'Scotland the Real':the representation of traditional music in Scottish tourism

Stevenson, Lesley (2004) 'Scotland the Real':the representation of traditional music in Scottish tourism. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Printed Thesis Information: https://eleanor.lib.gla.ac.uk/record=b2244564


This thesis explores how Scottish traditional music has been represented to tourist audiences, through systems of representation such as travel literature, recordings and traditional music events (including folk festivals, tourist shows and sessions). It argues that an explicit concern with the “real” has been a recurrent, although contested, discursive trope in such representations. In particular, the thesis demonstrates how paradigmatic shifts in conceptions of authenticity have wrought ideological changes on tourist-oriented depictions of Scottish folk music.

The thesis identifies four generic categories of authenticity which have mediated touristic representations of Scottish traditional music, namely: authenticity of text; authenticity of performer; authenticity of context; and authenticity of locality. The first of these was of significance throughout the eighteenth, nineteenth and early twentieth century, as folksong collectors, travel writers and guidebooks authors based their judgements of musical authenticity upon the printed text. The folk revival of the 1950s resulted in a fundamental rupture in discursive formations of authenticity, leading to assessments of the “real” being based upon performers, their backgrounds and musical upbringings. As the folk revival developed, such assessments became predicated upon the context of the musical performance, and, in particular, the extent to which events succeeded in minimising the performer-audience stratification and facilitating communal participation. Finally, the geographical scope of the musical expression has recently become particularly significant in this regard: practitioners frequently regard localised musical identities as “real”, while deriding the homogeneity and commercial connotations of transnational musical identities such as “Celtic music".

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure
M Music and Books on Music > M Music
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Culture and Creative Arts > Music
Supervisor's Name: Bold, Dr. Valentina and Cowan, Prof. Ted
Date of Award: 2004
Depositing User: Elaine Ballantyne
Unique ID: glathesis:2004-1297
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2009
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2012 13:37
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/1297

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