Library and Information Services, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

On this day, 15 May

Significant dates in Scottish musical history

C K Sharpe and Alexander Campbell Anniversaries

You may be blissfully unaware of the importance of 15th May in Scottish music history!  Charles Kirkpatrick Sharpe was an antiquarian, interested in Scottish ballads, songs and genealogy.  He was born on 15th May 1781, and although he's rarely mentioned today, he was considered a fount of knowledge to his Scottish contemporaries.  Worth knowing his name, then.

Meanwhile, Alexander Campbell died on 15th May 1824.  His name is more directly relevant in Scottish musical history terms, because of his music legacy in the shape of the 2-volume Albyn's Anthology.  It's a collection of Highland and Border songs, in Gaelic and Scots.  His musical arrangements weren't brilliant, but the tunes are a very valuable repertoire.  He was one of our first Scottish ethnomusicologists, and spent 3 months travelling in the Hebrides and Highlands of Scotland collecting songs from all sorts of people.  (He was a bit of a dilettante, and music was by no means his only interest, but that's the one we're most interested in here at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.)

Karen McAulay has given presentations on Campbell's output, most recently to the Glasgow Highland Club.  Here is her Slideshare powerpoint presentation, entitled 'Mistaken for Napoleon'.

We've blogged about Alexander Campbell on Whittaker Live before.  Here's a posting about his homeward journey after his song-collecting expedition.  Click here ...

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