Twenty-One Highland strathspey

Also known as The ‘21, The 21 Highland, The Twenty One Highland, The Twenty-One Highland Fling, The Twenty-One Highland.

There are 4 recordings of a tune by this name.

Twenty-One Highland has been added to 1 tune set.

Twenty-One Highland has been added to 19 tunebooks.

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Eight settings

X: 1
T: Twenty-One Highland
R: strathspey
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Ador
|: C>EA,>B, C>A,B,>C | B,>DG,>D B,>DA,>G, | C>EA,>B, C>A,B,>C |[1 D<B,G,>B, A,3B, :|[2 D<B,G,>B, A,3 e ||
c2 e>c a>ce>c |c2 e>c (3ege (3dBG | c2e>c a>ce>c | (3ege (3dcB A3 B | c2e>c a>ce>c |
c2 e>c (3ege (3dBG | A<aa>g (3efg (3fga | (3gag (3fed (3cBA (3GED ||
X: 2
T: Twenty-One Highland
R: strathspey
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Ador
c2e>c a>ce>c | (3ege (3dcB A2 A>B | c2e>c a>ce>c |
(3gag (3fed (3cBA (3GED :|] ([CE]<.E) [A,E]4||
X: 3
T: Twenty-One Highland
R: strathspey
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Ador
|: [EC]E[EA,][EB,] [EC][EA,][EB,][EC] | [DB,]D[DG,]D [DB,]D{B,/}[DA,][DG,] |
X: 4
T: Twenty-One Highland
R: strathspey
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Ador
[CE4]EA,B, [CE4]A,B,C | DB,G,B, A,2 A,e/d/ ||
X: 5
T: Twenty-One Highland
R: strathspey
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Ador
Oops! The problem of || ~ :| ~ the unintended repetition of the repeat sign corrected ~
|: c2 ec acec | c2 ec (3ege (3dBG |
X: 6
T: Twenty-One Highland
R: strathspey
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Ador
|: C>EA,>B, C>A,B,>C | B,>DG,>D B,>DA,>G, |
C>EA,>B, C>A,B,>C |[1 D<B,G,>B, A,3 B, :| [2 D<B,G,>B, A,3 B, e ||
|: C>EA,>B, C>A,B,>C | B,>DG,>D B,>DA,>G, |
C>EA,>B, C>A,B,>C |[1 D<B,G,>B, A,3 B, :| [2 D<B,G,>B, A,3 B, e ||
X: 7
T: Twenty-One Highland
R: strathspey
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Ador
|: [CE4]EA,B, [CE4]A,B,C | [B,D4]DG,D [B,D4]D{B,/}A,G, |\
[CE4]EA,B, [CE4]EA,/B,/C |[1 [B,2D4]G,B, A,2 A,B, :|[2 [B,2D4] G,B, A,D[A,D]d ||
c2 ec acec | c2 ec (3ege (3dBG |\
c2 ec acec | (3ege (3dcB A2 AB |
[E2c2] ec acec | [E2c2] ec (3ege (3dBG |\
(3aaa ag (3efg (3fga | (3gag (3fed (3cBA (3GED |]
X: 8
T: Twenty-One Highland
R: strathspey
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Ador
[1 D<B,G,>B, A,3 B, :| [2 D<B,G,>B, A,3 B, e ||
[1 D<B,G,>B, A,2 A,>B, :| [2 D<B,G,>B, A,2 A,e/d/ ||

Twenty-five comments

Twenty-One

First of all, this is a highland fling, not a strathspey, but will need to be under strathspey until someone decides the fling is a significant enough tune type to be separate. :) This is a very lovely, cool tune from the playing of Johnny Doherty. Some more info to follow on this from other session members. Any other info is welcome, too.

Twenty-One Highland

Okay, this highland was composed in 1921 by a fiddler from Donegal, Paddy McDyer - from nigelg.

Recorded by Johnny Doherty on "Round the House and Mind the Dresser", track 3, and
"Imeall" by Mairéad ni Mhaonaigh’ from Dragut Reis.

For a really cool version with the drones, see nedscot’s version:

X:1
T: The Twenty-One Highland
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
R:Highland
S:John Doherty
K: A Dorian
([CE4]<E)[A,E]>[B,E] [CE4]>A,B,>C | [B,D4]>DG,>D [B,D4]>D{B,}A,>G, |
[CE4]>EA,>B, [CE4]>A,B,>C | D<B,G,>B, A,2 A,>B, |
[CE4]>EA,>B, [CE4]>A,B,>C | [B,D4]>DG,>D [B,D4]>D{B,}A,>G, |
[CE4]>EA,>B, [CE4]>A,B,>C | D<B,G,>B, A,2 A, e/2d/2 ] |
c2e>c a>ce>c |c2e>c (3ege (3dBG |
c2e>c a>ce>c | (3ege (3dcB A2 A>B | c2e>c a>ce>c |
c2e>c (3ege (3dBG | A<aa>g (3efg (3fga |
(3gag (3fed (3cBA (3GED :|] ([CE]<.E) [A,E]4||

If this looks a bit confusing due to the very advanced abc’s, converting to concertina.net works great!

Many thanks to all those who contributed info, variations, and key suggestions.

Sorry, but converting to concertina.net doesn’t work great, all the intended drones of E4 and D4, when they convert, only convert as dotted notes, or E3 & D3. However, I think that rather than drones what I’m hearing in John Doherty’s fiddling are technically double stops…

To repeat or not to repeat ~

Just to avoid possible confusion, nedscot’s transcript, starting with the end of the A-part ~

~ | D<B,G,>B, A,2 A,e/d/ ||
|: c2 e>c a>ce>c | c2 e>c (3ege (3dBG |
[1 c2 e>c a>ce>c | (3ege (3dcB A2 A>B :|
[2 A<aa>g (3efg (3fga | (3gag (3fed (3cBA (3GED |]

& for finishing off the tune the last time through, at the end ~
[2 A<aa>g (3efg (3fga | ([CE]<.E) [A,E]4 |]

It’s good to see this one finding a home here…

The Twenty-One Highland with drones. (B-part NOT repeated.)

The above version of The 21 Highland with the drones (and the ending) is from John Doherty’s playing on "Bundle and Go" (a repaired version of that found in The Northern Fiddler by Allen Feldman & Eamonn O’Doherty (Oak Publications, but sadly out of print.)

Technically drones played on the fiddle are just double-stops where there is a constant note being played in addition to the melody notes (whether these be bowed or slurred); that’s what we have here with the E and D notes of the first part. I have not noted all the slurs in the first part, as they are not play consistently each time. The drones are notated in exactly the same way as they are in "The Northern Fiddler" (as minims running along with the melody.)

I’ve written the first part out in full (not with a repeat) because the first time around the first part begins with a semi-quaver/ dotted quaver, whereas it’s the other way round the second time). In bar 8 the last E and D (semi-quavers) sometimes are replaced by just a D quaver in John Doherty’s version.

I have added a repeat at the end of the tune just to indicate where the tune ends, and to indicate that the last two notes are the final ending, as played by John Doherty. There is no confusion, my notation shows no indication that the second part is repeated; the second part is NOT repeated. The entire tune is repeated, as usual. This is just a way of showing where the tune ends, and indicating the final ending phrase which is played once you’ve done repeating the tune.

I haven’t noted all the slurs, as they are not play consistently each time. The repeat of course refers to the entire tune (not just the second part); it’s there really to indicate the end of the tune; the final notes after the repeat mark are John Doherty’s final ending. This converts correctly with Concertina: http://www.concertina.net/tunes_convert.html

Es ~ What it says on the tin ~ > & <

As said before, nice effort nedscot, appreciated…

The problem with ABCs and the notation are minor, but as you’ve said, drones ~ double stops, but basically something that changes with the change in direction of the bow, so best treated as broken double stops rather than suggesting a constant drone.

But here’s the problem with trying to create a drone, if one were to, here or anywhere, without joining up the drone pitch with either ( ~ ) or a hyphen - …

Using your two examples ~ [CE4] & [B,D4] ~ realizing that interpretation of ‘swing’ can vary and often is taken as ‘compound’, or divided by 3, so that < is 1 and 2 in value rather than 1 & 3, and > is 2 & 1 rather than 3 & 1, with variations. But taking it as it converts to dots ~
L: 1/8

The less than symbol < halves the note that comes before, while the note following is multiplied Xs 1.5

C< translates to C/ = a semi-quaver or 1/16th note
E4< halved becomes E2 = a crotchet or 1/4 note
<E translates to E3/ = a dotted quaver or 1/8th note = 3/16ths

The greater than symbol > multiplies the preceeding note Xs 1.5 while halving the following note’s value

C> translates to C3/ = a dotted quaver or 1/8th note = 3/16ths
E4> becomes E6 = a dotted minim or 1/2 note = 3/4ths
B,> translates to B,3/ = a dotted quaver or 1/8th note = 3/16ths
D4> becomes D6 = a dotted minim or 1/2 note = 3/4ths

In other words, it isn’t yet capable of notating all our possible wishes, which is why there are ‘comments’ for the tunes we submit. As with other things, as just one other example, not all software that translates ABCs recognizes H for fermata, but some do, and some software has developed additional code that isn’t accepted as standard. For a notation system that has been around for ages, with surviving examples from at least the 1800s, it ain’t half bad…

No, sorry, it doesn’t convert cleanly at concertina dot net… E6 in the second half of the first bar crosses over into the second bar, two Xs D6 = D12 and does in that second bar not add up to a D8 bar’s worth, and E6 + E6 = E12 and does not fit the 8/8ths of bars 3, 5 & 7 of your A-part transcription… It is just simple maths, 12/8 does not fit comfortable into and 8/8 bar… :-/

Without the > & < they fit ~ 4 & 4 = 8

X: 1
T: The Twenty-One Highland
S: John Doherty
Z: nedscot, The Session Dot Org
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
R: highland
K: A Dorian
([CE4]E)[A,E][B,E] [CE4]A,B,C | [B,D4]DG,D [B,D4]D{B,}A,G, |
[CE4]EA,B, [CE4]A,B,C | DB,G,B, A,2 A,B, |
[CE4]EA,B, [CE4]A,B,C | [B,D4]DG,D [B,D4]D{B,}A,>G, |
[CE4]EA,B, [CE4]A,B,C | DB,G,B, A,2 A,e/d/ ||
c2 ec acec | c2 ec (3ege (3dBG |
c2 ec acec | (3ege (3dcB A2 AB |
c2 ec acec | c2 ec (3ege (3dBG |
Aaag (3efg (3fga | (3gag (3fed (3cBA (3GED :|

I don’t know a way to notate for a final ending, but have usually added it in the comments for a tune if not obvious by the key signature, or if showing a certain way given in a take, performance or recording, as given here…

% final ending = |[2 ([CE].E) [A,4E4] |]

B-part ~

Oops! The problem of || ~ :| ~ the unintended repetition of the repeat sign corrected ~

ending ~ Aaag (3efg (3fga | (3gag (3fed (3cBA (3GED |]

~ or ~

|: c2 ec acec | c2 ec (3ege (3dBG |
[1 c2 ec acec | (3ege (3dcB A2 AB :|
[2 Aaag (3efg (3fga | (3gag (3fed (3cBA (3GED |]

“The Twenty-One Highland” ~ before adding other takes, for nedscot’s sake ;-)

X: 2
T: Twenty-One Highland, The
C: Paddy McDyer, Donegal fiddler
S: John Doherty
Z: nedscot
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
R: highland fling
K: ADor
|: C>EA,>B, C>A,B,>C | B,>DG,>D B,>DA,>G, |
C>EA,>B, C>A,B,>C |[1 D<B,G,>B, A,3 B, :| [2 D<B,G,>B, A,3 B, e ||
c2 c>e a>ce>c | c2 e>c (3ege (3dBG |
[1 c2 c>e a>ce>c | (3ege (3dcB A3 B :|
[2 A<aa>g (3efg (3fga | (3gag (3fed (3cBA (3GED |]
|: C>EA,>B, C>A,B,>C | B,>DG,>D B,>DA,>G, |
C>EA,>B, C>A,B,>C |[1 D<B,G,>B, A,3 B, :| [2 D<B,G,>B, A,3 B, e ||
c2 c>e a>ce>c | c2 e>c (3ege (3dBG |
[1 c2 c>e a>ce>c | (3ege (3dcB A3 B :|
[2 A<aa>g (3efg (3fga | ([CE].E) [A,4E4] |]

“The Twenty-One Highland” / The 21 Highland”

The second take is for instruments limited to D ~

X: 3
T: Twenty-One Highland
C: Paddy McDyer, Donegal fiddler
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
R: highland fling
K: ADor
|: B,/ |\
C<EA,>B, C>A,B,>C | B,<DG,>D B,>DA,>G, |
C<EA,>B, C>A,B,>C | D<B,G,>B, A,2- A,3/ :|
|: B/ |\
c2 c>e a>ce>c | c2 e>c (3ege (3dBG |
[1 c2 c>e a>ce>c | (3ege (3dcB A2- A3/ :|
[2 A<aa>g (3efg (3fga | (3gag (3fed (3cBA G3/ |]

X: 4
T: Twenty-One Highland
C: Paddy McDyer, Donegal fiddler
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
R: highland fling
|: G>B |\
c<EA>B c>A (3ABc | B<DG>D B>DA>G |
c2 A>B c>AB>c | d<BG>B A2 :|
|: G>B |\
c2 c>e a>ce>c | c2 e>c (3ege (3dBG |
[1 c<G (3cde a2 e>c | e<g (3dcB A2 :|
[2 A<aa>g e<gf>a | (3gag (3fed c>A |]

X: 4 above…

needs…

K: Ador

…which is obvious if you’ve been playing through from the top, but is problematic if you try to drop the ABCs into a converter.

Posted by .

X: 4 ~ T: Twenty-One Highland ~ K: Ador

Always appreciated muspc ~ I must have deleted it when cutting and pasting from my notes ~

X: 4
T: Twenty-One Highland
C: Paddy McDyer, Donegal fiddler
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
R: highland fling
K: Ador
|: G>B |\
c<EA>B c>A (3ABc | B<DG>D B>DA>G |
c2 A>B c>AB>c | d<BG>B A2 :|
|: G>B |\
c2 c>e a>ce>c | c2 e>c (3ege (3dBG |
[1 c<G (3cde a2 e>c | e<g (3dcB A2 :|
[2 A<aa>g e<gf>a | (3gag (3fed c>A |]

It works ok if (as in The Northern Fiddler) you leave it just as even quavers, but once you weight the notes (with a dot) it dots the drone note too; meaning the drone is marked too long. But so long as people remember to stop playing the notes in the bar once the bar finishes (after the 4 beats are up) it should be fine. (Surely there’s got to some manageable system that’s not as primitive as the ABC notation! I’m sure it’s contributing to the increasing simplifying tendency in Irish music.) The original drone notation (the E & D-drones) is erroneous (being wrongly dotted) but can hardly be considered all that confusing.

The swing is slightly rounded compared to the strong dotted rhythm of Scottish Strathspeys, but it is certainly not right to write it undotted either, you miss the snaps for one thing (where the dotted-quaver/ semi-quaver rhythm is reversed. I must say I’m not happy with the last version of the versions attributed to nedscot, it’s clearly taken from a different transcription, and is not
The initial semi-quaver/dotted quaver in the first bar is omitted. In bar 4 and (bar 4 second time round) the two As are replaced here by a dotted A crotchet. First bar of the second part is different. Second part bar 4 again, two As are replaced here by a dotted A crotchet. This is far from a repair of the original transcription of John Doherty’s version.
The final ending, as played by John Doherty, is played after the 16 bars of the tune have been completed; it does not replace the final bar, which is what the second transcription (mistakenly) attributed to nedscot indicates. What my original transcription shows, pretty clearly I think, is that this is a final ending, is played after the repeat mark and after final bar of the tune has been played. I have no idea how this could be confusing.
Here’s how John Doherty plays the first bar first time round:
X:1
T: The Twenty-One Highland (first bar, first time round)
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
R:Highland
S:John Doherty
K: A Dorian
[A,3E3] [B,E] [CE4]>A,B,>C |

Hyphen -

" The original drone notation (the E & D-drones) is erroneous (being wrongly dotted) but can hardly be considered all that confusing." ~ nedscot

Yes, true at least for some, but using the hyphen will clearly give the intended length of a drone/double-stop. You can also add bow markings using ABC notation…

Notation will only ever provide a basic guide, whatever form of notation, true too of most dance notation…

Nice one Ned, appreciated…

Note, if a transcription isn’t attributed to you, well, then it isn’t. There are other options given here that have nothing at all to do with your welcomed contributions…

The only two that are ~ first with the swing removed so the drones are the intended length "Without the > & < they fit ~ 4 & 4 = 8", and then with the drones removed and the intended swing left in tact, ""The Twenty-One Highland" ~ ‘before adding other takes’, for nedscot’s sake"… If I made any mistakes with those two, apologies… It’s the music I’m interested in…

“The Northern Fiddler” ~ referenced here, for comparision

Sadly this is no longer available, out of print. The thing I value most in it is not the transcriptions of tunes, but the transcription of interviews with the fiddlers, many of whom I was blessed to meet and share time with, broke bread with. Their welcome, humour and passions, their character, are what I would most want to preserve. But I also love the music and dance. Here is the transcription without changes from that prized book. Try to get hold of it for the read, highly valued…

X: 5
T: The Twenty One Highland
S: John Doherty
S: "The Northern Fiddler", Allen Feldman & Eamonn O’Doherty, page 81
N: played with swing
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
R: highland
K: A Dorian
|: [CE4]EA,B, [CE4]A,B,C | [B,D4]DG,D [B,D4]D{B,/}A,G, |
[CE4]EA,B, [CE4]EA,/B,/C |[1 [B,2D4]G,B, A,2 A,B, :|[2 [B,2D4] G,B, A,D[A,D]d ||
c2 ec acec | c2 ec (3ege (3dBG |
c2 ec acec | (3ege (3dcB A2 AB |
[E2c2] ec acec | [E2c2] ec (3ege (3dBG |
(3aaa ag (3efg (3fga | (3gag (3fed (3cBA (3GED |]

Oops

Sorry, just noticed the b part has the e and c switched, just figured from seeing the sheet music, fixed the abc’s. Probably too late for the sheet music, oh well.

Beware dodgy versions!

I wrote: "The entire tune is repeated, as usual. This is just a way of showing where the tune ends, and indicating the final ending phrase which is played once you’ve done repeating the tune."

…and yet afterwards a (suppoesdly corrected) transcription was posted wrongly in my name where the final ending phrase replaces the last bar of the 16 bar tune, in apparent response to ambiguity in the ABC notation. If you listen to John Doherty’s version you can hear how the tune ends. Is it really necessary to clog up this site with brutally incorrect renditions of tunes where there are perfectly good versions already posted?

"The Twenty-One Highland" ~ before adding other takes, for nedscot’s sake ;-)

Mea culpa ~ as you’ll see, checking it out above, twice through the tune and giving the ending the second time through as a second ending, but what is a ‘final ending’, in other words ~

[2 A<aa>g (3efg (3fga | ([CE].E) [A,4E4] |]

But for some this may not have been clear… :-/

What is clear to one person can be considered a confusion to another…

"Is it really necessary to clog up this site with brutally incorrect renditions of tunes where there are perfectly good versions already posted?" ~ nedscot

If you don’t like something, whatever ‘other’ take is offered, move on and don’t get yourself in a twist over it. Thank goodness the music isn’t in the straight jacket some people would prefer to limit it to. Personally, I’m glad you offered another transcription. As most of us will say, the ears are more important than any notation. I happen to enjoy seeing and trying different takes on a melody and the music is a live thing to me, rather than something preserved in a jar of fermaldahyde. Living things move and adapt. Living music does the same thing from person to person and instrument to instrument, and over time too. It is what allows us to have a personal relationship with it. But respect and appreciation for the past is not something I ignore either…

| c2 e>c a>ce>c | ~ and/or ~ | c2 c>e a>ce>c |

"Sorry, just noticed the b part has the e and c switched~" ~ enirehtac

That really does not matter in the playing. c & e are a Major third, which means there is a clear harmonic relationship, including both being part of the dominant chord for this melody, A-c-e, and is is common for variations in the treatment for a tune to work within such harmonic structures, such as thirds, fourths and fifths, it is part of the choices we are free to make within a living tradition, as this is. So either way is fine, however some may wish to starch it all in concrete. c2 e>c and c2 c>e are both fine and quite acceptable and understandable ways to take this part of the melody.

Me too enirehtac, :-/ I see I’ve made the same mistake in one important transcription above, just mentioned:

"The Twenty-One Highland" ~ before adding other takes, for nedscot’s sake ;-)
* Posted on March 29th 2010 by me, with that transposition

Apologies to nedscot for that one transposition between c & e, for what little that will likely count. I try not to slip in that way, however minor it is, when dealing with someone else’s transcription. But transposition isn’t unusual for me, and is part of my species of dyslexia. However, more often than not, I usually catch such things, rereading and playing a few times before making a submission, unless I’m really fried, which is true of late.

A-c-e ~ I’d meant the primary or ‘tonic’ chord for A Dorian, the key of this tune…

X:2 “The Twenty-One Highland” ~ for my sins :-P

X: 2 ~ Mea culpa, mea culpa, I must have been out of it. There were other screw ups besides the simple e>c switched round to c>e. There’s also the first and second endings of the A-part of that questionable transcription of mine above, X: 2… :-/ Aside from being wrong, the second ending doesn’t even add up properly…

[1 D<B,G,>B, A,3 B, :| [2 D<B,G,>B, A,3 B, e ||
Which should have been as previous ~
[1 D<B,G,>B, A,2 A,>B, :| [2 D<B,G,>B, A,2 A,e/d/ ||

The flat one, minus > & <, was note-for-note, but then things went la-la with X: 2… I must have blindly cut and pasted the wrong set, incomplete or uncorrected… I will have to do my own transcription of Johnny Doherty’s take on this for my sins. I have been playing along with it and already have noticed some differences not given here, and played notated those… I will be back with that. What a pleasure to the ears, he beautifully bows every note, double-stopped or not, good for the heart, inspirational a highly recommended listen…