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Two slur cutters used in music engraving

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by music printers and publishers Aird and Coghill, Glasgow, until 1972

Two slur cutters used in music engraving
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Two slur cutters of steel, for cutting slurs in preparing music on the printing plate. This is one of a set of specialist tools and cutters used in the firm of Aird and Coghill of Glasgow, Music Publishers and Engravers, specialising in the printing of piobaireachd music.

The music for the Great Highland Bagpipe began to be recorded in written form in the 18th century, initially in song and fiddle collections. The first known book on Highland pipe music and 'pibroch' was written by Joseph MacDonald about 1760 but, since he died in India in 1763, his manuscript remained relatively unknown until recently.

The first collection of tunes in full bagpipe notation was by the bagpipe maker, Donald MacDonald, who published his Collection of Ancient Martial Music of Caledonia called Piobaireachd about 1820. Further collections followed, notably Angus Mackay's Collection of Ancient Piobaireachd or Highland Pipe Music published in Edinburgh in 1838, and increasingly books of 'light music' such as David Glen's Collection of Highland Bagpipe Music in 17 parts between 1876 and 1911. The number of pipers in Scotland was increasing and players were becoming musically literate. The art of playing the Great Highland Bagpipe passed from an oral tradition into printed books.

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