Ramsay’s musical Sources: Reconstructing a poet’s musical memory

McGuinness, D. and McGregor, A. (2018) Ramsay’s musical Sources: Reconstructing a poet’s musical memory. Scottish Literary Review, 10(1), pp. 49-71.

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Publisher's URL: http://muse.jhu.edu/issue/38612


This article sets out the editorial issues in preparing music for an edition of Ramsay’s songs, assessing the relevance and usefulness of various sources in developing an understanding of his musical language. Ramsay only specified the titles of the intended airs rather than providing musical texts of his own; however, the musical sources most directly associated with him and his song texts tend either to be instrumental in conception, or to relate to performance practices quite removed from his apparent intentions. This paper argues that individual musical sources should be viewed as witnesses to points in the transmission process, rather than definitive instructions for performance. The function of musical notation can be subtle when the music is also aurally or orally transmitted, and in order to reveal Ramsay’s most likely conception of a tune when composing a song, earlier musical sources may be more relevant than those with a clear connection to Ramsay’s own texts.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:McGuinness, Professor David and Mcgregor, Aaron
Authors: McGuinness, D., and McGregor, A.
Subjects:M Music and Books on Music > M Music
P Language and Literature > PR English literature
College/School:College of Arts & Humanities
College of Arts & Humanities > School of Culture and Creative Arts > Music
Journal Name:Scottish Literary Review
Publisher:Association for Scottish Literary Studies
ISSN (Online):1756-5634
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 Association for Scottish Literary Studies
First Published:First published in Scottish Literary Review 10(1):49-71
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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