Mobilizing traditional music in the rural creative economy of Argyll and Bute, Scotland

This paper examines the key issues that emerge in the understanding of traditional music as micro-enterprise in the rural creative economy of Argyll and Bute, Scotland. Using evidence from detailed ethnographic fieldwork, with musicians, festival organisers, tour operators, business owners and civil servants. This paper examines how issues such as geographical and social distance, internet connectivity, and cultural tourism are understood in relation to the musical life of Argyll and Bute.

We advocate for greater ethnographic engagement with local communities in order to provide a more sophisticated, real-world understanding of rural cultural policy and the impact of current policies on local musicians. The paper therefore foregrounds ethnography as an important method in local, rural contexts such as Argyll and Bute, where typically, much of the creative economy is embedded in statistically invisible economic and cultural activity and portfolio employment.

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