ‘national’ light. It was through this version that Robert Burns was inspired to write his ‘Scots wha hae’.

54 See Kinghorn, ‘Biographical and Critical Introduction’, 27–28.

55 Ramsay, , The Ever Green (Edinburgh: Thomas Ruddiman, 1724), viiviiiGoogle Scholar.

56 See Davidson, Scottish Nationhood, 28–30, for a comparison of this process to that in other countries. We might wish to distinguish this establishment of a ‘respectable vernacular’ from later, more uncompromisingly anti-English and/or more aggressively populist uses of Scottish languages. Peter Zenzinger has argued convincingly that Ramsay's initial attitude to Scots was in fact quite fraught and ironically distant, though he appears to have come to terms with it by the time of The Ever Green and the Tea-Table Miscellany (Zenzinger, ‘Low Life, Primitivism, and Honest Poverty’, 45–51). And Janet Sorensen has studied language as an articulation of power in Britain, arguing that the use of Scots and Gaelic specifically as a counter-hegemonic resistance really gained momentum later in the century (Sorensen, Grammar of Empire). Note, too, that in Ramsay's time, the fact that ‘Scottishness’ was being defined by Lowland Scots speakers meant automatically that Gaelic was put in a secondary position. However, not just Gaelic but also other Scots dialects (for example that of the Northeast) became ‘provincial’ too, through the elevation of one dialect to ‘national’ status, just as the establishment of Hochdeutsch as a nationally symbolic vernacular in Germany relegated dialects as Plattdeutsch to peripheral status.

57 Lom, Iain (John MacDonald of Keppoch), Orain Iain Luim, ed. and trans. MacKenzie, Annie M. (Edinburgh: Oliver and Boyd for the Scottish Gaelic Texts Society, 1964), 222229Google Scholar.

58 See Alasdair MacMhaighstir Alasdair (Alexander MacDonald), ‘Am Breacan Uallach’ (The Proud Plaid); Duncan Ban MacIntyre, ‘Oran do'n Bhriogais’ (A Song to the Breeches); Rob Donn MacKay, ‘Oran nan Casagan Dubha’ (The Song of the Black Coats); and John MacCodrum, ‘Oran an aghaidh an Eididh Ghallda’ (A Song Against the Lowland Garb), all printed with translations in Campbell, John Lorne, Highland Songs of the Forty-Five (Edinburgh: Scottish Academic Press, 1984), 154163, 218225, 236245, 248253Google Scholar.

59 The other side, too, was anxious to point to culture as a way of inventing ‘Scottishness’. One Whig song from around the forty-five claimed of Charles Edward's army: ‘Your partners that came o'er frae France … They understood not a Scots dance …’ Cited in Crawford, Thomas, ‘Political and Protest Songs in Eighteenth-Century Scotland I: Jacobite and Anti-Jacobite’, Scottish Studies 14 (1970), 24Google Scholar.

60 As Campbell points out, the songs mentioned above were by a gamekeeper, a herdsman, a family bard and a schoolmaster – what might be called a representative sample of Highlanders (Campbell, Highland Songs of the Forty-Five, xxi).

61 Second edition (Edinburgh: Printed for the author at the Mercury, 1719), 11.

62 For example: Sir John Clerk of Penicuik, one of the Scottish politicians who signed the treaty of Union in 1707 and himself an amateur composer who had studied under Corelli in Rome, and, for that matter, a close friend and patron of Ramsay's, was one of the many Lowlanders trying to rewrite Scottish history at the time to erase the idea that Scotland had once been a Celtic nation either linguistically or racially (see Devine, Scottish Nation, 29).

63 Ramsay, Tartana, 16.

64 On Tartana and its political implications see also Pittock, Murray G. H., The Invention of Scotland: The Stuart Myth and the Scottish Identity, 1638 to the Present (London: Routledge, 1991), 5556Google Scholar. For a view of the deliberately non-confrontational aspects of Tartana see Newman, ‘The Scots Songs of Allan Ramsay’, 284–285.

65 Ramsay, Allan, Scots Songs (Edinburgh: Printed for the author at the Mercury, 1718)Google Scholar.

66 The first printings (Edinburgh, c1724) exist only in single copies. Among the most important early versions was the 1729 three-volumes-in-one edition (Dublin: E. Smith, 1729).

67 Leith Davis has argued that Ramsay's invocation of performance and his assumption that his readers would know the tunes he named was the beginning of a tradition that asserted a Scottish self-identity, adjusting hegemonic (external) depiction of various ‘peripheral’ cultures from London sources. See Davis, , ‘At “Sang About”: Scottish Song and the Challenge to British Culture’, in Scotland and the Borders of Romanticism, ed. Davis, Leith, Duncan, Ian and Sorensen, Janet (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), 190191CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

68 See Johnson, Music and Society, 32–34.

69 See Arnot, Hugo, The History of Edinburgh (Edinburgh: William Creech, 1779, and London: J. Murray, 1779), 379Google Scholar. Indeed, the origin of the music club and its mix of gentlemen-amateur and professional performers goes back at least to the celebration of St Cecilia's Day in 1695 in Edinburgh. See MacLeod, Jennifer, ‘The Edinburgh Musical Society: Its Membership and Repertoire, 1728–1797’ (PhD dissertation, University of Edinburgh, 2001), 22Google Scholar.

70 Ramsay, Allan, Poems (Edinburgh: Thomas Ruddiman, 1721), xxixxviiiGoogle Scholar.

71 MacLeod, ‘Edinburgh Musical Society’, 64–65.

72 Among the overlaps of Ramsay's subscribers and the members of the Musical Society were the society's governor, Thomas Pringle; one of its directors, Peter Wedderburn; Sir John Clerk of Penicuik (a particularly active patron and friend to Ramsay, and a composer – see above, note 62); Henry Home (Lord Kames, the important Scottish Enlightenment philosopher); John Macfarlane; and Charles Erskine (the Earl of Buchan's brother). Membership lists from different years can be found scattered through the Minutes Of The Edinburgh Musical Society, 1728–95, photocopies of which are bound in four volumes in the Music Room of the Central Edinburgh Public Library. On the importance of Ramsay's house as a gathering place see Phillipson, Nicholas, ‘Culture and Society in the Eighteenth-Century Province: The Case of Edinburgh and the Scottish Enlightenment’, in The University in Society, ed. Stone, Lawrence (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1974) volume 2, 438439Google Scholar.

73 France had been a long-standing ally of Scotland during its struggles against England, and in any case French had long been the language of the Norman court and the international nobility (for example, it was the language in which Mary Queen of Scots had been educated).

74 For example, the Duke of Montrose, Lord Polwarth, Lord Selkirk and the Earl of Stair. The primarily expatriate Duke of Queensberry and his English wife (John Gay's most famous patron) ordered twenty-five copies each. Queensberry was active both in politics and in London musical life. Note that Queensberry also subscribed to Ramsay's Poems of the same year.

75 ‘Albion’ has often been used to mean all of Great Britain, or even just England, though it is also the root of the Scottish Gaelic ‘Alba’, referring to Scotland exclusively. So Ramsay's use of this word is itself tantalizing: is he suggesting that the Scottish examples he gives should represent Britain's musical achievement as a whole? Typically for Scots in the early eighteenth century, Ramsay could hold several differently constructed national identities simultaneously – he could be narrowly Scottish, more broadly British or more cosmopolitan still. See Kinghorn, ‘Biographical and Critical Introduction’, 56–57. On the trope of multiple identities held by Scottish authors see Smith, G. Gregory, Scottish Literature: Character and Influence (London: Macmillan, 1919)Google Scholar; Simpson, Kenneth, The Protean Scot: The Crisis of Identity in Eighteenth-Century Scottish Literature (Aberdeen: Aberdeen University Press, 1988)Google Scholar; Davis, Acts of Union, 7; and Newman, ‘The Scots Songs of Allan Ramsay’, 279–280.

76 In Ramsay, Poems, 304. This passage is also quoted and discussed in Johnson, David, Scottish Fiddle Music in the Eighteenth Century: A Music Collection and Historical Study (Edinburgh: John Donald, 1984), 35Google Scholar; and in Harris, David Fraser, Saint Cecelia's Hall in the Niddry Wynd (Edinburgh: Oliphant, Anderson and Ferrier, 1899), 191192Google Scholar.

77 The Atkinson MS, dating from about 1694 (belonging to the Society of Antiquaries in Newcastle, and deposited at the Northumberland County Record Office), contains a piece marked ‘A Highland Pibroch’ (96; in fact a version of ‘Killiecrankie’, discussed below). However, this title is added in pencil, in what appears to be a much later hand (probably that of William Chatto in the nineteenth century); so there is no indication that the piece was seen as ‘Highland’, let alone as a pibroch, when it was first notated. (Nor is the piece even playable on the bagpipe, because of its key and tessitura.) Meanwhile, on stylistic grounds, David Johnson dates two fiddle adaptations of pibrochs in later manuscripts to the period around 1720 (see Johnson, Scottish Fiddle Music, 14, 141–142), and suggests that Lowland fiddlers were experimenting with imitating bagpipe pibrochs already from around 1710 (124). But such stylistic dating is an inexact enterprise; it is notable that the written forms of these pieces on which Johnson bases his stylistic dating appear much later, in collections recorded in 1740 (the McFarlan MS, NLS MSS 2084–2085) and at the end of the 1770s (Daniel Dow, A Collection of Ancient Scots Music for the Violin, Harpsichord or German Flute: Never Before Printed: Consisting of Ports, Salutations, Marches or Pibrachs &c. (Edinburgh, c1778)). It is of course possible that, rather than starting a new trend – the fiddle pibroch – Ramsay was actually inspired by and advocating for some recent trends he had heard, as Johnson speculates in the Preface to the second edition of Scottish Fiddle Music (Edinburgh: Mercat, 1997), ixGoogle Scholar. This would, however, be hard to verify or refute.

78 Ramsay, Tea-Table Miscellany (1724 edition), 61. The song appears in the 1729 Dublin edition on page 44.

79 , John and Neal, William, A Collection of the Most Celebrated Irish Tunes: Proper for the Violin, German flute, or Hautboy (Dublin, 1724)Google Scholar.

80 On the manuscript itself (NLS MS 3296 (Glen 143, i)) see Stell, ‘Sources’, 169–171. To compare versions of this tune, see Sources of Irish Traditional Music, c1600–1855, ed. Fleischmann, Aloys (New York: Garland, 1998), volume 1, 361Google Scholar (tune number 251, and see cross-references).

81 A few years later it appeared in the ballad opera The Beggar's Wedding (1729) as ‘Past One O'Clock’, and then became widely circulated as ‘Cold Frosty Morning’ after the composer James Oswald published it in his Caledonian Pocket Companion (London: J Simpson and J. Oswald, 1745–1765), 12 volumesGoogle Scholar.

82 On the area around Blair Atholl as a particular nexus of cross-fertilization see Sanger, Keith and Kinnaird, Alison, Tree of Strings, Crann nan Teud: A History of the Harp in Scotland (Temple, Midlothian: Kinmore Music, 1992), 150152, 170183Google Scholar. The harp genre of the ‘port’ was probably born in this part of Perthshire, in the late sixteenth century. (The term ‘port’ came from Latin porto, to carry (see MacLennan's Pronouncing and Etymological Dictionary of the Gaelic Language, ‘Port’), and would come to mean ‘tune’ more generally in Gaelic, but it does not seem to have been in use before the genre emerged.)

83 See Donaldson, Jacobite Song, 54–57; Pittock, Invention of Scotland, 56.

84 Ramsay, Tea-Table Miscellany (1729 edition), 116. On the tune's origins see Sanger and Kinnaird, Tree of Strings, 109.

85 Musick for Allan Ramsay's Collection of Scots Songs, set by Alexr Stuart & Engraved by R. Cooper (Edinburgh: Printed and sold by Allan Ramsay[, 1725–1726]); see also Johnson, Music and Society, 13.

86 On the vital centrality of books in general as markers of cultural status a bit later in the century, during the Scottish Enlightenment, see Richard B., Sher, The Enlightenment and the Book (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2006)Google Scholar.

87 Johnson, Scottish Fiddle Music, 34.

88 Minutes of the Edinburgh Musical Society, volume 1, 6, records payment to ‘Wm McGibbon’, ‘Adam Craig’ and ‘Alexr Stewart’ ‘for performing last winter session by order of the directors 3 guineas each’, and on page 49 we see that Alexander Stuart was asked to catalogue the society's collection (28 January 1736). See also MacLeod, ‘Edinburgh Musical Society’.

89 See the Minutes of the Edinburgh Musical Society, volume 1, 39.

90 Minutes of the Edinburgh Musical Society, volume 1, 36: ‘to Allan Ramsay for Musick’ (cMay 1733), and another payment/purchase later the next year is mentioned in the records.

91 Adam Craig, Collection of the Choicest Scots Tune: Adapted for the Harpsicord [sic] or Spinnet and within the Compass of the Voice, Violin or German Flute (Edinburgh, c1727 (this is David Johnson's estimate for the date of the first edition; see Scottish Fiddle Music, 2)). Next, Alexander Munro published a Collection of the Best Scots Tunes in 1732 (oddly, it was published in Paris, though practically all of the subscribers were Scots).

92 Oswald's first contribution was the Curious Collection of Scots Tunes for a Violin, Bass Viol, or German Flute, with a Thorough Bass for the Harpsichord (Edinburgh, 1740), followed by the Second Collection of Curious Scots Tunes (London: J. Simpson[, c1742–1743]). Oswald had moved down to London in the interim and from there he would also publish the twelve volumes of his Caledonian Pocket Companion from 1745 to 1765 (see note 81). McGibbon remained in Edinburgh and published volumes of A Collection of Scots Tunes, Some with Variations: For a Violin, Hautboy, or German Flute, With a Bass for a Violoncello or Harpsichord (Edinburgh: Richard Cooper, 1742, 1746, 1755). The Italian Francesco Barsanti also published (presumably just before McGibbon's first volume) A Collection of Old Scots Tunes: With a Bass for Violoncello or Harpsichord: Set and Most Humbly Dedicated to the Right Honourable The Lady Erskine (Edinburgh: Alexander Baillie, and Messrs. Hamilton and Kincaid, 1742), and some of McGibbon's arrangements in his volumes seem to be drawn directly from this collection, and then varied to some extent.

93 Craig's was primarily marketed as a solo keyboard collection, however.

94 Donaldson, Jacobite Song, 67–68.

95 One version appears in lyra viol tablature in a manuscript copied apparently shortly after the battle (the Leyden MS, Newcastle University Library, Bell-White 46, f. 9r). A different version (derived from a much earlier Irish tune, ‘Planxty Davis’) was published in Playford's 1700 Collection of Original Scots Tunes and is to be found in some manuscripts around the same time as well. The origins of both tunes are unclear (on the second see, for example, Sanger and Kinnaird, Tree of Strings, 109–110), though they clearly predate the battle by a long time.

96 See Donaldson, Jacobite Song, 137, note 1, for some examples.

97 The primary manuscripts illustrating this change are the Duke of Perth manuscript (a photocopy is available as NLS MS 21715) and the aforementioned Gairdyn MS (NLS Glen 37, see note 17), with its copious incipits. The latter manuscript seems to include the names of several successive owners and also includes several dates, but it is difficult to reconstruct its history, as the pages appear to have been rebound in a rather jumbled order. Several different handwritings also appear (though most of the book is in the same hand). In any case, the collection was begun around 1710, but it was still being added to into the 1740s (as Stell points out, it includes ‘Rule Britannia’, for which Arne wrote the music only in 1740 (Stell, ‘Sources’, volume 1, 87)), so it is difficult to work out precisely the dates when the various ‘Highland airs’ included were written down.

98 The Duke of Perth manuscript.

99 Volume 1 is lost. Volumes 2 and 3 are NLS MSS 2084 and 2085 (1740 is the date in volume 2; in volume 3 the date is torn off, but it is probably very close to 1740).

100 Besides the McFarlan MS, others from the middle and later in the century that mix Highland and Lowland tunes and Gaelic and Scots titles include NLS Adv. MS 5.2.22, NLS Adv. MS 5.2.25 and NLS MS 2086. The last of these appears to have been copied almost verbatim from published collections; it includes note-for-note material from Munro's Collection of the Best Scots Tunes and Oswald's Caledonian Pocket Companion.

101 See, for example, ‘Pioberachd [pibroch] Mhie Dhonuil’, in the Caledonian Pocket Companion, twelve-volumes-in-two edition (London: Straight and Skillern, c 1770), volume 2, 152Google Scholar.

102 Alasdair, MacMhaighstir, ‘Moladh an úghdair do'n tsean chánoin Ghailic’ (The Author's Eulogy for the Old Gaelic Language), in Ais-Eiridh na Sean Chánoin Albannaich: no, An Nuadh Orainaiche Gaidhealach (Edinburgh, 1751), 17Google Scholar.

103 See Davidson, Scottish Nationhood, 73. See also MacInnes, John, ‘The Gaelic Perception of the Lowlands’, in Gaelic and Scotland / Alba Agus A'Ghaidhlig, ed. Gillies, William (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1989), 97Google Scholar.

104 See the Preface, Ais-Eiridh, vi–vii.

105 See, for example, Donaldson, Jacobite Song, ix, 63–67; Devine, Scottish Nation, 236–241; Womack, Peter, Improvement and Romance: Constructing the Myth of the Highlands (Basingstoke: Macmillan1989), 2CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Kidd, Colin, ‘The Rehabilitation of Scottish Jacobitism’, Scottish Historical Review 77/1 (1998), 6768CrossRefGoogle Scholar; and Chapman, Malcolm, The Gaelic Vision in Scottish Culture (London: Croon Helm, 1978)Google Scholar.

106 I think it is telling that Burns Martin applied the term to Ramsay in Allan Ramsay: A Study of His Life and Works (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1931), 4748Google Scholar, whereas it is more commonly associated with Robert Burns and others of post-Culloden generations.

107 Easily the closest parallel and successor to Scottish musical nation-building in the early eighteenth century came in Ireland. Leith Davis has suggested that John and William Neal's 1724 Collection of the Most Celebrated Irish Tunes had, like those I have described in Ramsay's work, hybridizing tendencies towards creating a new national tradition – a trope that, in Ireland as in Scotland, would be developed much further later in the eighteenth century. See Davis, Music, Postcolonialism, and Gender, 34–39. See also the facsimile edition of the Neal collection with Introduction, ed. Nicholas Carolan (Dublin: Folk Music Society of Ireland, 1986). Other projects of musical nation-building in divided and/or politically dependent societies came somewhat later: in Italy and Germany, and then in the early nineteenth century in Eastern Europe, not least in the lands that began to assert a cultural identity against Habsburg political control. In all these cases similar processes would lead to the isolation of particular musical features as national.

108 One of the best-known came from the poet Robert Fergusson, whose ‘Elegy on the Death of Scots Music’ basically defended music by native Scots, while assailing any music in Scotland that ‘sprung frae Italy’ as ‘a bastard breed’. (From the Weekly Magazine, 5 March 1772; reprinted in Fergusson, Robert, Scots Poems (Edinburgh: Porpoise, 1925), 1820.)Google Scholar

109 See Bendix, Regina, In Search of Authenticity: The Formation of Folklore Studies (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1997), 323Google Scholar, and Stewart, Susan, Crimes of Writing: Problems in the Containment of Representation (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991), 105Google Scholar. See also Gelbart, Invention of ‘Folk Music’ and ‘Art Music’, 153–190.

110 Gelbart, Invention of ‘Folk Music’ and ‘Art Music’, 60–66.

111 Gelbart, Invention of ‘Folk Music’ and ‘Art Music’, especially 40–79, 81, 186; Janet Sorensen has argued that around Ramsay's own lifetime song already represented something ‘older’ in England than in Scotland, so that when Ramsay's collected songs moved south, claims were made about their antiquity that had not been made by Ramsay himself. See ‘The Debatable Borders of English and Scottish Song and Ballad Collections’, in Romanticism's Debatable Lands, ed. Lamont, Claire and Rossington, Michael (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007), 89CrossRefGoogle Scholar. Similar claims were made in Scotland after the Ossian debates, and I would add that they increased markedly in England after that point as well, and changed in tone.

112 Ritson, Joseph, Scotish [sic] Songs (London: J. Johnson, 1794), volume 1, lxiiiGoogle Scholar.

113 See, for example, Daiches, David, The Paradox of Scottish Culture: The Eighteenth-Century Experience (London: Oxford University Press, 1964), 2728Google Scholar; Johnson, Music and Society, 134; Kinghorn, ‘Biographical and Critical Introduction’, 146–148; and Harker, Dave, Fakesong: The Manufacture of British Folksong from 1700 to the Present Day (Milton Keynes: Open University Press, 1985), 12Google Scholar.

114 His Gaelic orthography is hideous, hinting that he did not consider Gaelic a musical language worth the consideration that he would have given Italian, for instance. Gaelic orthography was even further from standardization than English orthography at the time, but the alphabet never included W or Q, both of which appear in Oswald's spellings of Gaelic tune titles. See ‘Failte na miosq’ and ‘More W Ingean Ghiberlan’ (for ‘Fàilte na miosg’ and ‘Mor nighean a'Ghiobarlain’) in the Caledonian Pocket Companion, volume 1, 17 and 22.

115 See Gelbart, Invention of ‘Folk Music’ and ‘Art Music’, 34–39.

116 Cambell, Alexander, Albyn's Anthology: or, A Select Collection of the Melodies & Local Poetry Peculiar to Scotland & the Isles Hitherto Unpublished (Edinburgh: Oliver and Boyd, 1816), volume 1, viGoogle Scholar.

117 Almost all of them – Cooper being the exception – came from Perthshire, that mediating area where Highland met Lowland and the two had been fruitfully mixing for centuries, but whose fruits now seemed particularly suited to representing a ‘national’ whole. Their collections included Neil Gow's A Collection of Strathspey Reels with a Bass for the Violoncello or Harpsichord (Edinburgh: Printed for the Author[, 1784]), which was followed by several more volumes; and Dow's Collection of Ancient Scots Music for the Violin, Harpsichord or German Flute.

118 Bhabha, Homi K., ed., Nation and Narration (London: Routledge, 1990), especially 17Google Scholar.