Group Playlist

We now have a SoundCloud Group Playlist which you can contribute to. It is on our MP3 Page.

How it works:

Record an mp3 of your playing.

Join SoundCloud – it is free (until you require extra space)

Upload your file

Join the SLEGS Group:

Each file will have an icon which you can click to contribute your file to the SLEGS Group.

The group is moderated by me, mainly to stop people uploading irrelevant files, and remove spam, if we get any.

Any questions, ask me: robmackillop AT gmail Dot Com

Next Meeting: Saturday, July 12th, 2014

Our 11th meeting will take place at the usual venue, The Laigh Room of St Cecilia’s Hall, Cowgate, on Saturday, 12th July. We will gather from 1pm, for a start at 1.30pm.

It is hope that as many members as possible will be tuned to A=440 (modern pitch) so that we can attempt ensemble playing.

Please go to the Ensemble page, and download the music for the Dowland ensemble piece (choose a part) and the Grounds and Spices pdf – try to memorise The Buffins.

Any questions: robmackillop AT gmail DOT com.

Scottish Lute Recording Project

Some of you might be interested in Rob’s Scottish Lute Recording Project – already about 4 CDs-worth of sound files available for free.

Check it out at:

It’s an ongoing project to record most of the tunes from the Scottish lute manuscripts.


Review of 10th Meeting – 19 April, 2014

A lower turnout than usual due to the Easter holiday weekend, but certainly enough people to create a lively and interesting meeting.

Importantly, the decision was made to have an agreed pitch of A=440 , with Renaissance lutes tuned to g on the first string, where possible. The reason being: we are going to attempt some ensemble playing. Rob MacKillop will be arranging some four-part music for members to play at the next meeting. Keep looking at this website, as the parts will appear in tab soon. The music will be in four parts. Choose the part which suits your playing, and let Rob know – robmackillop AT gmail dot com. Any parts not selected will be covered by Rob.

To today’s meeting…

Stu and Philip

Stuart Mcluckie (on the left, above) started proceedings with two items from the Lute Society’s curiously named, 58 Very Easy Pieces  – very easy they are not! Stuart gave a good account of numbers 34, the Spanish pavin, and 52, the Pars A Measures Pavion by Lodge. I liked these pieces, and always look forward to Stuart’s contributions.

Rob MacKillop played some vihuela music on a 7c lute made by Bill Samson: the Fantasia del quatro tono, from Narvaez’s Book Two; then two “duo”s by Miguel de Fuenllana, one composed by Fuenllana, the other taken from a Fecit Potentiam by Josquin. This is great music, which the performer enjoyed playing, and everyone appeared to enjoy hearing.


Eric Thomas (above) played Arthur’s Dump – one of the one’s from the Marsh lute book. It is a long and interesting work, with some harmonic twists and a good driving rhythm. Eric seems to be the only dedicated thumb-inside player in the membership, but the tone he produces is bound to get others thinking about it. Fine playing.

Bill sq

Bill Samson played his “new” 5c lute – some bits of the lute were made in the 1970s, some in the 1980s, and some just last month! It was originally made as a 6c, but Bill felt it might be more comfortable as a 5c. It was really interesting to hear late medieval/early Renaissance polyphony, with pieces by Richard Loqueville (? – 1418), the teacher of the great Guillaume Dufay. Some really interesting rhythms and ear-tingling harmony. Good stuff! Bill also brought along his one-day old 6c lute – a fine wee beastie!


Philip Lord played Robert Johnson‘s Princes Almaine, and despite a faltering start, gave a good account of it. Philip played a vihuela de mano by Paul Thomson, and it sounded magnificent.

Reyyan Philip

Reyyan Ozer performed a very interesting soundtrack to a poem called 33 Bullets . Her saz playing is delicate, and haunting, with it’s microtones really sounding beautiful, if unusual among the other music we had been hearing. But I wonder how much of what we had played might originally have sounded closer to the saz interval placements? Anyway, it was a very welcome, and beautiful performance.

After the playing, Rob MacKillop gave a demonstration on how to play grounds, and all participants created a cacophony of different pitches and temperaments, strumming the buffins, and  la Romanesca. We might try this again when we are all at the same pitch!

NB Our venue, St Cecilia’s Hall, will be closing for almost a year, and we are on the hunt for an alternative venue. Watch this space for news of where that will be. A million Thanks to Darryl Martin and the gang at St Cecilia’s for helping us out thus far.

Looking forward to the next meeting!

Colour photos by Bill Samson. Black and White photos by Rob MacKillop.














Stuarts angel


Stuart 1 and Bill




Philip 2













Date Of Next Meeting: 19th April

The next meeting of the Scottish Lute and Early Guitar Society will be Saturday, 19th April, St Cecilia’s Hall, Cowgate, Edinburgh. Assemble from 1pm for a 1.30pm start. All welcome.

If you wish to make a presentation, please get in touch: robmackillop AT gmail dot com.

Review of 9th Meeting – 1st February 2014

A fine meeting indeed! Good to see more new faces and a few guests. Thanks go, as ever, to the staff at St Cecilia’s Hall.

Rob MacKillop started proceedings again, and acted as MC throughout. First he presented a Turkish tanbur, which was a new (one day-old!) eBay acquisition for him. He gave a short talk about Ottoman music, with its many microtones, then proceeded to give a searching doodle on the C Major scale – you have to start somewhere! Hopefully Rob will perform a complete piece at the next meeting.

Next, Rob got out a ukulele, and gave a short presentation about the 19th-century machete from Madeira, itself a very small 4-string guitar. More about this instrument and its music on Rob’s website HERE. He gave a performance of the delightful Clara Polka from the manuscript of Drummond de Vasconcelos, Madeira, 1846.

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Chris Jupp bravely used a borrowed lute (as one of his strings was at bursting point), but gave a fine performance of a really beautiful and interesting piece: a pavan, attributed in its manuscript to Anthony de Countie, who may have been one and the same as Anthony Holborne. I’d love to hear this piece again sometime, Chris.

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Next up was Stuart Mcluckie, who, playing a 7c lute, gave a good rendition of  ‘Rogero’ and ‘The Division of Rogero Before’ both from the
Dallis Manuscript (via The Lute Society’s ’58 very Easy Pieces’) and, by audience demand, Kemp’s Jig. Stuart plays well at every meeting, and I always look forward to hearing what he has been working on.

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Bill Samson just seems to grow in confidence with each performance, due in some part to playing pieces below his level of ability – something we should all think about. What we just get through at home on a good day, is likely to fall apart under the pressure of performing to other players. No problems here with Bill, who not only played Galliard Les Cinq Pas and an Allemande by Guillaume Morlaye (1552), but did so on his own home-made 4c guitar – and it sounded beautiful!

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Graham Wylie gave an interesting and thoughtful introduction to two pieces by Robert Ballard on his 10c lute, placing the instrument at the crossroads between the dying embers of the Renaissance, and the birth of the baroque. Graham then performed A Courante, originally published I think in 1618, and Ballet number 9 from Ballard’s “Premier Livre” of 1612.

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Eric Thomas was a new face to the society, but I’m sure he will become a familiar one. He got an exquisite, sweet tone from his Barber-Harris student lute. First he gave a ripping rendition of the Calata Ala Spagnola by Joan Ambrosio Dalza, then a thoughtful interpretation of Sir John Smith’s Almaine by someone called John Dowland…a fantastic piece!

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Gordon Ferries performed some really interesting and beautiful pieces on the 5c guitar: a suite in Bb Major by Francois Campion – written in an unusual scordatura. I’d love to hear it again, and hope it will form part of Gordon’s next recording.

After the playing, Bill Samson gave a very useful illustration of how to tie gut and nylon frets, using a dummy lute neck and a cigarette lighter – I was terrified the museum’s sprinkler system would burst into operation! Thankfully it didn’t. Thanks to Bill for making the effort. We are looking to the membership to put forward ideas for future talks. If you would like to make a presentation, contact Bill Samson or Philip Lord via the circular emails, or contact me – robmackillop AT

Much discussion in huddles followed, as ever, and continued long after this reviewer had time to stay.

The above photos were by Stuart Goldie. The ones below, by Bill Samson.

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Date of Next Meeting: 1st Feb, 2014

The next meeting will be in the usual place, St Cecilia’s Hall, Cowgate, Edinburgh, on Saturday 1st February, gathering from 1pm for a 1.30 start. It usually lasts two hours or so. All welcome!