James Oswald
(1710 - 1769)

Oswald : Macbeth : illustration

Macbeth
(Any instruments)
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Lady McDuff's lament - Lady MacBeth's dream - The Banks of Tay - Strily Vale - Banquo's ghost - Hamilton House - The Braes of Birnham - The Braes of Ewes - Scoon House - Esk side.

"The following 10 Tunes are some Tunes for the Tragedy of MacBeth, all Compos'd by Mr Oswald. Except the First." A set published for the German (transverse) flute in vol.2 of the Caledonian Pocket Companion, London c.1750.

When Garrick revived MacBeth in 1744, stimulating a wave of bardolatry, the available incidental music (Locke or Leveridge) was much-used and much-loved, but not noticeably Scottish in character. Oswald's use of Scottish airs to set the scenes was the first, and was later copied by Samuel Arnold (also available in a notAmos edition). I can find no evidence to suggest that this set was ever used in a theatrical production: Georgian producers probably deemed a single instrument orchestra (no bass, either figured or unfigured, was provided) as just too parsimonious, even for The Scottish Play.