Dunrobin Castle (country dance)

  1. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    There are at least five tunes with the name "Dunrobin Castle", of which this one is the most obscure. This one is neither the reel (also known as "Jimmy's Return") nor either of two strathspeys but a country dance tune published by Walsh in the entertainingly named collection "Twenty-Four Country Dances For The Year 1718 Compos'd by a Person of Quality and Recommended to Mr Nathaniel Kynaston" (also found with various other years in the title). Not sure whether this means it was composed by Walsh, by Kynaston, or neither of them. Also not sure whether the tune has a connection to Scotland, as suggested by the title (Dunrobin Castle is the seat of the Earl of Sutherland, and with 189 rooms is the biggest castle in the Northern Highlands).

    I have learned this tune from a great contra dance band arrangement by David M. Brown -- many thanks, David! I am not aware of any online transcription, and only one other video of this tune (and the associated dance): link

    Mid-Missouri M-0W mandolin (x2)
    Vintage Viaten tenor guitar
    Suzuki MC-815 mandocello

  2. Frithjof
    Another nice contra dance recording. Thanks for the link to the dancers.
  3. Frithjof
    Martin – I can’t find a dance with the name "Dunrobin Castle" in David M. Brown’s collection. Should I look for another name of it?
  4. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    Thanks, Frithjof.

    It's not in the collection of David's arrangements available from the Lark In The Morning website. I have recently received another batch of unpublished country dance arrangements directly from David, which includes this one and the others I have recorded over the past week or so. Same style of arrangement as the other volume, and some really nice tunes and settings included.

  5. Gelsenbury
    "Twenty-Four Country Dances For The Year 1718 Compos'd by a Person of Quality and Recommended to Mr Nathaniel Kynaston"

    Now, I do have a secret Google Keep note containing amusing names for tunes and songs, which I intend to use if and when I ever start writing tunes or songs ... but that really takes the biscuit. Absolutely love it!

    I confess I was so distracted by the name of the collection that I didn't focus on your recording. Listening to it again now, I'm struck again by how great your sound is, and how proficient you have become at aligning and mixing fairly complex arrangements just right. Four voices of plucked instruments could so easily sound like a handful of cutlery being dropped on the floor, but this is beautiful.
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