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Scottish Culture Essay

1415 words - 6 pages

Scotland has a very interesting and rich culture. Its long history has contributed much to the traditions that still stand today. Whether it be its literature, music, art, food, clothing, or sports, Scotland has a lot to offer. a

Scotland has contributed many novelists and poets to the world of literature. Such poets include Sydney Goodsir Smith, Norman McCaig, Iain Crichton Smith, Edwin Morgan, George Mackay Brown and Robert Garioch (Fraser 185). Poet Sorley Maclean (1911-1996), also known as Somhairle MacGill-Eain in Gaelic, helped to prove that the Gaelic language could have traditional expression (Fraser 185). Douglas Dunn and Liz Lochhead appeared during the 1960s and 1970s as revered poets of the time (Fraser 185). Within recent years, Robert Crawford, Carol Anne Duffy, and Don Patterson have created their own reputations as Scottish poets (Fraser 185). One of the most notable Scottish writers of all time is Robert Burns (Fraser 185). Known as the “immortal Rabbie”, Burns wrote the words to “Auld Lang Syne,” the song sung around the world every New Year’s Eve (Begley 115). Booker prize winner James Kelman, Alasdar Gray, Iain Banks and Irvine Welsh are also popular novelists and short fiction writers (Fraser 185). The movie Trainspotting, directed by Danny Boyle and based on Welsh’s novel of Edinburgh’s drug culture, has attracted a cult following like that of a rock band (Fraser 186). Sir Walter Scott is also another very famous novelist from Scotland (Scotland).

With music from classical to rock to jazz and folk, Scottish musicians are able to attract international audiences (Fraser 186). Known for its versatility and unique programming, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra while folk-rock bands like Runrig successfully combine rock music with traditional Gaelic music and song. Country-dance music is also very popular among the Scots (Fraser 186). Of course there are few people today who do not equate bagpipes to Scotland. Although the history of the pipes is unknown, the ancient Greeks and the Irish are both known to have had instruments that resembled the bagpipes (Begley 130). It is estimated that the pipes were most likely created by the Romans (Scotland). However, the Scots popularized the instrument be playing it during battle assembly as well as during battle (Begley 130). The fiddle is also a very popular instrument in Scotland (Begley 133). The greatest fiddler of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries was Neil Gow (Begley 133). With so many different types of music came many different styles of dancing. Most Scottish dancing is quick and involves a lot of foot movement (Begley 133). Both men and women dance solo and group Highland dances (Begley 133). The proper footwear is a soft leather heel-less shoe that ties up the leg (Begley 133). Every year for three continuous weeks, a festival called the Edinburgh Festival brings together some of the best musicians, dancers, and actors from around the world (Fisher 6). This...

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