Logan’s – A History of One of Piping’s Foremost Music Publishers

This article is abridged from a longer examination of the history of Logan & Co music publishers. It is reprinted here with the kind permission of the author Mr Geoff Hore, New Zealand (pictured below), and the full article, complete with references and acknowledgements, can be read here.

The first edition of Logan’s Tutor was published in late 1899 with a second printing from mid-1900. Another book, Logan’s Collection of Highland Bagpipe Music Book 1, was published circa. 1901. Logan had branches in Elgin and Nairn prior to 1900 and opened a branch in Dingwall circa. 1900.

This book, Book 1, could not have been published in 1900 or it would have appeared in W L Manson’s ‘The Highland Bagpipe’ that was published after 27 April 1901 (the date in the Preface) and before 1 June 1901.

One of the company’s  first publications had been a book of popular Gaelic songs called ‘The Inverness Collection’, 1879, and this was reprinted on a number of occasions from 1882 to 1898.  They also published new music by a composer, John Thomson, Glasgow, and a book of Scottish ballads.

In 1880, after the death of renowned Glasgow – based piper Donald MacPhee [John MacColl’s tutor], Logan acquired the publishing rights to two of his books, ‘A Selection of Music for the Highland Bagpipe’, and ‘A Collection of Piobaireachd’. They reprinted a new edition of the first in 1885 and, in the mid 1890s, published an updated version of ‘A Selection’ split into two books called ‘A Complete Tutor for the Highland Bagpipe’, and ‘A Selection of Music for the Highland Bagpipe’.

In 1899, Logan became more active in publishing pipe music. They started with a reprint of Angus MacKay’s piobaireachd book and later that year compiled and published the famous Logan’s Tutor, latterly published by Paterson’s Publications. The following year they issued a reprint, and some time after 1900, Book 1 of Logan’s Collection appeared. A newspaper advertisement in March 1903 stated ‘Bagpipe music – Just out, Logan’s latest music book, with latest tunes – Hutcheon, Niddry Street’. There are no other known bagpipe music books published by Logan & Co at that time, so it is reasonable to believe this advertisement was for the first edition of Logan’s Book 1.

The 1900 reprint of the Tutor has six tunes with the precautionary note ‘By permission of Mr David Glen, Edinburgh’ – no other edition has this remark. In May 1900 ‘Henderson’s Tutor for the Bagpipe and Collection of Pipe Music’ was published by Glen who believed some tunes Logan had included breached his copyright.  The case ended up in court in late June 1900 but was abandoned by Glen in early December of that year. It is believed Logan published the second edition of his Tutor whilst the case was sub judice, and once it was abandoned there was no legal requirement to continue the precautionary note.

After financial difficulties we have the emergence of Logan & Co. (Inverness). They resumed publishing pipe music with Books 2 – 7 appearing between 1905 and 1911. They also revised their Tutor some time after 1904, and a number of reprints of all books appeared prior to 1916. Book 2 can be dated 1905 and the next three books appeared in quick succession, and each was reviewed in local newspapers where Pipe-Major John MacDonald, Inverness, was credited as the editor of the series.  Book 3 was reviewed in August 1906, Book 4 six months later in February 1907, and Book 5 in July 1907.

The following year the first edition of Book 6 was published and a review stated it ‘…was sold out previous to publication, but a second edition will be in the printer’s hands shortly.’  The reviewer also commented that some of the tune titles had been misspelt (one of them Highland Whiskey) and remarked, ‘while we may keep an ‘e’ on whisky, we do not, in Scotland, keep an ‘e’ in it’!  The publisher did not heed these comments and all errors continued throughout later editions.  The publication date of Book 7 has not yet been established and although it contains a tune dated 1909, it could have appeared as late as 1911.

Although John MacDonald was described as of the ‘1st V.B. [Volunteer Battalion] Queen’s Own Highlanders’, he is the same man who is now known to us as John MacDonald of Inverness.  For many years it was believed that a piper had to have assisted Logan with the preparation of this collection but no one knew who it was. The three newspaper reviews leave little doubt John MacDonald was the man, though none of the books acknowledge him as the editor.

There is another link to John MacDonald in the stylised picture of a piper on the front cover (left).  A photograph of John MacDonald from the early 20th century has a remarkable resemblance to this picture.  Although the uniform is not the same, it is thought the publishers would have avoided depicting any particular regiment. It is also tempting to believe John MacDonald may have assisted with the preparation of Logan’s Tutor but further research will be required to confirm this.

From 1904 Logan were fully occupied compiling and publishing Books 2-7 of their Collection. They also set about revising and reprinting the Tutor. Despite the [various] wars there was still a demand for their books, and they reprinted a number of new editions.  During these busy times they appear to have allowed a number of editions to be published by other firms:

Logan’s Book 4 – RG Lawrie, John Street, Glasgow. Logan published the first edition of Book 4 in 1906 and then followed with Books 5, 6 and 7 between 1907 and 1909. A revised edition of the Tutor was being prepared for publication around the same time and it is possible Lawrie were asked to publish the new edition of Book 4 to relieve some of the pressure.

Logan’s Book 7 – RG Lawrie (now at Renfield St., Glasgow). In 1916 or 1917 Logan amalgamated with J Marr Wood & Co., and no doubt the year before this amalgamation would have been fraught with difficulties.  As Lawrie came to the rescue a few years earlier, it seems reasonable to assume they could have published Book 7 under similar circumstances.

Logan’s Books 2 and 6 – RG Lawrie.

Logan’s Book 4 – Paterson’s. Paterson published this undated edition of Book 4 and research has shown it could have been published any time between 1916 and 1924.  It has the address 72 Wells Street, London, in the imprint and this was the office of their London agents and last used c.1924.  In 1925 the firm changed its name to Paterson’s Publications Ltd and acquired Logan’s the publishing rights and began publishing their books. It is possible Paterson published Book 4 at the time of the 1916/17 amalgamation but could also have published it in 1923/24 after Logan ceased trading.

Logan’s Book 2 – Peter Henderson, 24 Renfrew Street, Glasgow. A search of Glasgow post office directories shows Henderson moved to Renfrew Street in 1906 or 1907 and remained there until the 1990s.  This book could have been published any time between 1907 and 1916 (when the price changed to two shillings).

Logan’s Book 7 (two editions) – W & M MacLeod, 345-347 Argyle Street and 92 York Street, Glasgow. The same PO directory as that above describes MacLeod as ‘Jewellers, Opticians, Musical Instruments, Antiques and General Merchants’. These books could have been published any time between 1909 (when the first edition was published) and 1916 (when the price of this book also went up to two shillings).

David Logan died in July 1925 and his wife Kate in May 1936. There is interesting musical information about her. She was a pianist and leader of an orchestra that played for many balls and other civic occasions.  She was also a member of the Inverness Old High Church Choir & Women’s Guild, and on 4 April 1930 the members made a presentation in recognition of her services to the choir and the church over many years. Then, on 21 September 1934, clan chief The Mackintosh of Mackintosh presented her with an award in recognition of 40 years playing for balls at the Northern Meeting.  It is evident she and her orchestra were in constant demand and not just in Scotland for an article in the Inverness Courier 14 February 1933 shows she had been engaged to play for a Highland Ball at the Dorchester Hotel in London under the patronage of the Duke of York.

• Logan’s Tutor, the revised edition by Capt. John MacLellan, is still available and can be obtained by clicking the link at the top of this article. Prior to Capt. John’s involvement, a revision had been carried out by P/M Willie Ross. Ross had a long assciation with Paterson, the publishers of his collection Books 1 – 6, and also the Scots Guards book.

2 thoughts on “Logan’s – A History of One of Piping’s Foremost Music Publishers

  1. It is well that Logans purchased the rights to the works of Donald MacPhee, as the tutor part of the first edition of Logans Tutor is, apart from one or two minute alterations, really nothing but a word for word reproduction, mistakes and all, of Donald MacPhee’s 1876 “Complete Tutor for the Highland Bagpipe”, some of which, incidentally, is taken word for word from Angus MacKay’s 1838 collection. Apparently Logans continued to publish both tutors (MacPhee’s and their own almost identical work) for a couple of decades, until “Logans Tutor” finally won out, probably due to its format allowing it to be conveniently carried in a pipe case. At not time did Logans ever acknowledge that their Tutor was really MacPhee’s under another name.

  2. Very interesting. James Logan was my great grandfather. He and his wife Margaret had several children one of which was my grandmother, Margaret (Logan) Gollan. She was a music scholar and sang opera (per my mom’s account). She and my grandfather (Robert)married in 1912 in Calcutta, India. He was a piper from Drumnadrochit and also a tea planter in Bengal, India. I do not know when James died.

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