School of Scottish Studies Archives

Eliza Ross Manuscript

The Elizabeth Ross Manuscript - Original Highland Airs Collected at Raasay in 1812.

Elizabeth D'Oyly Young née Ross
Edited by Peter Cooke, Morag Macleod and Colm Ó Baoill.

This important manuscript was discovered and bought for the School by Francis Collinson in 1954. It contains 150 airs of which about 100 are vocal airs, the others being instrumental dance tunes or slow airs. Dating from 1812 it is the earliest manuscript collection of Highland music: now typeset with the addition of texts, translations and detailed commentaries it is freely available for downloading as a pdf file (5.1 MB). The author Elizabeth Jane Ross left the manuscript behind in the library of Raasay House when she departed in 1813 to travel with her sister to India where she later married Baronet Charles D’Oyly.

Elizabeth Ross was a competent transcriber and her settings represent well the wide range of Hebridean music known to the islanders and in Raasay House, home of James MacLeod, laird of Raasay - Elizabeth’s uncle and guardian.

Click on RossMS.pdf. for the 190 page edition. A facsimile of the manuscript itself is also available. Click on ERossfacsimilesm.pdf for a small version.

The print version of the manuscript is now available for sale through the Scottish Music Centre.

 

http://www.scottishmusiccentre.com/