After the fantastic night that was the BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician Finals (winner Paddy Callaghan) the question is often asked ‘what is a Scottish traditional musician?’ Is it a musician who plays music from their own culture who is also from Scotland or is it a musician that plays the indigenous music of Scotland?
It’s a difficult question. Paddy Callaghan is from Glasgow, has an Irish heritage and has been brought up playing Irish music. He played Irish polkas on the night which rocked the house.
We’ve always taken the tack at the Young Traditional Award that the competition is about the musician and not his or hers heritage. We feel that it is totally valid for the musician to play music from their own culture and we actively celebrate it. But is this only because the Irish and Scottish traditions are very related and there are several crossing points? What would we do if a Scottish musician of Asian heritage entered the Award? It’s another difficult question but I think we would embrace the musician as would the other participants.
It’s an exciting time for the Award with BBC Radio Scotland’s continues support and now we have BBC ALBA involved bringing it to a ‘Freeview’ audience. Our reach is extending and a lot more people are hearing these fantastic young musicians and word will spread to other cultures. Let’s see what happens 🙂
You can watch last night’s final on the iPlayer.