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Scotland in music

Review by Edward Scott Pearlman

Wherever you live, you can enjoy Scottish music via the Internet. Listen to radio programs 24/7, or read about great clarsach players, Gaelic singers, fiddlers and pipers while you hear them perform. Download podcasts to enjoy personal radio programs on your computer or mp3 player, or look up audio samples of an artist before buying an album or attending a concert.

These offerings represent a major shift in the way people create, distribute and listen to music. It's certainly exciting, but also a bit confusing, not least to the industry itself. The ease of recording and sharing music digitally has shaken the foundations of physical products like CDs and the businesses that have depended on them. Artists are experimenting with streaming, downloads, auctioning or even giving away CDs or downloads in order to bring people to performances. Many musicians reach out to fans in new ways with social media, or use services such as KickStarter or Artistshare to create music funded by their fans.

But while musicians and the music business struggle to adapt to a new world, listeners can enjoy hearing and learning music in ever-changing ways. Let's take a look at some ways to find Scottish music online. We won't clutter up the text with long web address codes, though -- you can find these listed at the end of the column.

The Scottish government has made available a very informative Web site allowing anyone to read concise descriptions of the full range of Scottish music, along with recorded tracks. This site is organized by Education Scotland, which was formed in 2011 through the merger of several government organizations in support of Scottish curricula and education technology.

The full text of this article is available in the Spring 2013 issue of Scottish Life.

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