Larach Alastair jig

Also known as Larach Alasdair, Larach Alastair’s March.

There are 2 recordings of this tune.

Larach Alastair has been added to 1 tune set.

Larach Alastair has been added to 26 tunebooks.

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Four settings

X: 1
T: Larach Alastair
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|:ABA a2e|f2d ecA|ABA a2e|g2e dBG|
ABA a2e|f2d efg|agf g2e|d2g dBG:|
|:A2e c2e|A2f ecA|A2e c2e|B2g dBG|
A2e c2e|d2e B2g|agf g2e|d2g dBG|
A2e c2e|A2f ecA|A2e c2e|B2g dBG|
A3 c2A|d2e g2e|agf g2e|d2g dBG||
# Added by JACKB .
X: 2
T: Larach Alastair
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Amix
(3AAA a>e f>d (3ecA|(3AAA a>e g>e (3dBG|
A>ec>e A>f (3ecA|A<ec>e B<g (3dBG|
[2 A2 c>A d>eg>e|(3agf g>e d>g (3dBG||
X: 3
T: Larach Alastair
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Amix
(3AAA a>e f>de>A|(3AAA a>e g<ed>G|
A>ec>e A>f (3ecA|A<ec>e B<gd>G|
[2 A2 (3cBA d>eg>e|(3agf g>e d<gd<G||
X: 4
T: Larach Alastair
R: jig
M: 6/8
L: 1/8
K: Ador
|:A>BA a2 e|f2 d e>cA|Ac/B/A aee|g2e d>BG|
A>BA ae/e/e|fd/d/d ed/e/f|g>af g2 e|dBg dBG:|
|:AE/E/E cE/E/E|AEf ecA|Ae/e/e ce/e/e|BGg d>BG|
[1 Ae/e/e ce/e/e|de/e/e BGg|a>gf g2 e|dBg dBG:|
[2 EA/A/A cA/A/A|dA/A/A cge|a>gf g2e|dBg dBG||
Finish ~||A3 a. z2||

Thirty-three comments

Larach Alastair

I got this lovely jig from the brilliant Scottish fiddle player Cathy Fraser who lives in South Australia.

Posted by .


Lovely tune, very fresh and lively. The key is Amix.

A Mixolydian

Yes ~ it resolves on ‘A’… It also doesn’t feel like a jig…

“Larach Alastair” ~ to jig or not to jig?

M: 4/4
L: 1/8
R: strathspey (?)
K: A Mixolydian
|: (3AAA a>e f>d (3ecA | (3AAA a>e g>e (3dBG |
(3AAA a>e f>de>g | (3agf g>e d>g (3dBG :|
|: A>ec>e A>f (3ecA | A<ec>e B<g (3dBG |
[1 A>ec>e d>eB>g | a<fg<e d>g (3dBG :|
[2 A2 c>A d>eg>e | (3agf g>e d>g (3dBG ||

Oh yeah, and to end ~ || A4 ||| ;-/

Sounds more like it might be a single jig to me.

Yeah, but not quite, the usual single jig two measure phrase being something like:
| N2 N N2 N | N2 N NNN |

But ~ | NNN N2 N | N2 N NNN | ~ ?

It wouldn’t be the first time a ‘swung’ tune was turned into a jig…

In notation…


It sounds like a jig to me, the second part goes into a single jig.

Posted by .

It don’t to me, sorry…

But you’re right, the second part does have that single jig look to it…

Don’t mind me Jack, I’m just in a wind-up mood today. I actually love single jigs, like good granola, they have lots of fibre, good for the musical digestion. This is a fun tune to play and I was having fun trying to see what I could squeeze from it. It did give me a strathspey / highland feel though, so I thought I’d nudge it that way and see what happened. It wasn’t completely without success, ‘Button’ came along for the ride…

Now for an irritating smiley, which one though? 😎

What makes for this ‘feel’ is the two measure phrases, in your notation that would be akin to seeing it as 12/8, but what I did instead, to emphasize that structure, was to put it into 4/4 and remove every other bar line and then convert N2 N to N>N, as given above… It would take a bit more doctoring to make it really swing as a strathspey / highland, but not a lot…

K: A Mixolydian
|: (3AAA a>e f>de>A | (3AAA a>e g<ed>G |
(3AAA a>e f>d (3efg | (3agf g>e d<gd>G :|
|: A>ec>e A>f (3ecA | A<ec>e B<gd>G |
[1 (3AAA c>e (3ddd B>g | a<fg<e d>gd>G :|
[2 A2 (3cBA d>eg>e | (3agf g>e d<gd<G ||

Maybe I’m screwing around with it a little here, but I think it still remains A Mixolydian… 😏

Hamish Moore recorded it as a jig.


Ceolachan I just tried your Strathspey and you’re spot on it works almost the same. Well picked up. (Worked out)

Posted by .

Don’t encourage him.

Hyuk hyuk hyuk

What does Hamish know, eh?

I like the “Hyuk, hyuk, hyuk!” ~ do you really laugh like that? It would be worth dropping in to SF just to experience that and make a recording…

I know, I know guys, don’t encourage him… 😉

Seriously though, ha! ~ I like the tune however you take it… It’s fun… For a bit more ‘fright’ ~ I’ve also been playing it as a march…

Larach Alasdair (JIG)

Hamish Moore cites “Ross’s Pipe Music” published in 1885 as the source.

That was before bifocals and hearing aids ~ and we all know pipers have a problem with their hearing…

I’m assuming, maybe wrongly, that this is Willy Ross, or William, late 19th Century, who was piper to the Queen, in this case Queen Victoria, and whose collection, numbering 6, is a prized possession of Highland bagpipers? The problem I see is that, at least in those 6, I don’t think this one is listed? Curious that ~ but I’d like to know more…

Jig or not

Since the NNN N2 N2 NNN pattern in the first part is only a slight variant of the single jig N2 N2 N2 NNN and the latter often shines through in the second part, this tune rather is a jig to me. Playing it on the mandolin I also feel that there is a smooth flow to it, which I´d rather associate with a jig. I am not really an expert on the origins of ITM or STM, so I would like to know whether this tune can be called Traditional Scottish.

Yup! That’s the case so far…

Can you speak up, I missed that.

Posted by .

Stop it with the feather Jack, that tickles… 🙂

Would this not make a nice 6/8 pipe march?

Not sure about ‘c’s strathspey/highland idea though 😛

Yes, it goes nicely in march mode…

“Larach Alastair’s March”

R: march (~ a first attempt to marchify this…)
K: A Dorian
|: A>BA a2 e | f2 d e>cA | Ac/B/A aee | g2e d>BG |
A>BA ae/e/e | fd/d/d ed/e/f | g>af g2 e | dBg dBG :|
|: AE/E/E cE/E/E | AEf ecA | Ae/e/e ce/e/e | BGg d>BG |
[1 Ae/e/e ce/e/e | de/e/e BGg | a>gf g2 e | dBg dBG :|
[2 EA/A/A cA/A/A | dA/A/A cge | a>gf g2e | dBg dBG ||
Finish ~ || A3 a. z2 ||

Larach Alastair

This is a lovely tune. I was also introduced to it by Catherine Fraser. It isn’t in either Amaj or Amin - it’s called the bagpipe scale on the fiddle.