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Kerr's Collections




Strathspeys etc





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Kerr's Merry Melodies

Kerr's Merry MelodiesIn the 1870s1 the Glasgow music publishing company James S Kerr published a series of twelve books collectively called Kerr's Famous Collections for the Violin. The books covered categories such as Pretty Tunes of All Nations and Popular Dance Music for the Violin. Of most interest to me are the four collections of Merry Melodies (Books 1, 2, 10 and 11), each consisting of around 445 reels, strathspeys, hornpipes, jigs, marches, airs, and so on. The selection appears to be largely from older books - the Gow collections, Lowe's collections, etc - but there seems to be many contributions from contemporary composers, Carl Volti being the most prominent.

1 = Charles Gore, in his monumental reference work "The Scottish Fiddle Music Index" (Musselburgh, Scotland, 1994), gives the publication date for "Kerr's Collection of Merry Melodies for the Violin" as "from 1875".


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