Princess Royal

Princess Royal

i’m looking for notes for this reel, which is played in cape breton. i think it may have been written by niel gow. pretty much all the abc/sheet music i can find on the web is for the carolan tune which is, shall we say, somewhat different :)

(yeah, i know it’s not an irish tune, but y’all have never failed me yet!)

sarah

Re: Princess Royal

This is in RSCDS Book 2 (Royal Scottish Country Dance Society) available from www.rscds.org. It’s listed as being from Gow’s Repository. RSCDS books are fairly inexpensive. I’ll see if I can put an abc up soon -

CJ

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Re: Princess Royal

Actually, there are a couple of abc’s for this - in Gm and Em - in The Fiddler’s Companion - there’s a link from this site in the Tune Collections links. Type in Princess Royal, and then it’s down a ways in the infor returned, but it’s there. They are straight forward, but you could vary them to your heart’s content. Might be faster than waiting on the abc’s from me -

CJ

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Re: Princess Royal

I just posted the abc’s from RSCDS Book 2 -

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The Princess Royal is by Turlough O’Carolan

I know "The Princess Royal" as a Carolan tune, so I was interested to see if this is the same tune. It is. Now that cj has posted the ABC, I can tell that it is definitely Carolan’s melody, although with some variations from the version in Donal O’Sullivan’s book (see below for reference).

From Ceolas: The Fiddler

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P.s.

In the versions I’ve heard, "The Princess Royal" is not a reel, but is played rather slowly, in a stately manner.

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Re: Princess Royal

Great work, Sarah!

We dance to this as a reel, but on fiddle/harpsichord we play it slower.

My fiddler/harpsichord building friend is making me a hammered dulcimer - when it’s done lonefiddler will be allowed to leave SF - but not without much wailing and gnashing of teeth on the part of the rest of us -

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Re: Princess Royal

JC’s tunefinder has - many - versions of this tune. But the first two tunes up are not this tune (one of them is in 3/4) - so maybe one of them is the non-O’Carolan. The first one seems to have an English country dance feel - maybe it’s the Kidson (Grove) tune -

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Re: Princess Royal

the abc’s suggested are quite nice, but the cape breton setting i’ve heard is very different from any of them (at least to my somewhat inexperienced ear). i’m going to have to go back to listening hard to some recordings to get the tune down in the way i’m hearing it played. no rest for the wicked, i guess :)

but thanks to everyone who came up with sources!

sarah

Re: Princess Royal

I’ve heard a tune by this name, which appears to be related to the tune attributed to O’Carolan, but is in a major key. It is popular in England as a Morris dance tune, and, among English trad players, would probably be classed as a reel.

I’ll post what I remember of it here:
K: G
dc | B2A2G2dc | B2A2G2d2 | e3d cde2 | d6 …..

Eleyne, if you recognise those few bars, I can try and track down the rest of it for you.

Re: Princess Royal

I was surprised to see this as a reelasI’ve always heard it as a hornpipe. I know it three ways ….
1) the flat Irish hornpipe version as published in O’Niels and attributed to O’Carolan (to go further, as some correspondents have done, would be an act of faith rather than of scholarship)
2) the major lumpy version that is foundin several English Morris dance traditions.
3) the minor version that is from either the Fieldtown or Bampton Morris tradition. (sorry, I forget which village) The note values are prettymuch as that given in O’Niels but the way its played is much more angular than the Irish version. It shows what a poor representation notation really is.

Association with an English Morris tradition may or may not indicate antiquity. It fair to say that this tune is pretty widespread and anciently played throughout the British and Irish traditions (the only two traditions where I’ve not heard it played are theManx and Northumbrian). Perhaps its bettertoconcentrate in the differences in performance style rather than get bogged down on original authorship when this is unlikely to be resolved in any rigorous wayat this distancefrom the tunes creation.
Noel Jackson
Angels of the North
Northumbria, UK

Re: Princess Royal

It would be much more useful if all this information and debate were posted *with* the tune itself, instead of here in the discussions area.

https://thesession.org/tunes/905