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This page referes to John Skene MS of ca1630, not to the George Skene MS of ca1715

National Library of Scotland ms adv.5.2.15

The following from Simon Chadwick's notes on the Early Gaelic Harp website :-

Probably compiled c.1630, though this is a guess; it could date from as early as 1615 or as late as the 1650s. Written by, or for, John Skene (d.1644) of Hallyards, Lothian, or his son William. Written in tablature for the mandore, a kind of small lute.

Editions -

William Dauney

Ancient Scotish Melodies, with an introductory enquiry illustrative of the history of the music of Scotland

Bannatyne Club, Edinburgh (No. 59), 1838

Dauney’s book contains a complete transcription into staff notation of the music in the Skene ms, as well as a substantial discussion, notes and other musical examples. It has 46 pages of transcription, and 1 page of facsimile tablature. It was re-issued as a facsimile by AMS Press, New York, 1973. Dauney's book is available in its entirety at Google Books.

This mandore book was written by or for a wealthy East coast aristocrat and contains a selection of different music he world have performed on the mandore. The mauscript is a compilation of eight books containing a repertory of 117 pieces set for the mandore (a small 5 course lute-like instrument). The music is a mixture of English, French and Scots airs.

Frank Kidson's Transcription from 'Ancient Scottish Melodies, PDFs at VWML

Back to Tune Manuscripts List