Ceilidhs, Bagpipes, & Buskers: The Music of Scotland

If you’re dreaming of traveling to bonny Scotland, it can be difficult to wait, but this waiting period gives you a little time to prepare for your trip and get to know a bit about Scottish culture ahead of time. While you might not be hopping on a plane right now, we’ll transport you to Scotland through your speakers.

From Bards to Bands: The History of Music in Scotland

Though Scotland’s music might be best known by its distinctive instrument, Scotland’s music includes so much more than just the bag pipes.

In Medieval times, before the bagpipes appeared in Scotland, the local musician and storyteller, known as a Bard, was considered as one of the most important roles in the community. Bards would write poems, provide entertainment, learn, recite the area’s oral history and more. While the bard’s folk music and lyres, and later ceilidh music and bagpipes, would have been the initial markers of Scottish music, Scotland’s music scene has developed since then.

The UK’s First UNESCO City of Music (and other Scottish Musical Achievements):

Scotland’s national bard, Robert Burns, has one of the top three most popular English language songs in the world with Auld Lang Syne and he is said to be one of Bob Dylan’s biggest inspirations.

Glasgow has been made a UNESCO recognised City of Music and hosts several annual music festivals such as Celtic Connections and the World Pipe Band Championships.

The Edinburgh festival season will fill the capital city with live music events dotted throughout its many pubs and venues.

If you’ve been dreaming of travelling to Scotland one day, we understand! Scotland is full of stunning sights, natural landmarks and traditional cultural experiences, offering cityscapes, mountains, and islands.

Take a Journey through Sounds:

While we can’t bring you to Scotland to visit just yet, we can bring you here in another way. Music can transport us to another time and another place when we listen, so barring any actual travel for the moment, we’ve curated some playlists to bring Scotland to your living room.

You can listen to pop music, rock music, folk music, bagpipes, and ceilidh music – all of it from Scottish Artists on our Scotland Playlist.

Or if you’d like to get a little more local, we have a Glasgow-specific playlist with songs by Glasgow musicians both well-known and little known, even including a few of the buskers you’re likely to hear when you walk down the high street.

Plan Your Trip!

Have a listen while looking through our best Scottish Walking and Hiking Trails, and then get in touch about planning your dream trip to Scotland.

As soon as possible, we’ll be ready to welcome you back and show you the sights!

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