Scope and Contents
The Angus Fraser Music Manuscript consists of three named collections intended for publication, a series of sets of variations mostly on well-known airs, and a variety of less-organised manuscript pages. The differing interests of Simon Fraser and Angus Fraser are reflected in the Manuscript.
Biographical / Historical
While this manuscript collection is known as The Angus Fraser Manuscript, the content is the work of two individuals, Simon Fraser of Knockie in the parish of Abertarff, born 1773, and Angus Fraser his son, born perhaps 1800 in Inverness. An illegitimate child, Angus used his father's surname from around the age of fourteen when he joined the army, in Edinburgh, in 1814. His military career lasted some 31 years, much of it served with the 1st Royal Scots from 1832. His highest rank was Colour Sergeant. Although he learned several tunes as a child, it was during the period with the Royal Scots that he became interested in music and acquired his theoretical knowledge. He discharged from the army, with a pension, in 1845, and returned to Inverness living at the family home at 25 Rose Street. The father, Captain Simon Fraser, died in Inverness in 1852, while Angus Fraser died on 4 February 1870. The collection of music was probably begun during Angus Fraser's army career, but it was in retirement that the manuscript reached its final form. Because of the inheritance of musical and literary material from the elder Fraser, some of the airs in the Angus Fraser Manuscript are dated as early as 1820. The notes to the manuscript collection were written in 1858. Although some Highland airs were published,Knockie(1874), the history of the collection is obscure until "rediscovery" by a member of Edinburgh University Library staff in an Edinburgh bookshop in the 1950s. It was presented to the Library.