Week #480 ~ Miss Maxwell's Strathspey

  1. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    Sorry for the delay in posting the winner this week! This week's winner is Miss Maxwell's Strathspey which was suggested as a Scottish tune by William Shepherd.

    I still haven't found a video for this tune, so if anyone can find one, please post it.

    I did find this notation.
  2. David Hansen
    David Hansen
    I think that this tune is more commonly known as just Miss Maxwell and is more often played as a march, at least in Cape Breton tradition. Here's a video:

    Here's one on the fiddle:

  3. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Since I voted for this tune, I thought I had better have a go at it. This version is from a great website called Highland Music Trust which is a charitable trust based in Inverness and is a marvellous repository if Scottish Fiddle music from the past (and present). There are many collections of tunes there and I got this one from the William Shepherd Collection of 1793 - incidentally a free download! If you have not visited this site then you are missing out if you love fiddle music. Here is a link: http://www.heallan.com

    I have no commercial interest in this site other than being a satisfied customer.

    I have modified the Shepherd version slightly and play it on octave and guitar. It is marked as a slow, stately Strathspey - this dance has various tempos in Scotland, and is a dance unique to Scotland.

  4. Frithjof
    Thanks for your playing as well as for the annotation, John. Now I feel free to play this strathspey in my own tempo.
  5. David Hansen
    David Hansen
    John, I couldn't figure out why your recording didn't sound anything like the notation Barabara linked to above, it's page 6 of the Sheperd Collection, the same collection you refernced in your post and then I saw it, the title of your video is: "Miss Madalina Maxwell's Strathspey", page 11. It's a completely different tune!!! I thought I was going nuts there for a while. I know the march version of the tune from Cape Breton tradition, hopefully I can get a decent recording done this week.
  6. Brian560
    John, that is very nice playing and a nice slideshow too. I was doing a little research on what a Strathspey was as this is the first time I have come across that term.
  7. David Hansen
    David Hansen
    Well I managed to knock one out in record time, no click track, one take on each part, only two parts.This is the Cape Breton march version of the strathspey composed by William Sheperd, see Barbara's link for notation for the strathspey.

    This link is for the march version from the same place:https://tunearch.org/wiki/Miss_Maxwell

  8. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Thanks, guys, and David, thanks for pointing me to the correct page in the Shepherd Collection. The thought that it was a slow Strathspey had me going down a different track. I missed that one on page 6, but now that I have heard your very catchy rendering here, I want to have a go at it too! Thanks for the link to the notation. That tenor has a great sound.
  9. Brian560
    I found another link to this one:

  10. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    After the mix-up with the various Miss Maxwells - and Brian has now added notation for a great "Miss Catherine Maxwell's Scotch Measure" (another Scottish dance) - I have recorded the nominated one David posted just to set the record straight. Done on octave and acoustic guitar and at a faster Strathspey tempo than the one I posted above. The wee triplet phrase was indeed a tricky bit, David.

  11. Brian560
    Nice playing John! I am a little envious of that walk through the woods, it looks like a great trail.
  12. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    The walk is in Puck's Glen very close to my home, Brian. The Forestry Commission has a great deal of land in Scotland and they work hard to provide leisure facilities for us all as well as all the harvesting they do. The glen has a great wee gorge, as the pictures suggest, and is a place I often go, armed with camera.
  13. dustyamps
    Congrats to David and John on your recordings. This is a real finger twister.
  14. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Fine playing, and a very clean sound from that mandolin, Dustyamps.
  15. Frithjof
    Like them all. David and John made me imagine I would dance to this music if I could dance at all. And Dusty delivered a recording as clean and reliable as ever.

    With the accompaniment of my Waldzither the tune turned out more like a march then a dance, I guess.
    The pictures are made on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon recently.

  16. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Great sound from the Waldzither as a backing instrument, Frithjof. March or Strathspey, it's still a fine tune and you play it well. Spectacular pictures too!
  17. Mark Gunter
    Mark Gunter
    Must have been a popular batch of Maxwell girls!

    These all sound terrific, inspiring versions all, well done!
  18. Mike Romkey
    Mike Romkey
    This tune is called "Madam Maxwell." It heard this on the Briarpickers CD, where it's called "Mrs. Maxwell," but I think it's the same tune. I believe it's a Turlough O'Carolan composition. I'm not sure whether it's related to the above "Miss Maxwell's Strathspey." There are familiarities. Thoughts?

  19. Frithjof
    I enjoyed your playing, Mike. No thoughts about the familiarities between the tunes.
  20. Gelsenbury
    Really well played, Mike - very clean and sprightly. I recognise the O'Carolan tune, but didn't know the Strathspey.
  21. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Mike, fine playing as always. Having listened again to the version I posted back in August 2018 (two years flown by so quickly!) I can hear what you are saying. There are distinct similarities in the tunes.
  22. David Hansen
    David Hansen
    Well played Mike. Some people call that tune Mrs. Maxwell, hence the confusion with Miss Maxwell, maybe they were related? Here is my version of O'Carolan's Mrs. Maxwell for reference:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=umXeBtCXFzE
  23. Mike Romkey
    Mike Romkey
    Thanks, all. Great version, David. I'm in awe that you were able to chord behind this. I tried a couple of versions yesterday with guitar backup and couldn't get the timing right for the life of me. Can't figure out what I'm doing wrong. Working on that more is today's project.
  24. David Hansen
    David Hansen
    If it helps you can download a free pdf of my arrangement of Mrs. Maxwell here: https://app.box.com/s/r5jcepw5d8iko9kjtyvkxvpuzp7jxkv4
  25. Mike Romkey
    Mike Romkey
    Oh now we're talking! Thanks.
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