Friday pamphlet; Marjory Kennedy Fraser


The Royal National Mod has returned to Stornoway for a packed week of Gaelic, friendly competition, kilts and whisky.  Sadly the library collection did not have any photographs of previous Mods so I did a search instead for Gaelic sheet music and this little pamphlet by Marjory Kennedy-Fraser and Kenneth Macleod came up.  Marjory Kennedy Fraser famously travelled the Hebrides of Scotland recording traditional folk music on wax cylinders, transcribing them and setting them to piano.  She donated the cylinders to University of Edinburgh Library in 1930, where they were later re-recorded by the School of Scottish Studies to ensure their survival.  

Similarly to the criticism levelled at Sir Walter Scott for his work on the oral tradition of the Borders of Scotland, her contributions have been criticised by those who feel she misrepresented the Gaelic tradition, a subject which is the focus of a forthcoming book from the Island Book Trust by Per Ahlander. 

We hope that everyone has had a great Mod week (despite the weather) and that there are not too many sore heads after the prize winners concert tonight!

About David Powell

Project Manager and Archivist with Tasglann nan Eilean Siar
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