Category Archives: Writing

The Proof of the Pudding …

Well, in this case, it’s a question of proof-reading, but we’ll let that pass.  This week I’ve been up to the ears in editing and proof-reading things I’ve written.

  • There was the article that needed revision, after it had been scrutinised by a peer-reviewer.
  • The article that evolved from my PGCert project of a couple of years ago.
  • The article that I wrote several years ago, only now appearing in an online journal.
  • And three book reviews.

Having cleared that little lot out of the way, I can think about what I need to write next! Since I have other, non-academic concerns also demanding my attention this Autumn, I can see I’m going to be busy!





magpie-2364332__340Not content with setting old folk-tunes, this weekend I decided to go one further and write a ballad.  Yes, the whole thing.  Seventeen verses and a couple of different tunes, so the setting uses tune A for a few verses, then B for a few more, and finally back to A again.  We have all the ingredients for a classic ballad – a lovelorn lass, a motherless child, a lone father … and a couple of Glaswegian magpies.  (They exist – I can show you the tree and chimney pot where I spotted them on my way to the bus-stop last Friday morning!)

magpie tree skyI was asked to write something for voice, flute, violin, piano and guitar / accordion.  I’ve done so.  Personally, I think it would be best to have either piano OR guitar / accordion, but not having heard it played by live musicians, I’m willing to be proved wrong.  Here’s the computer audio-file – unfortunately you can’t hear any words!  But if you listen right to the end, you’ll get an audible hint as to how the story ends!

Jackdaw-Jo : a Ballad

Spoken Paper Becomes Footnoted Article

I gave a paper about my most recent researches into St Andrews’ historical legal deposit music at the Musica Scotica conference, a couple of weeks ago.  I was subsequently asked by another organisation if I would write a paper for a journal.  Luckily, the Musica Scotica spoken paper had been typed out in full, complete with reasonably good footnotes, so with the approval of the committee, I worked it up into a proper paper for submission, and now I await a decision.  It would be good to see it published.

Pending decision:- ‘A Music Library for St Andrews: Use of the University’s Copyright Music Collections, 1801-1849’