Scottish folk music also Scottish traditional music is music that uses forms that are identified as part of the Scottish musical tradition. There is evidence that there was a flourishing culture of popular music in Scotland during the late Middle Ages, but the only song with a melody to survive from this period is the "Pleugh Song".

After the Reformationthe secular popular tradition of music continued, despite attempts by the Kirk, particularly in the Lowlands, to suppress dancing and events like penny weddings. The first clear reference to the use of the Highland bagpipes mentions their use at the Battle of Pinkie Cleugh in There is also evidence of adoption of the fiddle in the Highlands.

Well-known musicians included the fiddler Pattie Birnie and the piper Habbie Simpson. This tradition continued into the nineteenth century, with major figures such as the fiddlers Neil and his son Nathaniel Gow.

Music of Scotland

There is evidence of ballads from this period. Some may date back to the late Medieval era and deal with events and people that can be traced back as far as the thirteenth century. They remained an oral tradition until they were collected as folk songs in the eighteenth century. The earliest printed collection of secular music comes from the seventeenth century. Collection began to gain momentum in the early eighteenth century and, as the kirk's opposition to music waned, there were a flood of publications including Allan Ramsay 's verse compendium The Tea Table Miscellany and The Scots Musical Museum to by James Johnson and Robert Burns.

From the late nineteenth century there was renewed interest in traditional music, which was more academic and political in intent. Major performers included James Scott Skinner.

This revival began to have a major impact on classical music, with the development of what was in effect a national school of orchestral and operatic music in Scotland, with composers such as included Alexander MackenzieWilliam WallaceLearmont Drysdale, Hamish MacCunn and John McEwen. This was changed by individuals including Alan LomaxHamish Henderson and Peter Kennedythrough collecting, publications, recordings and radio programmes.

In the s there was a flourishing folk club culture and Ewan MacColl emerged as a leading figure in the revival in Britain. There was also a strand of popular Scottish music that benefited from the arrival of radio and television, which relied on images of Scottishness derived from tartanry and stereotypes employed in music hall and varietyexemplified by the TV programme The White Heather Club which ran from tohosted by Andy Stewart and starring Moira Anderson and Kenneth McKeller.

The fusing of various styles of American music with British folk created a distinctive form of fingerstyle guitar playing known as folk baroquepioneered by figures including Davy Graham and Bert Jansch. Others totally abandoned the traditional element including Donovan and the Incredible String Bandwho have been seen as developing psychedelic folk. Five Hand Reelwho combined Irish and Scottish personnel, emerged as the most successful exponents of the style.

From the late s the attendance at, and numbers of, folk clubs began to decrease, as new musical and social trends began to dominate. However, in Scotland the circuit of ceilidhs and festivals helped prop up traditional music.

Two of the most successful groups of the s that emerged from this dance band circuit were Runrig and Capercaillie. A by-product of the Celtic Diaspora was the existence of large communities across the world that looked for their cultural roots and identity to their origins in the Celtic nations.

There is evidence that there was a flourishing culture of popular music in Scotland in the Late Middle Ages. This includes the long list of songs given in The Complaynt of Scotland Many of the poems of this period were also originally songs, but for none has a notation of their music survived.

Melodies have survived separately in the post-Reformation publication of The Gude and Godlie Ballatis[1] which were spiritual satires on popular songs, adapted and published by the brothers JamesJohn and Robert Wedderburn.

The first clear reference to the use of the Highland bagpipes is from a French history, which mentions their use at the Battle of Pinkie Cleugh in George Buchanan claimed that they had replaced the trumpet on the battlefield.Contemporary traditional folk music is not an oxymoron in Scotland! From the Highlands and Islands to the Borders and everywhere in between, Scotland is home to many varieties of beautiful regional folk music, most of which are alive and well -- thriving, even -- in the hands of this generation of folk musicians.

The Old Blind Dogs are a forward-thinking group who combine the folk music of their hometown, Aberdeen and her surrounding environswith dribs and drabs of influences from around the world. Wherever Yet May Be is a great example of their ability to make traditional songs sound new and new songs sound old. Five fiddle players plus a keyboard player strong, this group from the Highlands and Islands includes both micro-local, nearly-forgotten solo fiddle tunes and big, bold, twenty-stringed numbers in their repertoire.

Watching them live is a real treat as, first off, they always sound great, but also when they all play at once, their bows seem to dance in unison, which is an oddly entertaining sight. Though many may not associate the cello with Scottish music, Central Lowlands-born Fraser insists that the cello used to be commonplace in Scottish folk dance music and, indeed, many genres of folk dance musicplaying the bass lines and carrying the rhythms of the songs.

The music of Fraser and Haas is easy to love, making them a popular act on the performing arts circuit on both sides of the Atlantic.

scottish music

Lau is a stripped-down three-piece formed in Edinburgh but sporting more rural roots: guitarist Kris Drever is from Orkney as is the band's name; it's an Orcadian word meaning "Light"fiddler Aidan O'Rourke is from Oban, and accordion player Martin Green is from East Anglia, England.

Their sound leans toward the jazzy but keeps one foot firmly planted in Scottish tradition. This phenomenal group, based in the Isle of Skye, has twice won the "Live Act of the Year" trophy at the Scottish Traditional Music Awards, and if you have a listen to their stellar live album, you'll hear why.

It's simply great, danceable, forward-thinking traditional music. Shooglenifty is probably the most fun band name to say, certainly on this list, but probably in the whole world. They're a really fun, high-energy band who incorporate a lot of outside influence into a sound that remains uniquely Scottish. This live album is a good example of their creative treatment of songs and their animated onstage sound.

Her voice is really beautiful, and it's a joy to hear her preserving these old songs. Oh, and "cuilidh" is pronounced "COOL-ee. Capercaillie is one of the best-known bands in Scottish music, and in contemporary traditional music in general.

Headed by golden-voiced Karen Matheson and chock-a-block with some of the finest instrumentalists that Scotland has ever produced, this group consistently releases outstanding records and wows audiences around the world. By Megan Romer. Updated February 03, Music of Scotland in the eighteenth century includes all forms of music made in Scotland, by Scottish people, or in forms associated with Scotland, in the eighteenth century. Growing divisions in the Scottish kirk between the Evangelicals and the Moderate Party resulted in attempt to expand psalmondy to include hymns the singing of other scriptural paraphrases.

From the late seventeenth century Church music in the Church of Scotland consisted of the singing of psalms to a limited number of common tunes. Differences between the Evangelicals and the Moderate Party resulted in a movement to reform church music.

scottish music

Common practice was lining outby which the precentor sang or read out each line and it was then repeated by the congregation. New practices were introduced and the repertory was expanded. In the second half of the eighteenth century these innovations became linked to a choir movement that included the setting up of schools to teach new tunes and singing in four parts. Published paraphrases of passages of the Bible were adopted in many parishes.

In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries the bagpipes had replaced the harp as the most popular instrument in the Scottish Highlands. There is also evidence of adoption of the European-style fiddle. There were numerous publications of traditional tunes in the period, particularly when the oppression of secular music and dancing by the kirk began to ease, between about and The Italian style of classical music was probably first brought to Scotland by the cellist and composer Lorenzo Bocchi, who travelled to Scotland in the s.

By the mid-eighteenth century there were several Italians resident in Scotland, acting as composers and performers. By Edinburgh was a minor, but functioning European musical centre, with foreign and native resident composers and professional musicians.

In the mid-eighteenth century a group of Scottish composers began to attempt to create their own musical tradition, creating the "Scots drawing room style". A Select Collection of Original Scottish Airs helped make Scottish songs part of the European cannon of classical music, but this championing of Scottish music associated with Robert Burns may have prevented the establishment of a tradition of European concert music in Scotland, which faltered towards the end of the century.

In the eighteenth century there were growing divisions in the Scottish kirk between the Evangelicals and the Moderate Party. In contrast the Moderates believed that Psalmody was in need of reform and expansion. From the late seventeenth century the common practice had been lining outby which the precentor sang or read out each line and it was then repeated by the congregation.

From the second quarter of the eighteenth century it was argued that this should be abandoned in favour of the practice of singing stanza by stanza. This necessitated the use of practice verses and the pioneering work was Thomas Bruce's The Common Tunes, or, Scotland's Church Musick Made Planewhich contained seven practice verses.

The 30 tunes in this book marked the beginning of a renewal movement in Scottish Psalmody. New practices were introduced and the repertory was expanded, including both neglected sixteenth-century settings and new ones. More congregations abandoned lining out.Scotland is internationally known for its traditional music, which remained vibrant throughout the 20th century and into the 21st, when many traditional forms worldwide lost popularity to pop music.

In spite of emigration and a well-developed connection to music imported from the rest of Europe and the United Statesthe music of Scotland has kept many of its traditional aspects; indeed, it has itself influenced many forms of music.

scottish music

Many outsiders associate Scottish folk music almost entirely with the Great Highland Bagpipewhich has long played an important part in Scottish music. Although this particular form of bagpipe developed exclusively in Scotlandit is not the only Scottish bagpipe. The earliest mention of bagpipes in Scotland dates to the 15th century although they are believed to have been introduced to Britain by the Roman armies.

Stringed instruments have been known in Scotland from at least the Iron Age.

The first evidence of lyres were found in the Greco-Roman period on the Isle of Skye dating from BCEmaking it Europe's oldest surviving stringed instrument. A talented lute player, he introduced French chansons and consorts of viols to his court and was patron to composers such as David Peebles c. The Scottish Reformationdirectly influenced by Calvinismwas generally opposed to church music, leading to the removal of organs and a growing emphasis on metrical psalmsincluding a setting by David Peebles commissioned by James Stewart, 1st Earl of Moray.

The Queen played the lute, virginals and unlike her father was a fine singer. He rebuilt the Chapel Royal at Stirling in and the choir was used for state occasions like the baptism of his son Henry. The Scottish Chapel Royal was now used only for occasional state visits, as when Charles I returned in to be crowned, bringing many musicians from the English Chapel Royal for the service, and it began to fall into disrepair.

There is evidence that there was a flourishing culture of popular music in Scotland during the late Middle Ages, but the only song with a melody to survive from this period is the "Pleugh Song". There is also evidence of adoption of the fiddle in the Highlands with Martin Martin noting in his A Description of the Western Isles of Scotland that he knew of 18 players in Lewis alone.

Some may date back to the late Medieval era and deal with events and people that can be traced back as far as the thirteenth century. The earliest printed collection of secular music comes from the seventeenth century.

Major performers included James Scott Skinner. This marginal status was changed by individuals including Alan LomaxHamish Henderson and Peter Kennedythrough collecting, publications, recordings and radio programmes. The fusing of various styles of American music with British folk created a distinctive form of fingerstyle guitar playing known as folk baroquepioneered by figures including Davey Graham and Bert Jansch.

Others totally abandoned the traditional element including Donovan and The Incredible String Bandwho have been seen as developing psychedelic folk. Five Hand Reelwho combined Irish and Scottish personnel, emerged as the most successful exponents of the style. However, in Scotland the circuit of ceilidhs and festivals helped prop up traditional music.

The development of a distinct tradition of art music in Scotland was limited by the impact of the Scottish Reformation on ecclesiastical music from the sixteenth century.

Concerts, largely composed of "Scottish airs", developed in the seventeenth century and classical instruments were introduced to the country. Music in Edinburgh prospered through the patronage of figures including the merchant Sir John Clerk of Penicuik. In the mid-eighteenth century a group of Scottish composers including James Oswald and William McGibbon created the "Scots drawing room style", taking primarily Lowland Scottish tunes and making them acceptable to a middle class audience.

However, Burns' championing of Scottish music may have prevented the establishment of a tradition of European concert music in Scotland, which faltered towards the end of the eighteenth century. From the mid-nineteenth century classical music began a revival in Scotland, aided by the visits of Chopin and Mendelssohn in the s. Erik Chisholm founded the Scottish Ballet Society and helped create several ballets. Craig Armstrong has produced music for numerous films.

Major performers include the percussionist Evelyn Glennie. Pop and rock were slow to get started in Scotland and produced few bands of note in the s or s, though thanks to accolades by David Bowie and others, the Edinburgh -based band later Cloudsactive —71, have belatedly been acknowledged as a definitive precursor of the progressive rock movement.

The biggest Scottish pop act of the s however at least in terms of sales were undoubtedly the Bay City Rollers ; a spinoff band formed by former Rollers members, Pilotalso enjoyed some success. Traces of Scottish literary and musical influences can be found in both Donovan's and Bruce's work.This is not rollicking, traditional Scottish folk music, rather it's the kind of rural, commercial pop music that's more befitting of the easy listening tag.

AllMusic relies heavily on JavaScript. Please enable JavaScript in your browser to use the site fully. Blues Classical Country. Electronic Folk International. Jazz Latin New Age. Aggressive Bittersweet Druggy. Energetic Happy Hypnotic. Romantic Sad Sentimental. Sexy Trippy All Moods. Drinking Hanging Out In Love. Introspection Late Night Partying. Rainy Day Relaxation Road Trip. Romantic Evening Sex All Themes.

Features Interviews Lists. Streams Videos All Posts. Release Date August 8, Genre International Vocal. Homecoming Rainy Day Reflection Reunion. Track Listing. Donald Where's Your Trousers. Andy M. Flower of Scotland.Please read our cookie policy for more information. Scotland is home to a wealth of internationally-renowned contemporary bands and classical musicians currently gracing stages, stereos and soundtracks around the world.

From funky beats to dancing treats, whether its folk, rock, dance, pop or punk, Scotland's musical stars are covering it all. Below is a list of artists who you'll definitely know, and some who you probably should. Find out more. We believe that nothing really compares to seeing your favourite musician live, which is why we have so many amazing music venues.

From small and intimate sets to massive stadiums, you're never far away from a great gig in Scotland! From huge weekend-long parties to more intimate family-friendly events, Scotland's diverse calendar of music festivals is nothing short of impressive. The classical music scene is thriving in Scotland, with many making a significant contribution to cultural life both in Scotland and internationally.

Accept Cookies. Scottish Music Scotland is home to a wealth of internationally-renowned contemporary bands and classical musicians currently gracing stages, stereos and soundtracks around the world. Scottish Bands and Artists. Scottish Music Venues. Scottish Music Festivals.

Classical Music. Created with Sketch. Combined Shape Created with Sketch. Page 1 Created with Sketch. Group Created with Sketch. Fill 1 Created with Sketch. Triangle Created with Sketch. Timeline Created with Sketch.Love them or loathe them, here are fifteen tunes which us Scots just cannae get out of our heads.

Flower of Scotland. The song which every passionate Scot will know. Scottish rugby winger is credited with popularising the song for use at sporting events when he encouraged his teammates to sing it during a victorious Lions tour of South Africa in A spirited rendition was sung by players and fans alike as Scotland went on to win to win the Grand Slam.

Most people in Scotland will be able to recite at least two verses of Flower of Scotland without hesitation. I Love A Lassie. Worth a mention is the corrupted version of this tune, commonly sung by fans of Partick Thisle FC - although the jury is out on whether or not Sir Harry would have approved Auld Lang Syne.

Probably the most famous Scottish song ever, due to it being sung traditionally at New Year around the globe. The performance was broadcast live over the radio that night to millions of homes, resulting in a tradition which has stood the test of time. A party tune to end all parties. One theory, however, suggests that the song is sung from the perspective of a woman whose Jacobite lover has been captured and is facing execution in London.

Loch Lomond is traditionally played as the last song of the night at Scottish parties. The best-known version of the song is by the Celtic rock group Runrig, who have recorded it several times. As Scottish as Irn Bru and deep fried pizzas. The song has appeared in countless movies and TV shows since it was written and has even been parodied by Family Guy and The Simpsons.

Oh, how the tables have turned Written and recorded by Glasgow band Deacon Blue, the song has been released as a single three times. It has managed to achieve legendary status in Scotland despite having never charted higher than No. Deacon Blue performed Dignity live at the closing ceremony for the Commonwealth Games held in Glasgow.

The Best Contemporary Traditional Scottish Music

Unleashed in by comic performer Andy Stewart, the song speaks of a kilt-wearing man from Skye who ventures down south and is hassled relentlessly for his lack of trousers.

Scotland the Brave. The tune is recognised the world over. The Jeely Piece Song.

Scottish folk music

A real classic little tune. The most famous version of the song was recorded by songwriter and poet, Matt McGinn. The chorus goes as follows:. The song was a massive hit, reaching No. Wild Mountain Thyme. The chorus is enough to make you hairs stand on end A song to be proud of. Considered one of the most beautiful and heart rending Scottish ballads ever recorded, Caledonia was penned by Scottish singer-songwriter Dougie MacLean in The song proved so popular that Miller re-recorded it and released it as a single later that year, with the song reaching No.

MacLean claims that it took him no longer than 10 minutes to write. In a Big Country. The song was released at a time when Scotland was beginning to rediscover itself as a music-producing nation, with acts such as Annie Lennox, Altered Images, Simple Minds and Midge Ure filling the charts.

Ally Bally Bee. What's On Arts and Entertainment 15 famous songs every Scot will know FOR the typical Scot, there are some songs which don't even require an introduction. In fact, you'll probably be able to recite every last word.


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