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International Music Resources by Country: Scotland

International Music Resources offers an array of online and physical resources both freely available and/or offered by the George F. DeVine Music Library. The information included in these guides may serve as a starting point for the study and research of

Scotland | A pano taken while in Scotland with the Fuji 14mm… | Flickr

Citation (1)

Map of Scotland

Map of Scotland

Citation (2)

Facts in brief

Scotland Flag

Capital: Edinburgh

Official language: English

Population:  Current estimate—5,484,000; density, 182 per mi2 (70 per km2); distribution, 86 percent urban, 14 percent rural. 2011 census—5,295,403

Flag: Scotland's flag has a white X on a blue background. The flag is called St. Andrew's Cross. It has never been officially adopted, but the Scottish people have flown it for hundreds of years.

Chief products: Agriculture—barley, cattle, milk, sheep, wheat. Fishing—cod, crabs, haddock, mackerel, scallops. Manufacturing—chemicals, electronic equipment, food and beverages, and metal products. Mining—petroleum.

Citation (3)

Streaming Video: JVC Video Anthology of World Music-Scotland

Garland Encyclopedia of World Music-Scotland

Garland Encyclopedia of World Music Cover Art

Traditional Scottish Music

Traditional Music

Traditional music in Scotland is unusual among European folk traditions in that there is a long history of mixed oral and literate transmission of melodies, tunes and songs, and in that much of what is accepted as folk music in Scotland is of known authorship. Traditional music may be heard at a variety of events ranging from the most intimate and informal to the most highly organized and public. Traditional music also forms an essential part of a lively group of dance traditions in Scotland. A standard ensemble of accordion(s), fiddle, piano, bass and drums developed in the mid-20th century to accompany Scottish country dancing. The traditional Céilidh is the most important informal context for music-making. Although rooted in Gaelic culture, céilidhs can be found at homes throughout Scotland, including travellers’ camp sites. Prominent musical characteristics found in the traditional music of Scotland include pentatonic modes, double-tonic tunes, cyclical melodies, and the Scotch snap.

Citation (6)

Glorious Scotland: Celebrating Scotland's Wonderful Traditional Music Album Art

Citation (5)

Waulking Songs

Waulking Songs

Labour song associated with the finishing or waulking of handwoven tweed in Gaelic areas of Scotland. Tweed waulking was traditionally a communal activity of women, who sang the songs, alternating between a soloist and chorus, to coordinate their physical efforts and to relieve the monotony of their work.

Citation (4)

Hebridean Folksongs Cover Art

Hebridean Folksongs

Location : George F. DeVine Music Library

Call number : M1746 .H4

Scottish Instrumental Music

Instrumental Music

The Highland bagpipes, the fiddle and harp are conventionally regarded as the national instruments of Scotland. In addition to this triumvirate, a number of other instruments, notably the accordion, have had an important role in traditional music-making. The Highland bagpipe is pre-eminent in Scotland. Consisting of a nine-note chanter, two tenor drones and a bass drone, this is the instrument of pìobaireachd, of clan society, of British Army regiments, and of community pipe bands The Highland bagpipe has emigrated, along with its players, to many parts of the world, especially the countries of the British Commonwealth; players from these countries still travel to Scotland to perform in competitions. The fiddle is played throughout Scotland, with particular areas of concentration in the north-east and in Shetland, each of which has numerous fiddlers and a distinctive solo fiddle tradition. he repertory of Scottish fiddlers consists primarily of dance tunes (marches, strathspeys, reels, jigs, waltzes and, to a lesser extent, hornpipe) but slower tunes meant for a non-dancing audience are important as well; these include song airs (from both Gaelic and Scots songs), other slow airs and the slow strathspey. Free reed instruments, especially the mouth organ and accordion, are among the most popular instruments of traditional music in Scotland.

Citation (8)

Dan Air Scottish Pipe Band: Scotland the Brave - Pipes & Drums Album Art

Citation (7)

Robert Burns

Songs of Robert Burns Album Art

Robert Burns (1759-1796)

Burns was a poet and songwriter. He had little formal education, first at a local school, then from his father, but his appetite for wide reading, and his intense interest in and love for the Scottish countryside and the oral literature and music of its people, gave him an enviable command over two languages, English and Scots, and a deep appreciation of the wide range of sentiment expressed in Scots traditional melody.

Citation: Cooke, P.  (2001). Burns, Robert. Grove Music Online. Retrieved 4 Nov. 2020, from


(1): "Scotland" by Sean McGrath CC-BY 2.0

(2): Scotland cities [Online map]. (2020). In World Book Advanced. Retrieved from

(3): Turnock, D. (2021). Scotland. In World Book Advanced.

(4): (2001). Waulking song. Grove Music Online. Retrieved 4 Nov. 2020, from  

(5): Glorious Scotland: Celebrating Scotland's Wonderful Traditional Music [Streaming Audio]. (2005). Foot Stompin' Records. (2005). Retrieved from Music Online: Contemporary World Music database. 

(6): Elliott, K., Collinson, F., & Duesenberry, P.  (2001). Scotland. Grove Music Online. Retrieved 4 Nov. 2020, from

(7):  Dan Air Scottish Pipe Band: Scotland the Brave - Pipes & Drums [Streaming Audio]. (2010). ARC Music Productions. (2010). Retrieved from Music Online: Contemporary World Music database. 

(8): Elliott, K., Collinson, F., & Duesenberry, P.  (2001). Scotland. Grove Music Online. Retrieved 4 Nov. 2020, from