The musical tradition of bonny Scotland can be traced right back to 9th Century when the country’s main traditional instrument was the harp. Once the 15th Century arrived, the bagpipe, having originated in the Highlands, was embraced and started being used in the whole of Scotland. Historically speaking, Scotland’s traditional music scene has been strongly associated with the pipers. Yet there are also other very important instruments with powerful and well-defined traditions of their own. These incorporate also the accordion and the fiddle. In addition, much of the traditional Scottish music is founded on local influences and thei always aim to include, as elements and themes, the social environment and the language.
In the 21st Century, all across the country from Inverness in the North to Edinburgh in the South, traditional Scottish music can be heard reverberating from every corner. In any town centre you can become mesmerised by the the glorious sound of the bagpipes, and see pipers dressed in full traditional attire complete with their kilt and sporran. You can also visit bars which hold regular folk evenings where it is commonplace to sit down and enjoy some traditional style music even with one or two folk singers. And there might be traditional dancing, as well. Everyone is expected to join in the fun by dancing the jig or the reel, or playing their own instrument that they have brought along for the occasion.
Traditional Scottish music is also highly prominent at annual events such as music festivals, the Highland games and other celebratory festivals and parades. The unique music emanating from the bagpipes is strongly connected to Gaelic culture, and generally speaking, there are two major forms of bagpipe music: Ceòl Beag and Ceòl Mór, which when translated from Gaelic refers to ‘little music’ and ‘big music’ respectively.