Research Scoping Study: Ulster-Scots Music Traditions: A Report for MAGUS and DCAL

Katherine Campbell, Stuart Eydmann, Linda Gunn

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

Abstract / Description of output

This scoping study explores Ulster-Scots music traditions within Northern Ireland. It notes that the sector has experienced a revival in recent years and that there are frameworks supporting the music. The fact that much of the music exists at a community level and is often undertaken in groups – involving not just musical but also social and participatory skills – is one of its great strengths. Overall, the picture is a vibrant one.
However, there is potential for the sector to grow further, particularly in the areas of tourism and education. The main recommendations are that:
- A Traditional Music Forum be established for the Ulster-Scots music sector to allow aspirations to be developed;
- Educational opportunities continue to be supported and developed, bearing in mind the need for continuity of tuition and the “long game” of learning a musical instrument and nurturing a tradition;
- A public access resource for Ulster-Scots music is made available which includes listening facilities, information and archival material for general visitors, students and tourists. The facility should be built on existing infrastructure and developed in consultation with recognised stakeholders and experts;
- Collecting and archival work is undertaken within the community;
- Opportunities for learning and performing material from the rich Ulster-Scots song tradition are developed; and
- Awareness is increased through targeted marketing campaigns of existing musical events that have the potential to attract tourists, e.g. community parades, festivals and summer schools.
The study is based on qualitative interviews, desk-based research and a literature review, and includes case studies highlighting areas of good practice. Directions for future research are suggested.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherDepartment of Culture, Arts and Leisure
Number of pages108
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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