The Laird Of Drumblair strathspey

By James Scott Skinner

Also known as Laird O’Drumblair, The Laird O’Drumblair, The Lord Of Drumblair.

There are 55 recordings of this tune.
This tune has been recorded together with

The Laird Of Drumblair appears in 1 other tune collection.

The Laird Of Drumblair has been added to 26 tune sets.

The Laird Of Drumblair has been added to 391 tunebooks.

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Four settings

X: 1
T: The Laird Of Drumblair
R: strathspey
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Amaj
(3EFG|:A2c>A E>Ac>e|a2g>a f>ae>c|(3def (3efg (3aed (3cBA|(3Bcd (3cBA (3G FE (3dcB|
A2c>A E>Ac>e|a2g>a f>ae>c|(3def (3efg (3aed (3cBA|1 (3GFE (3dcB A2 (3EFG:|
[2 (3GFE (3dcB A2 (3efg|:a2e>a c>aA>a|(3cBA e>A a>ec>e|b2f>b d>bB>f|
(3dcB f>B b>fd>f|a2e>a c>aA>a|(3cBA e>A a>ec>e|(3def (3efg (3aed (3cBA|
[1 (3GFE (3dcB A2 (3efg:|2 (3GFE (3dcB A2||
Added by JD .
X: 2
T: The Laird Of Drumblair
R: strathspey
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Amaj
E>G|:A2c>A E>Ac>e|a2g>a f>ae>c|(3def (3efg (3aed (3cBA|(3Bcd (3cBA (3G FE (3dcB|
A2c>A E>Ac>e|a2g>a f>ae>c|(3def (3efg (3aed (3cBA|1 (3GFE (3dcB A2 E>G:|
[2 (3GFE (3dcB A2 e>g|:a2e>a c>aA>a|(3cBA e>A a>ec>e|b2f>b ^d>bB>f|
(3^dcB f>B b>f^d>f|a2e>a c>aA>a|(3cBA e>A a>ec>e|(3def (3efg (3aed (3cBA|
[1 (3GFE (3dcB A2 e>g:|2 (3GFE (3dcB A2||
X: 3
T: The Laird Of Drumblair
R: strathspey
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
D|G2 B>G D>GB>d|g2 f>g e>gd>B|(3cde (3def (3gdc (3BAG|(3ABc (3BAG (3FED (3cBA|
G2 B>G D>GB>d|g2 f>g e>gd>B|(3cde (3def (3gdc (3BAG|(3FED (3cBA G2 G:|
f|g2 d>g B>g G>A|(3BAG d>f g>dB<d|a2 e>a ^c>a A>B|(3^cBA e>^g a>e6c<e|
g2 d>g B>g G>A|(3BAG d>f g>dB<G|(3cde (3def (3gdc (3BAG|(3FED (3cBA G2 G:|
X: 4
T: The Laird Of Drumblair
R: strathspey
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Amaj
|:A2c>A E>Ac<A|a2g>a f>ae>c|(3def (3efg (3aed (3cBA|(3Bcd (3cBA (3GFE (3dcB|
A2c>A E>Ac>e|a2g>a f>ae>c|(3def (3efg (3aed (3cBA|1 (3GFE (3dcB A3 E:|2 (3GFE (3dcB A2 e>g||
|:a2e>a c>aA>a|c<Ae>A a>ec>e|b2f>b d>bB>b|d<Bf>B b<Bf>b|
a2e>a c>aA>a|c<Ae>A a>ec>e|(3def (3efg (3aed (3cBA|1 (3GFE (3dcB A2 e>g:|2 (3GFE (3dcB A3E||

Thirty comments

Also played as a reel

This is also played as a reel, which was composed by J. Scott Skinner. The reel’s title is “Angus Campbell”. Skinner often wrote tunes in more than one form, i.e. as a strathspey and a reel. I wonder if he did it with this pair?

I understand that Strathspeys are often followed by a reel which is similar to the original tune but may be someone with more knowledge of Scots’ tunes could give us the gen on this.
As regards the tune, although this one is played quite a bit it still holds up pretty well,I think.

I was taught this version of the tune a few days ago.

E>G|:A2c>A E>Ac>e|a2g>a f>ae>c|(3def (3efg (3aed (3cBA|(3Bcd (3cBA (3G FE (3dcB|
A2c>A E>Ac>e|a2g>a f>ae>c|(3def (3efg (3aed (3cBA|1 (3GFE (3dcB A2 E>G:|
[2 (3GFE (3dcB A2 e>g|:a2e>a c>aA>a|(3cBA e>A a>ec>e|b2f>b ^d>bB>f|
(3^dcB f>B b>f^d>f|a2e>a c>aA>a|(3cBA e>A a>ec>e|(3def (3efg (3aed (3cBA|
[1 (3GFE (3dcB A2 e>g:|2 (3GFE (3dcB A2||

Apart from minor changes in the lead-in notes to the sections, the major difference is the d# in bars 3 and 4 of the B part (I have notated the repetition of the d# in bar 4 for clarity). This gives an extra brightness to the tune.

This tune goes well with another strathspey recently posted on this site, “Little Johnnie’s Hame”.

Strathspeys and Reels

Yeah, Strathspeys are commonly followed by reels, especially for dancing. Traditonally in Highland dance you do the Strathspey and then either the Highland Reel, 1/2 Tulloch Reel, Reel of Tulloch or Hullachan Reel (which, the Tulloch and Hullachan I’m told are the same dance)

Johnny Cunningham

The best version to date that i’ve heard of this tune was by the late jonhnny cunningham on the celtic fiddle festival recording, it’s the last of a set of three strathspeys and when he kicks into it’s reel version it’s an absolute explosion of brilliance… well worth a listen.

National Geographic

In the early 70s, Don MacAlpine, a fellow teacher, friend and neighbor, and proud Scot, introduced me to this tune. National Geographic Magazine had an issue on Scotland. It also had as part of it a tear out floppy vinyl record of the (then)-Scottish National Fiddle Champion. He played this tuen and another whose name I cannot recall. I have posted them transcribed as accurately as I can remember) to the website

I feel that this is a more accurate representation as it contains the traditional Scottish “snap” (accented 16th note on the beat folloowed by a dotted eighth) .

If anyone knows the name of the second tune, I would be most appreciative.

Johnny Cunningham video…

That’s fecking brilliant.

Tricky tune Angus Campbell

l love this tune. Of course I am not overly talented in any case and I found the tune difficult to master on the mandolin. The B-part seems the most problmatic at first --but in the end the A-part was the hardest for me to polish. Keep in my with my playing polish and in the rough differ marginally. I have never seen the sheet music for Laird O’ Drumblair but I have come up with my own version of that tune as well. It seems to me to be almost the same tune with a few notes left out so it can be played at reel speed?

The composer’s version

This can be found in Scott Skinner’s “Scottish Violinist” on p. 10. The original publication sited there is in his “Harp and Claymore”.

An Angus Campbell is on p. 13 as a concert reel.

Other versions?

Is there another version maybe for whistle or keylesa flute?

The Laird of Drumblair

I have just published a setting (X: 3) in G for Gianmarco (FromtheWood). When you’re a bit more experienced, you should try it again in A major - it’s perfectly achievable on whistle.

Thanks Nigel!

Thanks really Nigel!!

Much like Aggie White’s

This tune bears a striking resemblance (0r maybe it’s the other way ’round) to:

That one is “Aggie White’s” (not to be confused with Aggie Whyte’s Chattering Magpies, which is a different tune).

Re: The Laird Of Drumblair

This tune also appears in a Northumbrian Pipers tune book. It fits well on the pipes ( and under the fingers) and is a great tune, as are many of Scott Skinner’s.

Re: The Laird Of Drumblair - Tommy Peoples - G/G#

In the Tommy Peoples clip linked above, he seems to play G# in the dotted rhythms (bars 2 and 6), but G natural when in the triplets. The G natural is in both octaves. Any thoughts on this? Is this part of the Donegal fiddle tradition? The same goes for his recording on The Bothy Band’s first album, although the G naturals may be bit sharper?

Re: The Laird Of Drumblair

I’ve never give this any thought. If the G natural is consistent, I’d assume it’s a feature of Tommy Peoples’ playing/setting/style/intonation, rather than the Donegal tradition itself.

More on style vs. personal intonation:

Re: The Laird Of Drumblair

jeff_lindqvist - Thanks for the link, I hadn’t seen that

Re: The Laird o’Drumblair

I’ve made a close (but not quite identical for practical reasons) transcription of the melody line of “The Laird o’Drumblair” from an original Scott Skinner manuscript held by the University of Aberdeen (available online) which has a harmony line/bass part for piano. The melody line is a little different in detail from any of the above settings, especially regarding scotch snaps. Also there are no section repeats. I’ve done the same for the reel setting “Angus Campbell” as Skinner himself arranged it. I’m not going to post an ABC here - you can access (view, download, print) my Word document containing both tunes in staff and ABC notation together with facsimile images of the manuscript originals (which have notes by the composer of especial relevance to fiddle players) here:

Re: The Laird Of Drumblair

Further note - “Angus Campbell” is not an alternative title for the strathspey version. Scott Skinner himself made the 2/4 time reel version which he entitled “Angus Campbell”. It clearly has a linked but distinct identity and it isn’t the closest possible shift note by note between the two forms. IMO the reel really deserves to be listed as a tune in its own right, although clearly Skinner intended that it should (or at least could) be played directly after the strathspey. Refer to my transcription and source document linked in the previous comment to see what I mean.