Music and Scottish Society

  • Anna Wright, Ethnomusicology
    Coach House, Green College, UBC

    Monday, April 8, 8-9 pm
    in the series
    Green College Resident Members' Series
  • The study of ethnomusicology, or “the anthropology of music”, deals primarily with music in its cultural and social context. It is a non-exclusionary study of any and all music, and, as Anna Wright sees it, aims through a double-pronged and often multi-disciplinary approach to gain a level of understanding of both the music itself and the people to whom the music and culture belong.

    Anna’s interest in bagpipes stems largely from their use as a symbol of Scottish nationalism. Their presence or absence has played an important role in both inciting and crippling Scottish pride and expression at various critical points in Scottish history. The control and censorship of art is an important political tool which still continues to be implemented today, in this context most noticeably in the recent (2014) Scottish Independence Referendum. Gaelic song similarly reflects Scottish society, though perhaps more subtly, and so can offer yet more detailed insight into Scottish society at various points in history.

    The presence or absence of bagpipes has played an important role in inciting or crippling Scottish pride and expression at critical points in Scotland’s history. Gaelic song similarly reflects Scottish society, if perhaps more subtly. In this lecture, Anna will look into the political uses of bagpipes and of two genres of Gaelic Song: Puirt à Beul (tunes from the mouth) and Waulking songs (a genre of work songs sung primarily by women).

    Anna Wright is a current masters’ student in ethnomusicology at the University of British Columbia. Originally from Scotland, Anna changed career paths from Saxophone performance to Ethnomusicology after moving to Vancouver and finding her interest in traditional and folk musics and music in its cultural and societal context growing exponentially. Anna’s current research interests lie in Scottish traditional music, mainly Gaelic song and music of the Great Highland Bagpipe, and music’s relationship to its societal and political context.
  • Unless otherwise noted, all of our lectures are free to attend and do not require registration.


April 8th, 2019 from  8:00 PM to  9:00 PM
Coach House
6201 Cecil Green Park Rd
Green College, UBC
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1
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