1. 2 smaller manuscripts
  2. The Two Volumes
  3. A Third Volume

The Two Volumes

The first volume has a somewhat "home-made look". It contains 48 leaves (96 pages), made up from 2 quires from different manufacturers. The outer cover appears to be made out of folded cardboard with a cut out piece of map (of western Ireland) on the inside.

The whole book looks to have been written continuously with no breaks and no signs of any missing leaves. An index added later, written on paper watermarked 1810, is also included.

The second volume has a slightly more professional look. It consists of uniform paper (watermarked 1814) and was seemingly written in a ready-made book of again 96 pages.

The tunes in both volumes are ordered in a very distinct way. They are grouped together depending on the very first vocable they start of with. For example, the first group of tunes all starts with 'hiharin', which is the canntaireachd vocable for a finger movement executed with the little finger of the bottom hand. Colin Campbell added a note after the first group affirming this way of ordering, saying: "There is ffourty four Coming out on the little finger". Overall there are about 18 groups of tunes. The groups themselves show some tendencies to be ordered by a rising complexity of the opening movements as well as a rising up the scale. Within these groups the tunes themselves show a tendency to be ordered by the language of the title (English, Gaelic, nameless or 'Cragich'). As Roderick D. Cannon states "All this simply suggests that in each new group Colin tended to start with the most familiar tunes."

The two volumes together contain 168 tunes, of which 5 to 9 are suspected to be compositions of Colin or Donald Campbell.

Click on the thumbnails beneath to see a larger version:

Campbell canntaireachd cover Written campbell canntaireachd Ireland map