315 – Glen’s Collection for the Great Highland Bagpipe by J & R Glen

An update by Geoff Hore 2008-2015.  The writing in black font is from A Bibliography of Bagpipe Music. The update comments are in blue font.



1      c1870


p [1], title; p [II] blank; pp [i], ii-ix, ‘Historical Sketch of the Scotch Bag-pipe’; p [x], poem, ‘The Highland Pipes’; pp III-VIII, instructions; p [IX], index; pp 1-18, tunes (52).

There are three plates, facing pages [II], vi and [x].

  • National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh.  Part of a collective volume (see below).
  • Black Gate Museum, Newcastle.  Part of a collective volume (see below).
  • Private Collection.  Part of a collective volume (see below).
  • Central Public Library, Edinburgh.  Library binding, repaired at spine. 5.8 x 9.7″. There is no evidence that this copy was ever part of a collective volume.
  • Geoff Hore’s Collection.  Three 1st editions, two are in bound volumes and one loose.

Pages [i], ii-ix are letterpress, but the other printed matter is from plates, including the index. From the sequence of page numbering with the instructions beginning at page III, I presume that this is not the first edition. Possibly the preceding edition lacked the ‘Historical Sketch’; it could then have been numbered as p [I], title, p [II], index; pp III-VIII, etc; or alternatively as title; p [I], index; p [II] blank; pp II-VIII, etc.

The only evidences of date which I can find in the text are a foot-note on page iv referring to D. Campbell’s ‘Treatise on the Language, Poetry, and Music of the Highlanders’ with date 1862, and another on page viii referring to ‘Capt. Neil Macleod’s collection of Piobaireachd’, Edinburgh 1828. Since J. & R. Glen themselves reprinted this work in 1880 (305-II above), the date of the ‘Historical Sketch’ is bracketed within the period 1862-1880.

The first engraving shows figures of three pipers, Lowland, Highland and Irish; the second shows two sets of bagpipes, the musette that belonged to Prince Charles Edward, and a set of ‘Ancient Highland Pipes, having the date 1409 carved on the Stock, in the possession of Messrs. J. & R. Glen’; the third is a humorous sketch entitled ‘The Piper’s Dream’. The engravings, and the title-page, are signed with an hour-glass symbol, and in two of the engravings this is initialled ‘J. S.’

The historical sketch is unsigned, but is presumably the work of John Glen.

2      No date


Note: The picture in the centre has been partly destroyed by a blob of red sealing wax.

 pp [I], [i], ii-ix, [x], III-VIII, [IX], 1-18, as I.

  • Private Collection. Part of a collective volume (see below).
  • Geoff Hore’s Collection.  A loose book that has the appearance of having been bound in a book at some time.

A tune on page 3 is entitled ‘The Kebockstane Weddin”. In edition I it had appeared as ‘Auld Wattie of Kebockstevenbrae’, but John Glen had pencilled in the alternative title. There is no footnote on page 1.

3     No date

Title-page missing. Cover title as I and imprint as follows:

 Edinburgh; / J. & R. Glen 2 & 3 North Bank Street / (Established 1827.)

Above title, left: Fourteenth thousand / Part 1st. Above title, right: Revised edition. Below title, left: Ent. Sta. Hall. Below title, right: Price 1/=

The imperfect copy consulted now contains: index, pp III-VIII, 3-12, 15-18.

  • Roderick Cannon’s Collection.  Paper covers (back missing). 6.9 x 10. 2″.

Some of the alterations indicated in MS in John Glen’s copy of edition I have been adopted in this edition, but not all. There is a footnote on page I which reads, ‘These tunes, when not played by the Bagpipe, have every F, and C, sharp, also G where marked with a star.’ Pages 8 and 10 are new plates each with a footnote, ‘All G’s are sharp’. There are no key signatures prefixed to any of the tunes.

3a     No date

Because there is a 14th and 16th thousand it is assumed there will be a 15th.

3b     No date


Nothing is known of this book other than the scanned image of the title-page received from Roderick Cannon.

4     c1911-34


title: [i], ii-ix, as 1; p [xi], poem; p [xii] blank; p [1], index; p [II] blank, pp III-VIII, instructions; pp 1-18, tunes (52).

  • Mitchell Library, Glasgow.  Library binding. 6.4 x 9.9″. Received January 1934. The price on the cover has been altered to 1s 6d by hand.
  • Geoff Hore’s Collection.  Originally this book, along with Parts 2 & 3, were bound up with a number of other books. It is believed they three were single volumes in their original state.

The change of address took place in 1911, according to Humphries and Smith.

The above scanned image was taken from a book in the writer’s collection and the price 1s 6d has been altered by hand. Another of these books has been seen and it has the same hand amendment.



1     No date

Although I have not found a copy, I presume that there must have been an edition of part 2 preceding the one described as II below. It would have contained the 72 tunes given on pp 1-28 of II, and the index as on pp [i-ii] of that edition. One of the collective volumes described below has a title-page giving the contents as 213 tunes. This can only be made up from 52 + 72 + 89, corresponding to the small form of volume 2. (But actually the title-page is attached to a volume containing 52 + 92 + 89 = 233 tunes). The alternative to the suggestion of an early, small edition is that the publishers originally intended to issue a book of 72 tunes, but decided at the last minute to add 20 more, and for some reason failed to alter the title-page and index accordingly.

Nothing has been found that confirms either of the above two scenarios. In the absence of any Part 2 (either in a collective volume or single) with only 72 tunes AND that can be dated earlier than edition III below, the writer is inclined to believe the second of the above scenarios.

2      No date


title; pp [i-ii], index; pp 1-28, tunes (72); pp 27-36, further tunes (20).

  • National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh.  Part of a collective volume (see below). Pages 5-12 are missing.
  • Black Gate Museum, Newcastle.  Part of a collective volume (see below).
  • Private Collection.
  • Geoff Hore’s Collection.  There are two of this edition and they are both in collective volumes. Both books have the last page of music (ie pp 35 & 36) missing. This may be understandable in one of the books as the spine had disintegrated and all the pages were loose. However, this does not explain why a page is missing from the other book which was in reasonable condition when acquired.

The index, which is printed from plates, lists only the 72 tunes on pp 1-28. The 20 tunes on pages 27-36 differ from the preceding ones in that each one is marked COPYRIGHT and attributed to one of the two composers, J. Mauchline and ‘J.G.’ – i.e. John Glen. One of them is dated 4th August 1871.

The title-page is a different engraving from those of part 1. Although the lettering is identical, the central figure of a piper is different. It shows for example a sporran with three tassels instead of a hair sporran.

3     Before Sept 1892

Title, imprint etc as 2, except correctly printed Part 2nd and price, 1/-

title; p [i], index; p [ii] blank; pp 1-28, as II.

  • British Library, London.  Library binding. 6.1 x 9.8″ (cropped). Received 6 September 1892.

The index is letterpress.

3a    No date


Scanned image received from Roderick Cannon.

4      c1911-32


Note: The above scanned image is of the cover. The title-page is identical except it does not have ‘Eighth Thousand’.

title; pp [i-ii], 1-28, as 2.

  • Central Library, Newcastle.  Paper cover. 6.8 x 10. 2″.
  • Mitchell Library, Glasgow.  (Bound up with edition 5 of part I and edition 4 of part 3). Library binding. 6.4 x 9.9″. Received 8 January 1934.
  • Geoff Hore’s Collection.  Two books, one is in a bound volume and the other is loose.


1     No date


title; pp [i], ii, index; pp 1-36, tunes.

  • National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh.  Part of a collective volume (see below).
  • Private Collection.  Part of a collective volume (see below).
  • Geoff Hore’s Collection.  Two books, both are in collective volumes.

The index is letterpress. The tunes fall nearly into two groups, but the division is not quite absolute. On pages 27-36 each tune is marked COPYRIGHT except for one on page 32, and most are attributed either to J. Mauchline or to ‘J.G.’, but also one tune on Page 9 is marked COPYRIGHT and attributed to J. Mauchline.

2      c1888-92


title, pp, [i], ii, 1-36 as 1.

  • Private Collection.  6.1 X 10.0”. The price has been marked down to 1s., by hand. Contains an advertisement on the inside back cover, dated August 1888.
  • British Library.  Library binding. 6.1 x 9.8” (cropped). Received 6 September 1892.
  • Geoff Hore’s Collection.

This book shows signs of having been bound in with other books at some time. It has been cropped and the numeral 2 in the price has been cut off but there is enough left to know that it was a 2 and not a 3 as in earlier editions.

3     No date


Scanned image received from Roderick Cannon.

On cover only, above title, right: Sixth thousand.

  • Private Collection.

4      c1911-32


Note: The above scanned image is of the cover. The title-page is identical except it does not have ‘Seventh Thousand’.

title; pp [i-ii], 1-36, as 1.

  • Mitchell Library, Glasgow.  Library binding. 6.4 x 9.9″. Received 8 January 1934.
  • Private Collection.  In original cover. Contains a price list, undated, but identical in content with that of 1888 (ed. 2 above).
  • Black Gate Museum, Newcastle.  Paper cover. 6.8 x 10. 2″.
  • Geoff Hore’s Collection.



Each of these volumes consists of the three parts, as described above, complete with individual title-pages; and a cover with the collective title printed on it. There is no collective title-page as such; nor are the covers of the individual parts included.

Collective Volume ‘A’

Cover title and imprint as part 1 (ed. 2) but 213 not 52.

Below title, left: Ent. Sta. Hall. Below title, right: Price [cut off].

Comprises part 1 (ed. 2), part 2 (ed. 1), part 3 (ed. 1).

  • National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh.  (Glen collection). Library binding. The present cover incorporates the old one, somewhat cut down. 5.9 x 9.4″. This copy belonged to John Glen himself, and contains numerous annotations in MS, some of which were incorporated into the text of later editions. Contains an advertisement, the same as in Collective Volume ‘B’ below.
  • Black Gate Museum, Newcastle.  6.0 x 9.8′. With a former owner’s signature: Joseph Crawhall, Dec. 1893.

The total number of tunes in this work is 52 + 84 + 89 = 225. The number on the title-page is incorrect, and corresponds to a total of 72 tunes in part 2. There is evidence that part 2 did originally consist of 72 tunes, in what I have called edition 1 (above), also it was later reduced to 72 again, as for example in edition III. So the present title could be either earlier or later than edition 2 of part 2. I conclude that it is earlier, since the collective volume ‘B’ below, which has a later edition of part I than has this one, has the correct title-page.

Collective Volume ‘B’

Cover title and imprint etc as part 1 (ed,II), but 225 not 52, and Price 9/-

Comprises part I (ed. 3), part 2 (ed.1), part 3 (ed. ).

  • Private Collection.

This volume contains an advertisement which can apparently be dated 1880 or earlier, since it contains no mention of the Gesto canntaireachd collection, reprinted by J. & R. Glen. (See 305-2 above). The advertisement is certainly earlier than 1888, since another advertisement is known bearing that date and including the Gesto canntaireachd.

Manson gives the dates 1870-1 for the whole set of three volumes. This could well be perfectly correct, though it still leaves open the question of whether the enlarged form of part 2 of the collection might have appeared later than 1871. Unfortunately, in this as in every case, Manson does not state his authority, and the additional evidence I have been able to collect, while not inconsistent with Manson, is considerably, less precise.

The additional evidence includes four J. & R. Glen price lists, which may conveniently be described first. List 1 is pasted inside the cover of a copy of the Glen-Robertson edition of Donald MacDonald’s Ancient Martial Music, no. 304 above, edition 5. It includes Donald MacDonald’s Collection of Quicksteps etc, price 3s; Glen’s Collection, part 1, 52 tunes, and part 2, 72 tunes, 3s each; and MacDonald’s Ancient Martial Music, 21s. From the printing, the last item looks like a subsequent addition to the list. List 2 appears in each of the two collective volumes, ‘A’ and ‘B’ of the work now under discussion. It differs from list 1 only by the addition of part 3, 89 tunes, price 3s. List 3 is in a copy of part 3, edition 2. It is dated August 1888. It includes Glen’s Collection in three parts with the same contents as before, but priced 1s per part, and a new item, ‘McLeod’s Collection’, i.e. the Gesto canntaireachd book (no. 305 above, edition 2). List 4, in a copy of part 3, edition 4, is identical in content but undated.

These advertisements show that parts 1 and 2 of Glen’s Collection came out before Glen’s reissue of MacDonald’s piobaireachd, and part 3 some time after that reissue (i.e. 1871 or later), but before the Gesto canntaireachd reprint, i.e. not later than 1880. There is no clue to the earliest possible date of either part 1 or part 2, but the earliest date for the earliest known edition (edition 1 above) is 1866, the year in which John and Robert Glen succeeded to their father’s firm.

The total number of tunes available originally was 52 + 72 + 89 = 213. Evidently a collective volume was issued, or at any rate planned. I have not found a copy, but its cover was used for the known collective volume ‘A’. Shortly afterwards, part 2 was enlarged by the addition of 12 tunes (edition II above). One of these is dated 4th August 1871, but the addition could of course have been at some later date. There is no evidence that either part 1 or part 3 was ever enlarged.

At this stage, prices were still 3s. for the separate books, and 9s. for the collective volume, but later they were reduced. One copy of part 3 (edition 2) was printed with the price 2s., but this was evidently transitory since the same book carries the 1888 price list with all three parts at 1s. each. Part 3 was always the largest volume of the set, and there is no evidence that the other parts were ever priced 2s.

Part 2 did not remain in the large form. It was reduced to 72 tunes again (e.g. in edition III), but the date of this change is not known, nor is it known whether the reduction in size came before, after, or at the same time as the reduction in price. But probably it had happened by 1888, if the price list of that date can be relied on to give the number of tunes correctly; and certainly by 1892, the latest possible date of edition 3 of part 2.

Part 1 was revised some time prior to 1911 (see ed. 3) and the prices of the three volumes were raised to ls. 6d. some time after 1911. Askew in 1932 found all three parts still available, price is 1s 6d., and the collective volume, 7s. 6d.

There are two collective volumes in Geoff Hore’s collection. The first of these volumes has a doubtful provenance. It was completely dismantled when received and has since been rebound. Part 1 has been cropped and is smaller than the other two parts. Parts 2 and 3 are roughly cropped. It has 213 tunes on the front cover. Part 1 has 52 tunes on the front cover and that agrees with the actual number on the book. Part 2 has 72 tunes on the front cover but has 12 more tunes. Pages 35 and 36 are missing. Part 3 has 89 tunes on the front cover and the same number inside the book.

The second collective volume is more accurate. On the front cover it has 225 tunes. Part 1 (edition 1) has 52 tunes. Part 2 (edition 2) has 72 tunes on the front cover but actually has 12 extra tunes (pages 35 and 36 are missing). Part 3 (edition 1) has 89 tunes on the title-page.


  • Rev 00 (13 September 2008).
  • Rev 01 (21 February 2011).  Adds scanned images to part 1 edition 3b, part 2 edition 3a and part 3 edition 3.
  • Rev 02. (7 April 2015).    Format changed for bibliography.altpibroch.com.  

© Geoff Hore 2015