Sheet music printing plate and pull

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of Aird and Coghill, Glasgow

Postcard of Sheet music printing plate and pull.
© National Museums Scotland

Sheet music printing plate and pull

Sheet music lead alloy printing plate and 'pull' beginning with the line 'Yes Britain won her proudest bays, In Good Queen Bess' Glorious days'. In the process of printing, the lead alloy plate, having been engraved with specialist tools and cutters, was inked and the paper pressed to it. The impression, engraved in the 'negative' formats, then produces a 'positive' version on the printing paper. This is an example of the music engraving technique and product of 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.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-000-579-647-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0869: The Bagpipe Collection
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  H.1995.737, 738
What: Printing plate and 'pull' or sample
Who: Aird and Coghill (manufacturers)
Where: Scotland, Glasgow (place of manufacture)
Description: Lead alloy printing plate for sheet music and pull printed on paper.
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