Earl Of Breadalbane reel

Also known as Earl Of Breadalbane’s Hermitage.

Earl Of Breadalbane has been added to 6 tunebooks.

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Three settings

X: 1
T: Earl Of Breadalbane
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Emin
|e|:(3EEE EF B3^c|dBAd FDAF|(3EEE EF B3 g|fdB^d e3f:|
|gfef gfeg|feda fadf|gfef gfeg|fdB^d e3f|
|gfef gfeg|feda fadf|gbeg bgeg|fdB^d e3f|]
X: 2
T: Earl Of Breadalbane
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Emin
|e|:(3EEE (EF) (~B3^c)|{^c}dBAd {G}FDAF|(3EEE (EF) ~B3 g|fdB^d ~(e3f):|
|{f}(gf)ef {f}(gf)eg|~(fe)(da) fadf|{f}(gf)(ef) {f}gfeg|fdB^d ~(e3f)|
|{f}(gf)ef {f}(gf)eg|~(fe)da fadf|gbeg bgeg|fdB^d ~(e3f)|]
X: 3
T: Earl Of Breadalbane
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Emin
B|:(3EEE (EF) B3(^c|dB)Ad FDAF|(3EEE (EF) B3 g|fdB^d e3(f:|
|gf)e(f gf)e(g|fe)d(a fa)d(f|gf)e(f gf)eg|fdB^d e3|
(f|gf)e(f gf)e(g|fe)d(a fa)d(f|gf)eg bge(g|fd)B^d e3f|]

Nine comments

Earl Of Breadalbane

Unusual sounding tune discovered in the Athole Collection. If your into Donegal music at all you may dig this one as it has those D#s that pop up occasionally in that tradition.

pronunciation help

Also, any info on the correct pronunciation of Breadalbane from the Scottish folks here would be greatly appreciated.

Earl Of Breadalbane

It’s pronounced "brid AL bin".

The tune was composed by Niel Gow and published in "The Beauties of Gow" (1819) as "Earl of Breadalbane’s Hermitage". The Hermitage in question is in Perthshire, not far from Inver, where Niel Gow lived. It was first created in 1760 for the Earl of Breadalbane and contains walks and follies of the type beloved by Victorians. I’ve not visited it for more than ten years, but it’s still a popular tourist haunt.

brə ˈdɔːlb ɪn or brɪ-, -ˈdælb-, - ə n are two ways. Most folk I ken pronounce it (non-phonetic) "bread-albin"

Crossed with Nigel, who stays closer to the place.

Blatant plug

I am taking the liberty of informing you all about a great festival which takes place this month in Dunkeld


Hope you don’t mind.

On Sunday, there is a Niel Gow Walk where we visit Niel’s old cottage in Inver and the residents there lay on soup, sandwiches, and a dram for all of us. There is an opportunity to play a few Gow tunes in his own garden, weather permitting.

a history

Thanks Nigel and Weejie, nice to be informed of the festival as well. I know to leave most of the real expertise to you fellas when I get obsessed with a tune enough to post it on here. Here is an interesting little history for it I found elsewhere on the site:

The first Earl of Breadalbane was the 17th century Campbell knight Sir John of Glenorchy (1635-1717), a supporter of William of Orange and infamous for his emasculation of the Highland clans as well as his hand in the massacre of Glencoe. However, Gow entitled the tune after John Campbell, 4th Earl of Breadalbane (1762-1834), made Baron Breadalbane of Taymouth Castle in 1806, and Marquis in 1831. Breadalbane, a peer, was a member of the Highland Society when they met in London in 1786 to discuss encouragement of Scottish projects. During the course of the meeting he happened to mention that 100 people from MacDonald of Glengarry’s estates were planning to emigrate, and the meeting quickly focused on how to keep the Highland population from leaving by promoting industry in Scotland and raising money for the purpose. A public notice to this effect was soon placed in the Edinburgh Advertiser. When the poet Robert Burns heard about the proposal he dashed off an irate condemnation in verse, called “Address of Beezelbub,” berating the plan which he saw as a way to keep oppressed a Highland population in search of freedom. The great Highland piper Colin Mór Campbell was piper to John Campbell, 4th Earl, on the latter’s western estates at Ardmaddy in Argyllshire, when he wrote his Nether Lorn manuscript, a classic of Scottish piping. It was to the Earl of Breadalbane that Malcolm MacDonald dedicated his second collection (1789), and the Countess of Breadalbane to whom he dedicated his fourth collection, further indicating the Campbells were important patrons of Scottish music.

Lovely Tune - do you have any recordings?


Swisspiper, nope, no recordings as yet. If anyone knows of any we would love to be enlightened.