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Manuscript copy for 'The Sword Dance' and 'The Invercauld March'

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music for the Great Highland Bagpipe

Manuscript copy for 'The Sword Dance' and 'The Invercauld March'
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Manuscript copy of the tunes 'The Sword Dance' and 'The Invercauld March' for the Great Highland Bagpipe, probably submitted to David Glen of Edinburgh for publication in his Edinburgh collection of 1903-1905.

The tune, Gille Caluim, is well known as the pipe tune for the Sword Dance, a solo dance requiring agility and balletic skills and traditionally ancient. It takes its name from the first two words of a Gaelic song which provides the tune to which the Sword Dance is danced. The tune begins as the manuscript shows in a slower, 'strathspey' time and then breaks into quick or 'reel' time and the music repeated. The 'Invercauld March' is a quickstep in 2/4 time composed for the Highland bagpipe. The composition and performance of 2/4 March tunes with two, or more characteristically four parts became a familiar part of the Highland bagpipe repertoire in the 19th century.

David Glen (1852-1916) was the son of Alexander Glen, Bagpipe Maker and Music Publisher. He succeeded his father in business in 1873 with premises in Greenside Place, Edinburgh, the firm became David Glen and Sons when he was joined by his sons, Alexander and David, and it closed in 1949 and was incorporated into J & R Glen. Between 1876 and 1911 David Glen published a remarkable series of works for the bagpipes including a major piobaireachd collection with historical notes contributed by the Gaelic scholar, Henry Whyte, a substantial Highland bagpipe tutor and a collection of Irish music. His most important and lasting contribution was a major collection of Highland bagpipe music of 1,100 tunes published in 17 parts up to 1900.

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