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date: 06 June 2020

Dauney, Williamlocked

  • W.H. Husk
  • , revised by David Johnson
  •  and Kenneth Elliott


(b Aberdeen, Oct 27, 1800; d Georgetown, British Guiana [now Guyana], July 28, 1843). Scottish musical scholar. The son of William Dauney of Falmouth, Jamaica, he was educated at Dulwich College, London, and at Edinburgh University. He was called to the Scottish Bar in 1823. About 1839 he left Scotland for British Guiana, where he became solicitor-general.

Dauney’s importance as a scholar rests on his book Ancient Scotish Melodies from a Manuscript of the Reign of James VI (Edinburgh, 1838/R), which consists of a partial transcript of the Skene Manuscript as well as a lengthy ‘Dissertation Illustrative of the History of the Music of Scotland’ and some historical documents, also transcribed. The manuscript, in mandore tablature, was compiled about 1625 by John Skene of Hallyards, Midlothian. It contains some 115 items of which over half are Scottish native airs, or folksongs, and the rest – Scottish, English, French, Dutch and Italian – comprise ballad tunes, dance tunes and partsong arrangements. In Dauney’s time it belonged to the Advocates’ Library in Edinburgh, now the National Library of Scotland (Adv.5.2.15). Dauney’s transcription was valuable in drawing attention to early, simple versions of such Scottish tunes as ...

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