John MacDonald’s reel

Also known as Iain MacDonald’s, Iain McDonald’s, John MacDonald’s.

There are 9 recordings of a tune by this name.

John MacDonald's has been added to 112 tunebooks.

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Two settings

X: 1
T: John MacDonald's
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
E2 GE EGBG|cEBG cFFG|E2 GE EGBG|Ac (3Bcd eEED|
E2 GE EGBG|cEBG cFFG|E2 GE EGBG|Ac (3Bcd eEED|
E2 GE EGBG|Bc (3BAG cFFG|E2 GE EGBG|Ac (3Bcd eEED|
E2 GE EGBG|cEBG cFFG|E2 GE EGBG|Ac (3Bcd eEED|
eBce B2 AG|Ac (3BAG cF F2|eBce B2 AG|Ac (3Bcd eE E2|
eBce B2 AG|Ac (3BAG cF F2|ecdB cABG |Ac (3Bcd eE E2|
|:BegB e2Be|d2 Bd FAFD|1 BegB e2Be| fdAF GE E2:|2 BegB e2fg| fdAF GEE2||
~g3 e Be (3efe|d2 Bd FAFD|gfge Be (3efe|fdAF GEE2|
gfge Be (3efe|dfAd FAED|geBe fdAF|GEFA GEED||
X: 2
T: John MacDonald's
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|:E2 GF EGBG|cEBG cFFG|E2 GF EGBG|Ac (3Bcd eEED|
E2 GF EGBG|cEBG cFFG|ecdB cABG|Ac (3Bcd eEED:|
|:eBce B2 AG|Ac (3BAG cF F2|eBce B2 AG|Ac (3Bcd eE E2|
eBce B2 AG|Ac (3BAG cF F2|ecdB cABG |Ac (3Bcd eE E2:|
|:Begb e2Be|d2 Bd FAFD|Begb e2Be|1 fdAF GE E2:|2 fdAF GEEf|
g2 ge Begb|dfAd FD D2|gbeg Begb|fdAF GEEf|
g2 ge Begb|dfAd FD D2|geBe fdAF|GBFA GEFD|
Begb e3 f|gdBG FAFD|Begb e3 e|fdAF GE E2|
Begb e2 Be|(3fga fd (3FGA FD|Begb e2 Be|fdAF GEEf|
g2 ge Begb|dfAd FD D2|gbeg Begb|fdAF GEEa|
g2 bg ebge|fdAG (3FGA FD|geBe fdAF|GB (3FGA (3GFE FD||

Five comments

Iain Mac Donald’s

Source: Lunasa - "Sé"
Transcription: F SAUR
original tonality is F
On this recording

Composed by Dan Hugh MacEachern
and recorded by OSSIAN (Borders)
under the name "John Mac Donald’s"
of which here the transcription

X:203
T:John Mac Donald’s
R:Reel
C:Dan Hugh MacEachern
S:Ossian - Borders
M:4/4
L:1/8
Q:1/4=160
K:G
|:E2 GF EGBG|cEBG cFFG|E2 GF EGBG|Ac (3Bcd eEED|
E2 GF EGBG|cEBG cFFG|ecdB cABG|Ac (3Bcd eEED:|
|:eBce B2 AG|Ac (3BAG cF F2|eBce B2 AG|Ac (3Bcd eE E2|
eBce B2 AG|Ac (3BAG cF F2|ecdB cABG |Ac (3Bcd eE E2:|
|:Begb e2Be|d2 Bd FAFD|Begb e2Be|1 fdAF GE E2:|2 fdAF GEEf|
g2 ge Begb|dfAd FD D2|gbeg Begb|fdAF GEEf|
g2 ge Begb|dfAd FD D2|geBe fdAF|GBFA GEFD|
Begb e3 f|gdBG FAFD|Begb e3 e|fdAF GE E2|
Begb e2 Be|(3fga fd (3FGA FD|Begb e2 Be|fdAF GEEf|
g2 ge Begb|dfAd FD D2|gbeg Begb|fdAF GEEa|
g2 bg ebge|fdAG (3FGA FD|geBe fdAF|GB (3FGA (3GFE FD||

Hmm, looks like the tune is in Em (1 sharp) rather than G (1 sharp). I also think the original tonality of the Lunasa recording was Gm (ie 2 flats) and not F, at least that’s how it’s written in their book of sheet music. Great tune though,

Not by Dan Hughie?

There is some error here. I have both of Dan Hugh MacEachern’s books and there is no John MacDonald’s Reel in either of them. The mode of this tune also doesn’t sound very Cape-Breton.

Found it! E-major?

I found the source for this tune. "John MacDonald’s Reel" by D.H. MacEachern was published in Gordon MacQuarrie’s "The Cape Breton Collection of Scottish Melodies for the Violin" in 1940 (and 1975). A few early tunes by Dan Hughie MacEachern are in this book. The key signature is one sharp. However, there are a lot of notation mistakes in this book. (I don’t mean to diminish it’s importance as a groundbreaking publication, though.) One sharp just doesn’t seem right. For one thing, a fiddler usually doesn’t compose a tune that goes directly from a low second-finger note to a high second-finger note; that’s very awkward. Then there’s the modality. Most Cape Breton tunes in "Em" are really in E-dorian, which would have a C# (or some tunes are missing that scale degree altogether). The sound of this tune as written is a bit exotic, which would indeed appeal to some revivalist musicians, but I think that a Cape Breton musician reading the notes as written would "fix" it. My husband and I think it was meant to be in the key of E-major, not too unusual in Cape Breton music. You can hear that in E-major, the tune sounds much more in character.

X:24
T:John MacDonald’s Reel
C:Dan Hugh MacEachern
N:as published by Gordon MacQuarrie in 1940
M:C
L:1/8
K:Em
E/E/E GF EGBG|ceBG cFFG|E/E/E GF EGBG|AcBd eEEF|
E/E/E GF EGBG|ceBG cFFG|ecdB cABG|AcBd eEEF||
E/E/E eB ceBG|AcBG cFFG|E/E/E eB ceBG|AcBd eEEF|
E/E/E eB ceBG|AcBG cFFG|ecdB cABG|AcBd eEE||

X:25
T:John MacDonald’s Reel
C:Dan Hugh MacEachern
N:key changed to what may have been intended by the composer
M:C
L:1/8
K:E
E/E/E GF EGBG|ceBG cFFG|E/E/E GF EGBG|AcBd eEEF|
E/E/E GF EGBG|ceBG cFFG|ecdB cABG|AcBd eEEF||
E/E/E eB ceBG|AcBG cFFG|E/E/E eB ceBG|AcBd eEEF|
E/E/E eB ceBG|AcBG cFFG|ecdB cABG|AcBd eEE||