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JOHN BATY MS#8, (MU 187)

A manuscript from the FARNE website
Date : about 1850-1860

Transcribed to ABC Music Notation by David Dolby, Peter Dunk, Hugh Taylor and Simon Wilson.

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Transcription, 72 tunes, of the selection of tunes on the Farne website. The first 16 pages, 28 tunes, are missing from the Farne images, as are the tunes after the ones transcribed here.

Many very good hornpipes, including some James Hill tunes.
N.B. The manuscript often uses the tenuto sign  in the old sense of "end tune here" (i.e. nowadays exclusively denotes "hold note a little longer"). Sometimes where clarity is needed we have changed it to "fine".

The following notes, by Matt Seattle, copied from the Farne website:-

"An anonymous 19th century manuscript book in the W. Cocks collection currently housed in the Morpeth Chantry Bagpipe Museum. Formerly belonging to John Baty, the book is known as MU 187 or John Baty 8. The book is in two distinct sections, the outer leaves (pp.1-16 and 55-70) and the inner leaves (pp.17-54)

The outer leaves are all in the 9-note pipe scale, written without key signature in the Highland way. There are standard Highland pipe tunes, some arrangements of popular tunes, and a few variation sets from Peacock's Tunes, transposed up a note. It is possible that the compiler played Border or half-long pipes rather than Highland, but there is no way of knowing, and while local items feature there is certainly no direct link to the 'old' repertoire exemplified in William Dixon's collection.

The inner leaves comprise a good fiddler's book, the programme on the inside back cover showing that the compiler was a working musician. Smaller in scope than the Lister collection, it nevertheless contains many good items (along with some obvious 'standards'), including James Hill hornpipes and a few anonymous hornpipes so far not found elsewhere. Although the compiler does not leave his name or location, the Hill connection places the book, as far as we can tell, on or near Tyneside some time in the mid-19th century. Some of the tunes lean towards the virtuoso end of the fiddle repertoire, and many are carefully bowed. Taken together with the Lister manuscript, the selection gives a very good picture of the North-East fiddler's art."

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