What can a bagpipe, a fiddle or a harpsichord tell us about national culture and identity? Each country has a different story to tell, and Scotland's story has not yet been told. This book traces the cultural and social history of musical instruments in Scotland. Each chapter focuses on a different instrument, discussing its appearance in literature and art, its presence or rendition in music, and its organological development. There are clear links with the historical, socio-cultural, political, even religious milieux of the nation, as the book addresses such questions as 'Why was bagpipe music considered anti-Christian?' 'Why were genteel ladies for centuries not depicted playing the flute?' and 'What is the BBC's role in promoting Scottish fiddle music?'
This book is the first authoritative source to provide a deep understanding of the cultural history of instruments which have had, and often still have, great societal impact in Scotland. It will interest a wide readership - from enthusiasts of Scottish music to cultural historians, from art specialists to music collectors, from curators to university lecturers.