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Understanding Scotland Musically by Simon McKerrel & Gary West

Simon McKerrell and Gary West release new scholarly edited volume entitled: Understanding Scotland Musically

This new edited collection of essays is really hugely welcome at this point, bringing together a range of 18 key authors at the forefront of the academic analysis and understanding of Scottish traditional music. The book is aimed at anyone with an interest in Scottish traditional music and dance, but reaches out beyond that community to include historical and drama audiences too. Unlike many previous publications on Scottish music and piping, the volume sets out deliberately to consider both contemporary understandings of Scotland musically, thinking through aspects of how the music has changed and introduced many new influences from other cultures and genres.

In essence, the books sets out deliberately to understand Scotland musically, at its heart it tries to set out what the huge shifts in digitalization, globalization and performing mean for Scottish traditional music today. Gary and Simon set out to publish this book inviting a wide range of scholars to contribute after a major conference in 2014 by the same name at Newcastle University. The book contains a scene setting introductory chapter written by Gary and Simon that lays out the 21st century national framework for Scottish traditional music, taking into account the relations between traditional music and classical and popular musics and the effects of the 2014 independence referendum in Scotland. Thereafter there are a series of four sections that deal with different aspects of the current and historical music in Scotland: Policy and Practice; Porosity, Genres, Hybridity; Home and Host; The Past in the Present.

Get the book here.

The first chapter is available for a limited time to read for free on the publisher’s website.