As in the Fairy Queen, there is a predominance of magadising between treble and bass.
(Magadising is when melody is sung in parallel at different pitches). Ignoring treble passing notes,
over 3/4 of the beats of the bass is in octaves with the treble. If one regards the 2nd and 4th beat
of the bar as being passing beats, then 4/5ths of the bass is in octaves with the treble There is a
clear tendency of the 3rd to appear between the two hands when the melody note is the
third note of a triad.
Perhaps due to the nature of the lute itself, there is no provable occasional octave doubling in
the bass, but occasional chords are present in the Straloch version of Port Priest which could
conceivably relate to Gaelic harp equivalents given by Bunting in publication.
Again, owing to the nature of the lute, the following division of the chords between treble and bass
is quite arbitrary but I have not thought it inappropriate to relate the chords to the nomenclatures of
harp fingerings given to us by Bunting, partly as a speculative measure but also as an informative
one for the reader.
4th in the treble (glas: 1,3) in section 1 at bars 6 & 7 (and at the equivalent of the beginning of
bar 9 in the omitted measure)
4th and 5th in the bass in section 2 at bar 1
3rd in the treble (boilsgean: 1,2) in section 2 at bar 11
The use of these chords is not clearly linked to the end of musical sections in Port Priest unless
one sees the 4th in the treble at bar 6 to be the end of the opening phrase of the first section. The
beginning of section 2 is, however, clearly marked by a chord and what can be said is that these
chords, like the octave doubling in the Fairy Queen, do mark points of dynamic emphasis in the
musical phrasing of the port and appear at the beginning and in the middle of the musical sections
of both tunes.
Bars 1-2 & 4-5 perhaps show a example of something similar to what Bunting represents as being
in the Gaelic harping style: occasional use of a melody note alternating between bass and
treble over two beats. In this case, in the rising melody in bars 1-2, the note is first struck down the
octave and then up the octave, followed by the treble and in the falling melody in bars 4-5, the note
is first struck up the octave and then down the octave.