Scots-Irish Music - real or manufactured?
I have just launched a website which looks at, what some consider to be a recent phenomenon in Northern Ireland, & others think of as something that’s as ‘old as the hills’ - ‘Ulster-Scots Music’.
For some folks in the nine counties of Ulster, it is a form of music they can trace back to their descendants who were planted here, hundreds of years ago.
To others, it is a recent entity, simply created by politically minded Unionists to drive yet another wedge between them & their Catholic neighbours.
The site, however, tries to avoid the emotive, political quagmire & contents itself with simply trying to establish what the various elements of this music are, or might be, in the process, taking a look back towards Scotland & the possible origins of each, & a glance forward, towards Appalachia, where this music may well have helped shape ‘Old Time’ music.
As a ‘blow-in’ from Scotland myself, I did not create this site from a ‘fountain of knowledge’ standpoint, but rather as an inquisitive onlooker.
I have, it is true, been actively involved in playing Scottish & Irish Music for more than 30 years now, but I would not presume for one moment to tell the folk of Ulster what they were, or were not playing.
With these thoughts in mind then, this site must be classed as nothing more than a ‘work in progress’, but one which will, hopefully, with sufficient input from local musicians here in Ulster, grow to become a valuable indication of what exactly the folk of Ulster understand this music, variously called Ulster-Scots, Scots-Irish & Scotch-Irish, to be.
If you are interested enough to take a look, I’d appreciate any ‘musical’ comments you may like to make, & will be happy to respond to any questions you may have, just so long as they are not politically motivated or barbed!
I’d particularly like to hear from any Scottish musicians who may well spot errors in my information & detail on the Scottish roots of this music.
Just as in any good healthy Pub Session, it’s best to keep Politics & Religion at bay, don’t you think?