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Three Scottish Airs (McConnachie) - BSN/PN

Composer: Collection

Publisher: TrevCo

Edition: 72054


Three Scottish Airs
for bassoon and piano
Traditional, arranged by Daniel McConnachie

  The Brae's O'Ballandyne
  Logan Water
  Leader Haughs and Yarrow


Three Scottish Airs is a collection of three songs from an area of Scotland known as The Borders. It is a region that was in dispute between Scotland and England for centuries and has proved a fertile source of myths, legends, and tales of bravery and of love found and lost. These three songs all have ancient Gaelic roots but as was the custom at the time the melodies were adapted and set to new lyrics in Scots or English reflecting the social changes taking place in Scotland at the time.  

The first, The Brae’s of Ballandyne was adapted from an older Gaelic air by composer and arranger James Oswald (1710-1769). The title refers to the hills or braes found south of Edinburgh in the Lanarkshire Hills. The words set by Oswald are those of a young man asking his love to come away with him to the Brae’s of Ballandyne, a place of beauty and calm.                                                                                       
Duration 4:06

The next air, Logan Water, is based on a very old Gaelic melody that first appears in print in 1709. The poet Robert Burns wrote new lyrics for it around 1793 and set his text in an area south of Glasgow in the valley of the river known as Logan Water. The words Burns wrote are from the woman’s point of view and are a lament of love lost. It first appeared in print in an undated broadside that can be found in the Bodleian Library. Duration 3:37

Leader Haughs and Yarrow is the third air and is based on a melody that is attributed to a wandering minstrel known as Nichole Burn in the 17th Century. Other sources claim that it is older than that and has Gaelic roots that Burn adapted. The words themselves celebrate the lands found around Leader Water, a river that flows into the River Tweed that forms Scotland’s border with England. Haughs is a Scots word for lowlands found by a river and rhymes with the word loch, while Yarrow is the name given to the general area in which the river is found. Interestingly there is an arrangement of this song for voice written by Haydn as part of a collection of Scottish Folks song that were published in 1791 during his first visit to London.                                                           Duration 3:38


Daniel McConnachie is a composer, musician and educator who was born in Toronto Ontario in 1953. He attended Queen’s University in Kingston Ontario where he studied composition with Istvan Anhalt and Clifford Crawley, and theory and counterpoint with F.R.C. Clark, receiving a B.Mus. degree in 1976. Entering the Master’s programme at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music, Daniel studied composition with John Weinzweig and Gustav Ciamaga, while Derek Holman provided theoretical explorations and historical context of 20th Century materials. These studies resulted in the awarding of an M.Mus. in Composition and Theory in 1978.

In 1980, he started a 28-year career teaching music in the York Region District School Board, eventually becoming Head of Music at Stouffville District Secondary School. Upon retirement in 2008, Dan returned to school working towards a D.Mus. in Composition and Theory at Boston University where he studied with John Wallace and Benjamin Bierman.

McConnachie’s compositions range from the freely atonal to the fully tonal and include works for solo winds, piano, choir, chamber and jazz ensembles, band and symphony orchestra. His focus of late has been music influenced by the Celtic traditions he grew up with and has come to embrace more fully. This has led to an exploration of the intersection of traditional music with more formal classical forms and ensembles. A number of commissions from Orchestra Kingston have allowed him to explore these influences in an orchestral setting, while recent chamber and solo works have seen him further explore this intersection in new ways.

Daniel is a member of the Canadian League of Composers, an Associate member of The Canadian Music Centre, SOCAN, and an active performer on the bassoon.