“Indexes for the Forsts”

There 1,012 Melodies in the Buttrey Manuscript. These have been divided into 11 pages based on the  Indexes in the manuscript. The first 961 melodies occur at one end of the ms, with the unnumbered 47 melodies appearing after the Indexes and Harmonies at the opposite end of the ms.

Searching for a Tune

You can do a browser search on the ” Complete List of Melodies” or use the Search Box on every page. The “Complete List” will give you the tune number so you can select the appropriate Index below to see all the information on that tune. (Various spellings of old words have been included to help with your  search.)

Tunes with comments, transcriptions, clips … (where available)
Index #1 Melodies  #1-79
Index #2 Melodies  #80-183
Index #3 Melodies  #184-287
Index #4 Melodies  #288-372
Index #5 Melodies  #373-458
Index #6 Melodies  #459-531
Index #7 Melodies  #532-623
Index #8 Melodies  #624-694
Index #9 Melodies  #695-774
No Index Melodies  #775-961
Other End Melodies Without Numbers

Printed Music & Sound Files

The Village Music Project in the UK has transcribed all melodies and harmonies in the Buttrey Manuscript. We are extremely grateful to them for this tremendous effort. Their alphabetical listing, PDFs of the transcriptions and abc files (to listen to), along with extensive notes on sources, changes and oddities can be found here. Many, many thanks to the Village Music Project.

A Group Effort

Thanks to Ken Purvis for his many years of work researching the origins of the manuscript and tunes.

Thanks to Tracy Macdonnell for transcribing the titles which became the basis of this website. His alphabetical list of Melodies & Harmonies in the Buttrey Ms can be found here.

Thanks to Ian Bell for transcribing around 50 of the tunes, posting them on his Ontario Traditional Library website, creating sound clips with Saskia Tomkins and allowing me to use his work on this site.

Thanks to Ross Flowers who kindly took photographs of each melody page and gave Sandy the support she needed to keep going with the posting and updating.

And thanks to Sandy Cameron for publishing this website.

Music References

Aird – Publisher & Bookseller with a music shop at the corner of Gibson’s Wynd and New Street, Glasgow.  Published: “A Selection of Scotch, English, Irish and Foreign Airs. Adapted to the Fife, Violin, or German Flute in Glasgow in 6 volumes between 1778 and 1801.

Carroll – An Irish-American military musician stationed at Fort Niagara at the time he wrote his manuscript. He apparently played both fife and fiddle. His manuscript is thought to be held at the Newberry library in Chicago. There is a copy in the Fort York, Toronto library. There are about 250 tunes, many of which overlap with the Buttrey manuscript, plus a few of his own compositions.

Video Clips

Drums of the Crown Forces Video clips