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Culloden, Movement III, Finale (8:40)
"We Toomed Our Stoops for the Gaudy Sodgers"
("We Emptied Our Glasses for the Handsome Soldiers")

Grade 5
by Julie Giroux
Premiered March 1, 2000 at the
American Bandmasters Association Convention, Austin, Texas
by The University of Oklahoma Wind Symphony

This movement is a conversation amongst some men in hiding a few days after Culloden, with topics ranging from "Why were the MacPhearsons late?" to "Where will I go now?" It is a human recounting of the whole rising of "’45" told by the men who witnessed it. I tried to incorporate tunes appropriate to their subjects: Prince Charles, food – the lack thereof, whiskey – a necessity, Clan Battle Calls, patriotic songs, marriage songs (for many of them married all during the campaign), bawdy sex songs, even a pipe jig that Prince Charles supposedly parlor-danced to two days prior to the battle of Culloden. There is Johnny Cope, a tune commemorating their victory at Prestopans earlier in the uprising (which is still used today as reveille in the Scottish Pipe Regiments) and Killie Crankie, a 350-year-old to date battle victory call-to-arms as well as some good old-fashioned spousal discording, kilt-swirling and whiskey-drinking pipe reels!

The finale ends on a positive note, since the Scots always seem to land on their feet in mid-stride, confirming their honor, heritage and steadfastness in the single sentence: "I don’t know where I am to go now, but I do know, wherever I go, Scotland goes with me!"

Culloden’s three movements (the first two are available separately) may be performed singly, in pairs (I & II, II & III) or as the complete set. Additional historical information is at the end of the score.


Additional background information

The Battle of Culloden, commonly referred to as "Bloody Culloden," April 16, 1746, is a subject of musical importance as well as historical. The battle itself lasted less than thirty minutes, ending the attempt of "The Bonnie Prince Charlie’s" gaining of the throne, leaving 1,500 Scots/sympathizers dead on the field compared to the minimal English loss of 300. Following the battle, the English continued to hunt down and murder wounded and stable alike, (over 1,000 on the immediately succeeding days) and any possible threats for years afterwards. This period of years is referred to as "The Clearances." Torture, death, imprisonment, relocation and the shipping of prisoners as indentured slaves to foreign countries continued. This scattered not only the people, but their music as well to the four corners of the earth. The burning of all the Jacobite music directly following Culloden is also noteworthy.

My objective was to locate and present the popular Scottish/Highland/Gaelic music leading up to this battle and the music that came about because of it – virtually, the "Top-40" of 1745-6 Scotland. I was simply amazed at the quantity and quality of music researched and documented from the period. Not only did I find a vast number of wonderful airs, strathspeys, reels, jigs, laments and many others, in Gaelic and English, but I also had never heard most of them before.

I was able to locate music written by actual survivors of Culloden (some composed in prison) and obtained several works belonging to Niel Gow, who won the National Fiddling Competitions in Scotland in 1745, The Simon Frazer Collection, and several other worthy publications from that time period. Being folk music, it was traditionally passed on by ear with words changing to fit the occasion. Hundreds, probably thousands of scant melodies were little more than 8 to 16 bars in length, some with many variations boasting separate titles, with many having been "ancient sets." Only a handful bore a composer’s name (those being from the period directly after the "’45 Rising"). I found their music and lyrics riveting, bawdy and comical, yet wondrous in simplicity.

Culloden is an attempt to present these works in my own way without losing their original charm and flavor. For the men, women and children whose lives were forever changed by the uprising of "Bonnie Prince Charlie" and for their beautifully passionate and glorious music, which has certainly changed my own, I pay this tribute. J.G.

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©2010 Musica Propria, Inc.

©2010 Musica Propria, Inc.