Scotland the Brave? Twenty Years of Change and the Future of the Nation


Edited by Gerry Hassan & Simon Barrow. Published by Luath Press Ltd , 15 July 2019

Publishers’ summary:

“In what ways has Scotland developed since the creation of a devolved Scottish Parliament 20 years ago? The focus of this book, marking a highly significant landmark in the modern life of the nation, is not simply on the institutions of governance but on the agency of the people themselves in different areas of social, political, economic, environmental, cultural and secular/religious life. Bringing together the analysis and perspectives of public figures, established experts and newer commentators from a wide range of backgrounds, A People's Scotland? looks both at past events and future possibilities. Asking probing questions about what really has or has not changed over the past two decades, the contributors to this volume provide a compelling, varied account the `state of the nation' under an evolving devolution settlement. Here is a compact guide to the issues facing Scotland and its people as they look towards an uncertain future politically, constitutionally and in the context of major global upheavals.”

I contributed a chapter titled ‘The Carrying Stream: Twenty Years of Traditional Music in Scotland’.

“This chapter offers a brief overview of the past twenty years of traditional music in Scotland. Since devolution from the UK in 1999, through the early years of the new millennium and later the independence campaign in the years leading up to 2014, Scotland has witnessed a blossoming of cultural confidence and consciousness. Music has played a vital role in this process. This era has also seen huge changes in terms of policy and practice: the pace of globalisation and the digitisation of contemporary culture has necessarily transformed the contexts of performances as well as the choice and style of music. With unprecedented numbers of professional performers, an ecology of community music organisations offering tuition for children and adults, a vibrant culture of community-based sessions happening at the grassroots and highly successful international festivals, traditional music is flourishing in contemporary Scotland - a far cry from certain versions of ‘traditional’ culture in the 20th century given shape through the likes of Harry Lauder, Brigadoon and the White Heather Club.“

Read more

Mairi McFadyenComment