Aird's Airs

a multimedia edition by Jack Campin

Available in Summer 2008:

Cover of CD-ROM

These six books, containing 1200 tunes, were the largest and most popular Scottish music books of the 18th century. Designed to be practical and portable - genuinely pocket-sized - rather than as coffee-table ornaments like some books more celebrated today, they were the source Burns used for most of his melodies, and the earliest known source for many familiar Scottish tunes. They are also a good source for English tunes of the time; they were used by village musicians all over Britain for decades, copied into manuscript books as they fell apart from use. Most of the settings suit many different instruments; Aird suggest the fife, flute and fiddle as possibilities, but they were used by Northumbrian pipers too, and usually work on the harp, tenor banjo, melodeon, concertina, hammered dulcimer... They have never been reprinted before.

I have made them available on a CD-ROM, using "website on a disk" technology - very simple, future-proof HTML linking graphic and sound files. I have had the first 200 tunes on my website for some time in ABC; the CD-ROM uses the same approach as my other publications, Embro, Embro and Old Scottish Flute Music, using the same file formats and the same tested structure.

Price £19.50 (payments by cheque or cash only), or the equivalent of £21.00 in Euros or US dollars (cash only) - this is higher to allow for airmail to Europe, Australasia or North America.

An example of the formats I use for the tunes; it's an earlier (and barely recognizable) form of the tune I used on the Old Scottish Flute Music page, this time as a reel rather than a strathspey.

I don't include facsimiles of the original books - it would be far too expensive. But to show you what they look like, here's a facsimile of the page that tune came from (140K).

I don't provide chords for the tunes; Aird didn't include any sort of accompaniment and many different style could work. Here's a sample arrangement of this tune:

Jack Campin
11 Third Street
Midlothian EH22 4PU
phone 07800 739 557

CD-ROMs already available:

Jack Campin's Home Page: