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date: 13 December 2019

Millar, Edward locked

  • Kenneth Elliott

Extract

( fl 1624–43). Scottish musician . He graduated MA from Edinburgh University in 1624 and probably subsequently taught music in Edinburgh. His manuscript collection of psalm settings dated 1626 was known and described by Cowan, but has since disappeared. After Charles I’s Scottish coronation at Holyrood in 1633, regular choral services were re-established at the Scottish Chapel Royal; Millar was appointed Master of the Choristers in 1634 and in 1635 his fine edition of psalm settings was printed in Edinburgh. In this collection the 104 anonymous settings of the Proper Tunes are by Scottish composers of the late 16th century. Millar wrote in his preface: ‘I acknowledge sinceerely the whole compositions of the parts to belong to the primest Musicians that ever this kingdome had, as Deane John Angus, Blackhall Smith, Peebles, Sharp, Black, Buchan and others famous for their skill in this kind’. Some of these settings can be identified from other sources as wholly the work of Peebles, Buchan and Kemp. In many cases, however, Millar seems to have made ‘composite’ pieces by taking phrases from different settings and fitting them together (sometimes even transposing the parts) to form a more or less pleasing whole. This perhaps helps to explain Millar’s further comment in the preface: ‘collecting all the sets I could find on the Psalmes, after painfull tryall thereof, I selected the best for this work, according to my simple judgement’. In other sections of the book, certain settings of Common Tunes and psalms ‘in reports’, new to the ...

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