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Early Scottish Airs for Small Wire-Strung Clarsach

Publication date :  15 October 2012       £15


This book contains arrangements by leading wire-harper Bill Taylor, of pieces from the 17th-century lute manuscripts along with tunes and airs from 18th-century collections. They are intimate pieces, music enjoyed in the households of wealthy landowners, set out here for a range from G below middle C up to treble D. Ornamentation, damping, gestures and fingering are all written in, and clearly explained in the glossary.

Recordings of the pieces by Bill are available here as mp3 audio files. These are intended as learning aids.

This book is now out of print. It is currently available as a pdf.

An errata sheet for the first printing of this book (2012) is available here.

You can watch two videos of Bill Taylor playing Ladie Cassiles Lilt and Lesleis Lilt here.


Wemyss Lute Book (1643-1648)

1. Ladi ly nier mee / I choys to ly my lon / My lady binnis Lilt / Through the wood Laudie


Straloch lute book (1627 - 1629)

2. I long for the Wedding / Shoes rare and good in all (Lilt Ladie An Gordoun)


Skene mandore MS (c.1620)

3. My Lord Dingwall's Currand

4. Doun in yon banke / Ladie Cassilis Lilt / Lesleis Lilt


Patrick McDonald, A Collection of Highland Vocal Airs (1784)

5. Chuir iad nuse ann an seòmar fuar / Druimmionn dubh / Oscar's Ghost / 'S mi air cragan na sgurra / Ged do theid mi dion m' leabaidh, 's beag mo shund ris a' chadal


Gillespie MS (1768) / James Oswald, Caledonian Pocket Companion (c.1745-c.1760)

6. Miss Faw's Minuet / She's sweetest when she's naked


Balcarres lute book (c.1695)

7. The Lady Errolls delight, the 1st way, John reds way / The Lady Errols delight, the 2d way, by david grieve / The lady Errolls delight, the 3d way, mr lesslies way


The Scots Musical Museum (1787-1803)

8. O can ye sew cushions / Tweed Side

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