Research Summary

My doctoral research investigates evidence of an earlier history of Scottish violin playing than has previously been explored. Scholars have commonly assumed that the violin arrived in Scotland around 1670, in contrast with England, where it was active from 1540. I am looking into the early place and social functions of Scottish violinists pre-1670 by exploring emerging musical and archival evidence. By 1750, the violin was the most popular musical instrument in Scotland, a distinct national musical style had emerged and a Scottish fiddle idiom had evolved through the interaction of local and imported styles. I am interested in the reasons for this change of circumstances, such as the introduction of public concerts, new areas of patronage and the effect of the political union on Scotland’s musical scene.

Fillocks, fiddlers and others of that band: research blog on the early history of the violin in Scotland.


Purcell’s Revenge (CD recording by Concerto Caledonia, released March 2015: - research assistant and editor.



    • AHRC DTP Scotland Studentship Award, 2014-2017


    “Pedantic garnish”? Performance practice across different national musical styles in William McGibbon’s Scots Tunes and embellishments of Corelli sonatas. Musica Scotica Conference, Glasgow, April 2015

    National musical style in 18th-century Scotland: performance practice, tradition and interplay in William McGibbon’s Scots Tunes and embellishments of Corelli sonatas. North Atlantic Fiddle Convention, Cape Breton, Canada, October 2015.

    Awards and Prizes:

    2013 Dunbar-Gerber Chamber Music Prize (RCS)
    2010 Willy and Betty McPherson Prize for Violin (RCS)
    2009 Niecks Essay Prize (University of Edinburgh)
    2009 Janet Buckley Early Music Prize (University of Edinburgh)
    2007 Emre Araci Composition Competition [1st place] (University of Edinburgh)
    2006 Sir Thomas Beecham Prize (University of Edinburgh)
    2006 Guthrie-Watson Prize (University of Edinburgh)
    2006 Donald Dewar Arts Award
    2003 Donald Dewar Arts Award