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      Sounds of Scotland

      By Rupert Shanks, Chief Storyteller
      More by Rupert

      The Ultimate Scottish Music Playlist

      We’re lucky in Scotland to have a wealth of music to draw on, that connects us to the places we love. We want to create the ultimate Scottish music playlist to accompany an adventure in the Scottish Highlands and Islands.

      Our guiding and office team put their heads together to get the ball rolling. We chose a variety of songs by Scottish artists that connect us to our favourite Scottish places and memories.  This eclectic selection includes such Scottish icons as the irrepressible musical charm of the Corries, the haunting celtic rhythms of Martyn Bennett, the achingly beautiful Kathryn Joseph to the undeniable fusion of energy that is the Treacherous Orchestra!

      We then asked people to submit their own suggestions of songs from Scotland that bind them to our wee country. A huge thanks to everyone who took part. Check out the incredible response we had on Facebook.

      We then updated our own collection to create the ultimate Scottish music playlist.

      YouTube playlist

      Spotify Playlist

      Artists by Location

      A lot of our favourite Scottish bands are a medley of musicians from all over Scotland. However, some of the artists we have chosen so far hail from our favourite areas of the Highlands and Islands. Learn more about these areas here.

      inner hebrides and skye

      Comprising over 70 islands (34 of which are inhabited) this is a truly diverse area of cultural richness in Scotland and each island has its own distinctive character. The Isle of Skye is home to two of Scotland’s most exciting contemporary folk bands, Niteworks and the Peatbog Faeries. You may recognise the Niteworks song Air Fàir an Là, from VisitScotland’s 2019 promo video. The tiny isle of Tiree in the Inner Hebrides was the birthplace of another foot-stomping fusion band, Skerryvore and also Skipinnish.

      Inner Hebrides & Skye

      outer hebrides header

      The Outer Hebrides is a place of pristine scenery, intriguing culture and a way of life which doesn’t seem to have been caught up in the hustle and bustle of the 21st century. Julie Fowlis hails from the tiny island of North Uist. It’s lovely for us to think of the way those islands in the Hebrides that we love so much have shaped her career and the music of Scotland. Keith Morrison from Heron Valley is from the Isle of Lewis, the largest and most well known island in the Outer Hebrides.

      Outer Hebrides & St Kilda

      north west highlands

      The North West Highlands incredible landscape offers dramatic peaks made of Torridonian sandstone, wooded glens and intricate lochs. The Highland rock outfit Torridon hails from near Inverness, the capital of the Highlands. The band has grown in popularity over the years, a firm festival favourite  upbeat folk rock. The band has recently released a new album which tackles male mental health. Scottish singer-songwriter and musician  Kathryn Joseph is also from Inverness.

      North West Highlands

      cairngorms

      The Cairngorms and central highlands have produced some of Scotland’s most iconic musicians. OBE winner Dougie Maclean hails from the edge of the Highlands in Dunblane, Perthshire. Composer of perhaps Scotland’s most memorable anthem, Caledonia. Although born in Canada, Martyn Bennett returned to Scotland with his mother at age 6. He spent his formative years in Kingussie in the Cairngorms, developing a passion for trad music that would later fuse with dance music to create his unique sound.

      Cairngorms & Central Highlands

       

      Want to Know More About Scottish Traditional Music?

      “Scottish folk & traditional music can be energetic and rhythmic, and completely undeniable. You’ll soon find yourself toe-tapping, head-bopping, and maybe even jumping in and joining the dancing. It can also be deeply emotional and slow, harking back to times and love lost.”

      A visit to Scotland is not complete without even a brief experience of Scottish folk and traditional music. Learn more about this integral part of Scottish culture from famous trad artist Ewan MacPherson.

      Subscribe to our YouTube Traditional Scottish Music Playlist here.

      Scottish Folk & Traditional Music: An Interview with Ewan MacPherson

      Meet the Author: Rupert Shanks

      “After a spell in the corporate world in London Rupert decided to find a more rewarding way of life involving a closer connection to the outdoors and to his camera! Rupert produces a lot of the photography and video for Wilderness Scotland and works within the Marketing team.”

      View profileMore by Rupert

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