Library and Information Services, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Thursday, 23 February 2012

On this day: Finlay Dun, one of Scotland's forgotten musical heroes

On this day (24th February, 1794)

On this day, Finlay Dun was born in Aberdeen – his father was a dancing teacher.  Dun played fiddle for his Dad’s dance lessons. 
He was also involved in some of the best-known and most popular Scottish song collections of the mid-nineteenth century.

See what we have here in the Whittaker Library.  And there are more books by Dun in other academic libraries – check Copac.  Notably, Dun arranged a famous collection of Scottish songs for Lady Carolina Nairne;  also a Gaelic song collection; moreover, he was involved in arranging a collection of pipe-tunes, and writing a scholarly introduction for Dauney’s Ancient Scottish Melodies.  And entertained Mendelssohn when he came on his Scottish tour (cue the Hebrides Overture!)
  Dun arranged everything for piano, with or without voice.  (You value your iPod now – the piano was as covetable then.)

Why does it matter?  Because it’s interesting to see the Scottish music that people were buying, playing and enjoying 150 years ago.

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