Who wrote the Scots Musical Museum? Challenging editorial practice in the presence of authorial absence

Pittock, M. (2016) Who wrote the Scots Musical Museum? Challenging editorial practice in the presence of authorial absence. Studies in Scottish Literature, 42(1), pp. 3-28.

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James Johnson’s Scots Musical Museum, published in six parts in Edinburgh over the period 1787-1803, is now inextricably linked to its greatest contributor, the poet, song-writer and song-collector Robert Burns. This lecture builds from Murray Pittock’s recent editorial work on Johnson’s collection, forthcoming in the new multivolume Oxford Edition of Robert Burns, based at the University of Glasgow. The lecture shows that the apparently-innocent question “Who wrote the Scots Musical Museum?” is a complex one, raising very fundamental questions about the nature of authorship and editorship in the necessarily collaborative and social enterprise of song publication, and it raises issues of wide relevance to Scottish cultural studies and the editing of Scottish literary texts. Songs given detailed comment include "The Birks of Aberfeldy" (SMM 113), "McPherson's Farewell" (SMM 114), and "The winter it is past" (SMM 200).

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Pittock, Professor Murray
Authors: Pittock, M.
Subjects:P Language and Literature > PE English
College/School:College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > English Literature
Research Group:Centre for Robert Burns Studies
Journal Name:Studies in Scottish Literature
Publisher:University of South Carolina
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 Studies in Scottish Literature
First Published:First published in Studies in Scottish Literature 42(1):3-28
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
529991Editing Robert Burns for the 21st CenturyGerard CarruthersArts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)AH/I003738/1CRIT - SCOTTISH LITERATURE