Mudcat Café message #3048717 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #134129   Message #3048717
Posted By: Will Fly
08-Dec-10 - 07:56 AM
Thread Name: Scottish Trad. Awards on T.V.
Subject: RE: Scottish Trad. Awards on T.V.
Interesting. Worth noting perhaps that the numbers of Gaelic speakers in Scotland rose from just over 80,000 in 1960 to a little over 90,000 in 1990 - that's around 2.5% of the population - and is still rising. In Ireland, in spite of much more government subsidy and promotion, the number of Gaelic speakers is falling.

I also think it's worth distinguishing between the popularity of a folk music culture as evinced by it's prominence in public broadcast media and it's popularity away from the media. I wouldn't dispute for a moment the excellence of Scottish music on Alba TV - I watch it quite a lot on iPlayer - and the greater profile of Scottish music in Scottish life generally. And I wouldn't dispute the comments already made in this thread.

The question for me is: would more TV programmes on English traditional music necessarily raise the profile and increase the popularity of the music with the general public? We certainly have some wonderful musicians and singers, and there's a fair amount of English music being made on the ground (well, there is in Sussex - can't speak for anywhere else). But there is a subtle difference between media prominence being given to something because it's genuinely a mainspring of the national culture - and media prominence being given to something because it's deemed "worthy".

I'd certainly like to see more English traditional music played on TV - but I'm a fan already and therefore don't count.