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Fiddle Tunes (click here for Pipe Tunes)

Cuckold Come Out Of The Amrey
- aka -
The Cuckold Comes Out Of The Amery

In 1992 I composed additional variations for Cuckold Come Out Of The Amrey, and turned it from a traditional 7-strain Northumbrian smallpipe tune into a reinvigorated 18-strain Border pipe tune. I published this extended arrangement in 1993 in The Border Bagpipe Book which is now out of print.

In 2010 I was astonished to find that in 2003 my arrangement had been recorded under a slightly different title, played by Richard Tognetti on violin, and included on the Official Soundtrack CD of Master & Commander: The Far Side of the World (it does not feature in the film).

Thanks to my membership of the UK Musicians' Union I was able to pursue a legal claim from Fox who conceded that the arrangement is mine and constitutes a copyright work in its own right. It is likely that the musicians concerned made a genuine mistake in presuming my arrangement to be traditional, though they have not told me.

I am flattered that the Master & Commander Official Soundtrack recording of the tune gets so many youtube hits and that people have transcribed it from the CD and are circulating copies and posting their own recordings. Some of these are excellent performances. I have no problem with the performances. The scores, however, are unauthorised. If you wish to obtain a low cost and fully legal copy for your own use please contact me.

These tunes can be downloaded and printed for personal use; for commercial use please notify MCPS and/or PRS as appropriate.

All music files are supplied in Adobe PDF format. To view/print them you will require Adobe Acrobat Reader (version 3 or later). You probably already have it lurking on your computer, or on one of those CDs you stand your coffee on. If not you can download it directly from the Adobe Website. If you're not sure how to save PDF files to your computer - click here for instructions.

Since taking up the pipes I haven't written much fiddle music (apart from string quartet arrangements for pipe tunes), and looking over these again I find they're still pretty good.

The Corsair
The Tartar Frigate


These were written around 1985, quite soon after I had become immersed in traditional music. They are very Irish fiddle in style, reflecting my influences at the time. It was quite a compliment when they were both recorded by the excellent Irish band Nomos on their 1995 CD I Won't Be Afraid Any More. Before that, Kathryn Tickell had recorded The Tartar Frigate on Borderlands (my first bite of fame's apple - thanks Kathryn!), and again later on The Kathryn Tickell Band CD, and The Blackford Fiddle Group have recorded it more recently on Free Reeling. The recordings don't necessarily follow the dots note for note, but here are the composer's versions.

President Gorbachev's Hornpipe
The Perestroika Reel


This all seems a very long time ago now... in the depths of gloom of the Thatcher era one hopeful phenomenon was the humanising of the Soviet bloc in the person of Mikhail Gorbachev. Ironically I gather that many Russians thought as well of MG as many of us thought of MT, and vice versa, a case of the grass being greener on the other side of the Iron Curtain. Whatever the reality, these two tunes were and are a little tribute to the man who had the vision to salvage Glasnost from the catastrophe of Chernobyl. They were both on the Blue Moon Band's 1992 cassette Barka's Yarka, now available as a limited edition CD, and the hornpipe was also recorded by Pete Clark on his Fiddlecase CD. The hornpipe is written with straight quavers but is played 'swung'.



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