This tune was lifted from Robert Bremner’s "A Collection of Scots Reels or Country Dances" http://imslp.org/wiki/A_Collection_of_Scots_Reels_or_Country_Dances_(Bremner,_Robert) This collection is from 1757, the b-part of this tune has a definite italian baroque influence. The quadruplets are something that’s mostly gone away, but were common & have survived in the Scottish fiddle strathspey tradition. Here’s some more info http://vclvm54.isis.unc.edu/mediawiki/index.php/Bonintown_Well
Here’s the link to Bremner’s Collection: http://imslp.org/wiki/Special:ImagefromIndex/74182
If you try to access the Bremner IMSLP file by clicking on it, you won’t be able to because the closing parenthesis gets ignored by the system (because it isn’t highlighted). This is a known issue on thesession.org (and one or two other forums, I believe). The solution is to copy and paste the link (including the final parenthesis) into your browser’s address bar.
The Bremner Collection is well worth downloading, because it gives a lot of information about slurs and phrasing (and by implication the bowing), and ornaments, as done in the mid-18th century.
The Bonintown Well Reel has only three slurs indicated - in the 3rd bar of the A-part, and in bars 4 and 8 of the B-part. I think this implies that separate bows were used a lot elsewhere in the tune. The original manuscript (and the clearer transcription in the second link above) shows all the ornaments (simple trills or mordants, apparently), and they are all on weak beats of the bar - 2nd and 4th beats.
I like the way the cross-string bowings in the first 3 bars of the B-part are mostly reversed in bars 6, 7 and 8. It’s effective, and shows the thought that was put into composing the tune. It also makes the fiddle player think about what he’s doing, which is never a bad thing 😉
Nice tune! Thanks, Brad!
Another interesting collection of tunes published by Bremner is the William McGibbon Collection of Scots Tunes. The IMSLP link for downloading is: