The signature of J Crichton Donaldson has been written on the pastedowns inside both front and back covers and at folio 55.
The music book was begun in 1853 and continued until at least 20 September 1855 and contains a large number of tunes, numbered to 1080 (folio 97 verso), followed by more, unnumbered, tunes. They consist chiefly of dances, together with several military marches, some songs, sets of variations and a few original solos requiring a more developed technique and are for (transverse) flute without accompaniment. Near the end of the volume (folio 119) are a few transcriptions for flutina in C. Brief notes or comments have been added to a few of the tunes (for example numbers 390, 660, 977).
The dances include German ländler, waltzes by Strauss and Labitzky, quadrilles on operatic themes by Bellini, Donizetti and Rossini, and a number of hornpipes. The songs include Irish and Scottish (including some Jacobite) airs, and Italian and American popular songs. Throughout most of the volume each tune is written immediately after the one before it, but folios 103 recto-105 recto, 115 verso-118 verso and 120 recto are completely blank, and folio 120 verso is largely blank.