"Holyrood Abbey is one of the oldest buildings still above ground in Edinburgh. It predates any idea of a royal palace in Scotland by centuries; the earlier Scottish kings had no fixed residence and Scotland’s capital was wherever they happened to be. This changed in the reign of James IV, who tried to emulate the increasingly settled courts of England and continental Europe. The palace of Holyrood was built beside the abbey on his orders in 1501. There are two tunes named after Holyrood House. The country dance Holyrood House comes from David Muir of the New Cavendish Dance Band, but he seems to have been unsure about whether he wrote it himself from scratch or adapted something older; Angus Fitchet claimed an almost identical tune, Waverley Steps, as his own composition."
"Waverley Steps" ~ really the same tune by another name
Three different composers have been suggested for this melody ~ David Muir, Angus Fitchet, and an R. Black!? Here’s another transcription from another valued member here, Nigel Gatherer, who lists this as C:R. Black. I’ve adjusted the transcription just slightly, to help with comparing transcriptions here:
T: Waverley Steps
C: R. Black
S: Radio Scotland, Dec 1991
N: As played by the Iain MacPhail Band
Z: Transcribed by Nigel Gatherer
|: (3ABc |\
d2 de dcBA | B3 c BAGF | A3 B AGFA | G2 E2 E2 (3ABc |
d2 de dcBA | B3 c BAGF | A2 Bc d2 AG | F2 D2 D2 :|
|: FE |\
D2 d2 d2 cB | c2 e2 e2 de | f2 d2 d2 f2 | edcB AGFE |
[1 D2 d2 d2 cB | c2 e2 e2 dc | BABc dBAG | F2 D2 DG :|
[2 DEFG A2 de | fedB A2 GF | EFGA Bcde | f2 d2 d2 |]
Origins? ~ "Jim McLeod: Welcome to My World"
Circassian Circle (the dance): "Circassian Circle" / "Waverley Steps" / "The Breakdown"
I thank everybody for knowing me the right titles. I can confirm my recording comes from Jim MacLeod. So I prefer this title gerarchy:
"Waverley steps" (main title)
"Holyrood house" (secondary title)
‘Everybody’?! 😀 I have written Nigel and hope he’ll show at some point and add his clarity to this ramble of mine…
Maybe Jack too? 😉
maybe not ~ 😏
# Posted on ~ by Jack Campin (former participant)
I can’t add very much to this, I’m afraid. I notated it from Radio Scotland circa 1990, where it was played by the Iain MacPhail Band. I don’t have The Cavendish Collection, but I don’t think it’s a very old collection. It could be that "Holyrood House" is the name of the dance, while "Waverley Steps" is the tune (or one of the tunes) used for it.
The Waverley Steps used to be steep set of steps which joined Waverley Station in Edinburgh to the East End of Princes Street. Central Edinburgh has been such a mess in recent years that I have not been in that area for a while.
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