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Peter Milne
 Peter Milne (1824-1908)  Tunes by Peter Milne

Peter Milne (1824-1908), the "Tarland Minstrel" began teaching himself the fiddle at the age of about seventeen. Soon he was playing at The Theatre Royal in Aberdeen and in his mid-twenties became leader of the band. He befriended the young James Scott Skinner and employed him as a cello player.

After Skinner's stint with Dr Mark's "Little Men" Milne took him to Edinburgh, and although Skinner left after a few months, Milne stayed to become leader of the band at several Edinburgh theatres. While touring in England, Peter started taking opium to help his rheumatism.

Back in Scotland, Milne started playing on the Forth ferries, and this provided him with a living until the Forth Bridge was finished in 1890. He returned to Aberdeen. playing in theatres, teaching violin, and playing for dancing, although it appeared to be a precarious existence. He spent the last ten years of his life in hospital in Aberdeen after an accident.

There are not many of Peter Milne's compositions in existence, but those that we do have are superior. It's a mark of their popularity that some are still played around the world today - e.g. John McNeill's Reel (sometimes known as Big John McNeill) and Gillan's Reel (often called Gillian's Reel). Some of his tunes are listed on the right.

  • Aboyne Castle
  • Bonnie Glen Tanar
  • Brig O' Boyne
  • Brig o' Feugh
  • Countess of Crawford, The
  • Dean Brig Reel
  • Deveron Side
  • Dunnecht House
  • Earl of Crawford's Reel
  • Frank Gilruth (strathspey)
  • Frank Gilruth (reel)
  • Garden's Strathspey
  • Gillan's Reel
  • James O Forbes Esq., of Corse
  • John MacNeil (slow strathspey)
  • John MacNeil's Reel
  • Marquis of Huntly's Reel, The
  • Marchioness of Huntly, The
  • Mrs. Greig's Reel
  • Mrs. Greig's Strathspey
  • Muir O' Gellan
  • Pride of the Dee Waltzes, The
  • Pride of the Don Waltzes, The
  • Reel o' Corse
  • Shakin's o' the Pocky, The
  • Tarland Memories

Nigel Gatherer, Crieff, Perthshire |