Lady Dolly Primrose’s Minuet waltz

There is 1 recording of a tune by this name.

Lady Dolly Primrose's Minuet has been added to 5 tunebooks.

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Three settings

X: 1
T: Lady Dolly Primrose's Minuet
R: waltz
M: 3/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
B4 (3ABc | B2 A2 G2 | d4 (3cde | d2 c2 B2 |
d2 cBAG | FG AB cB | B2 A4 :||: d4 (3cde |
A2 B2 c2 | E2 A2 G2 | F2 EF D2 | GBAc B2 |
cgfa g2 | (3edc B2 A2 | G6 |]
X: 2
T: Lady Dolly Primrose's Minuet
R: waltz
M: 3/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
B4 (3ABc | B2 A2 G2 | d4 (3cde | d2 c2 B2 |
gbagfe | d2 cBAG | FGABcB | B2 A4 :|
d4 (3cde | A2 B2 c2 | E2 A2 G2 | F2 EF D2 |
GBAc B2 | cgfa g2 | e/d/c B2 A2 | G6 :|
# Added by munro .
X: 3
T: Lady Dolly Primrose's Minuet
R: waltz
M: 3/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
B4 (3ABc | B2 A2 G2 | d4 e2 | d2 c2 B2 |ga b2 a2 | g2 f2 e2 | dgfedc|B2 A4 :|
d4 e2 | A2 B2 c2 | E2 A2 G2 | F4 ED |GBAc B2 | egfa g2 | (3cBA A3 G | G6 :|
# Added by munro .

Fourteen comments

Lady Dolly Primrose’s Minuet

Seems to be from Edinburgh, or somewhere around it. From J. Murray Neil’s "The Scots Fiddle", 1991.

Re: Lady Dolly Primrose’s Minuet

Hi Susan. The fourth bar is wrong. I know that the book from which you sourced the tune contains the same mistake, so it’s not your fault. However, it should read | d2 c2 B2 |.

J Murray Neil says he got the tune from James Oswald’s ‘Curious Collection of Scots Tunes’ (Edinburgh c1737), but I haven’t found the tune in my (PDF) copy of that book (or the second printing of the same book). The Honourable Miss Primrose is listed in the book as one of the subscribers.

Re: Lady Dolly Primrose’s Minuet

According to the Traditional Tune Archive:

"LADY DOLLY PRIMROSE’S MINUET. English, Minuet (3/4 time). G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. The tune was entered into the 1770 music manuscript collection of Peeblesshire musician James Ballantine as "Lady Dolly Primrose’s Minuet." However, it had earlier been printed in 1755 in Richard Baldwin’s periodical London Magazine; Or, Gentlemen’s Monthly Intelligencer as "A New Minuet."

Printed sources: Baldwin (London Magazine; Or, Gentlemen’s Monthly Intelligencer), 1744; p. 133 (as "A New Minuet"). Neil (The Scots Fiddle), 1991; No. 2, p. 5."

There is obviously a typo in the Printed Sources reference above as it was indeed published in 1755, not 1744.

You can see the original staff notation of the tune at:
https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015021267748&view=1up&seq=153

The James Ballantine version is to be found in his handwritten "musick" manuscript book dated 27th December 1770. It is on display at Hawick Heritage Centre. According to this website;
http://www.graupius.co.uk/ball.html

"The Ballantine Musick Book is a hand-written collection of fiddle music dated 1770. You can see and handle the book at the Hawick Heritage Centre. The tunes can often be identified as direct copies from earlier sources but there is also other, less well-known, material.

Little is known of the book’s author, James Ballantine, although he is believed to have been a tenant farmer at Muirton in the parish of Skirling (near Broughton) then later at Woodhouse Farm in the Manor Valley. Here he would have had as a neighbour David Ritchie, the ‘Black Dwarf’ of Scott’s novel of that name. If he could play all of the pieces he copied into his book then he was not only a farmer but a fiddler of some technical accomplishment."

ABC transcipts of the tunes can be found at
http://www.graupius.co.uk/downloads/ball.abc

Such as:

X:5
T:Lady Dolly Primrose’s Minuet
M:3/4
L:1/8
K:G
B4 (3ABc | B2 A2 G2 | d4 (3cde | d2 c2 B2 |
gbagfe | d2 cBAG | FGABcB | B2 A4 :|
d4 (3cde | A2 B2 c2 | E2 A2 G2 | F2 EF D2 |
GBAc B2 | cgfa g2 | e/d/c B2 A2 | G6 :|

Whichever version you look at, it is a beautiful, concise wee tune and an absolute pleasure to play.

Posted by .

Lady Dolly Primrose’s Minuet, X:3

Have added (as X:3) the origiinal 1755 version of the tune as published in the London Magazine. Feels more "minuet-y". But still lovely. The published version also includes a bass line, and, as with most minuets, harmonises beautifully.

Posted by .

Re: Lady Dolly Primrose’s Minuet

Nice one, Munro - thanks. We must meet up at a session sometime, and perhaps we’ll play this?

Re: Lady Dolly Primrose’s Minuet

Nigel G - will edit 4th bar

Re: Lady Dolly Primrose’s Minuet

Nigel, that would be great - it’s been a while! I look forward to it!
Munro

Posted by .

Re: Lady Dolly Primrose’s Minuet

Hi there,

Re J Murray Neil.
Known by his friends and colleagues as Murray, he was a retired pharmacist and played fiddle with East Lothian and other fiddle societies. He also played tuba, was a fine water colour painter and his painting of Tantallon Castle graces the CD sleeve of our very own East Lothian Fiddlers CD.

Sadly, Murray passed away around 2013 but I have fond memories of him over the years.

I’m quite surprised there was a mistake in the music because he was very meticulous and precise. However, it’s likely that IF it was written that way in the original or other manuscript, he would have insisted that it must be right. 😉 . As I recall, he hated any deviation from the written "dots" when we were playing at the meetings and often used to verbally clash with the leader. I think there was always a bit of rivalry there but it it was mostly good humoured.

We both got on well although he disapproved of me "playing from memory" at times and once commented that I had a "loud fiddle" 🙂.

There is a recording featuring several tunes from his publications featuring Sarah Jane Summers which I will post in the recording sections when I find same. I meant to look for it on Saturday night but decided to watch Strictly Come Dancing instead. 🙂

Re: Lady Dolly Primrose’s Minuet

It was notated wrongly in his first book, ‘The Scots Fiddle’, in which all tunes and text were written by hand. When he expanded the project into three volumes, the error was corrected.

Re: Lady Dolly Primrose’s Minuet

OK, I also thought that it was possible that the "hand written" version was wrong.
I have three books, the hand written one and volumes 1 and 3. I seem to be missing No 2.

Re: Lady Dolly Primrose’s Minuet

It’s in Vol.2! Sod’s law. Anyway, thanks for the info on Murray Neil. He sounds like someone for whom kid gloves were a necessary requirement.

Re: Lady Dolly Primrose’s Minuet

Thanks, Nigel.

He was actually a very friendly chap albeit with strong opinions.
😉

Re: Lady Dolly Primrose’s Minuet

As usual, thanks to Nigel Gatherer, a seer of Scottish music…

Re: Lady Dolly Primrose’s Minuet

Who was Lady Dolly Primrose? Hoping she was a likeable woman. Long dead now of course. It IS a very good tune, graceful.