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The Burns Encyclopedia
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'Notes on Scottish song' by Robert Burns

The notes written in Robert Riddell's interleaved copy of The Scots Musical Museum by Burns and by Riddell himself J. C. Dick discovered them in the possession of a London owner in 1902, and published them in 1906 under the above title separating Burns's notes from those of Riddell and those he deemed 'spurious'. All had been published by Cromek in 1808 as genuine.

In 1922, however, David Cuthbertson came upon a manuscript in Burns's handwriting in the library of Edinburgh University. He published the contents in the Kilmarnock Standard. This contained most of the 'spurious' notes, more or less as given by Cromek, whose fault in this instance seems to have been that he failed to indicate that he had made use of more than one source.

The interleaved Museum was given by Mrs Riddell to her niece, Miss Eliza Bayley of Manchester, who allowed Cromek to see it.

In 1871 John Salkeld, a London bookseller, acquired it as part of a job lot, and catalogued it at £110. It was bought by a book collector, H. F. Nicols, who left it to his housekeeper, Miss Oakshott, with whom Dick found it. It was sold at Sotheby's in 1903 to an American buyer.

Together with Dick's The Songs of Robert Burns and Davidson Cook's Annotations thereon, it was reissued in a single volume by Folklore Associates, Hatboro, Pennsylvania (1962).

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Robert Burns Store

NEW!! robert burns store View our exclusive range of distinctive Robert Burns related products. Register with our Shopping Club for further offers and unique member offers.Click here...


Complete Burns Songs

linn recordings of burns Linn Records have completed their landmark recording of all 368 Burns songs, available as individual CDs or a 12 volume presentation box set. We have full details. Click here...


Burns Music & Recordings
Search our huge CD and music store for any Burns-related phrase!
Hint: Type "lang syne" or "peck maut" etc. into the Search box there for all artists, titles, descriptions or track listings with the words entered.
Burns Chess Sets

Burns Chess SetsUnique collectors' pieces based on Burns' life and works. (The ideal gift for your Burns Supper guests!) Click here...

Scotweb Store

ScotwebThe finest Scottish shopping site in the world, with the world's largest choice of kilts and tartans, exclusive jewelry, Highland Dress, Bagpipes and piping supplies, cashmere, and much more. Buying from these sites helps pay for the upkeep of Burns Country! Click here...