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History, Traditional Music
Publication Date
15 October 2015
2 volume hardback with slipcase
Available for Sale
Birlinn Ltd

The Music and the Land

The Music of Freeland Barbour
by Freeland Barbour - Find out more about the author

‘A huge, beautiful two-volume affair, richly illustrated with photographs… The book is a piece of social history, a geography lesson, a heartfelt, often humorous celebration of the tradition to which Freeland has himself contributed so much, and a hymn of love to the land and the sea. It will, undoubtedly, become a collector’s item’ – James Robertson

'[The Music and The Land is] a sound map of Scotland; one that not only shows the lie of the land in all its multifariousness, but conveys its music and, perhaps most essentially, the life-affirming pulse of dancing feet' – Scotland Magazine

Freeland Barbour was brought up in Highland Perthshire and has been a very well-known figure on the Scottish music scene for many years. He is a former member of ground-breaking folk group Silly Wizard, and a founder member of two of the country’s most successful ceilidh dance bands, the Wallochmor Ceilidh Band and the Occasionals. His compositions for Scottish dancing are hugely popular and have been recorded and performed all over the world. In this book he recalls his life in music, presenting a tour in words, photographs and musical notation through the lands that have inspired him – covering the whole of Scotland and beyond. His compositions are gathered here with the work of some of Scotland’s leading photographers, in a book that is a both an invaluable resource for the working musician and wonderful tribute to Scotland’s landscape and traditions.

Freeland Barbour, born in Edinburgh and brought up in Perthshire, is one of Scotland’s leading accordionists and has performed with many of the world’s greatest traditional musicians. A BBC music producer for a number of years, Freeland has taught at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. He runs a music publishing company and is the owner and former manager of Castlesound, one of the leading independent recording studios in the UK. He now lives in Edinburgh.


1 Most useful customer reviews (see all reviews):
Rab Noakes
Nov 11, 2015
I was honoured to be invited to make a contribution to this book. I wrote a wee piece for the Fife section celebrating my home county. For those efforts my reward, over and above the pleasure of being included, is a copy of the two-book production. It is a beautifully executed, high-quality presentation.
I am delighted to be sharing the Fife pages with my friend John Watt and, being somewhat fond of rare automobiles, Donald Maclean and the restoration work-in progress of his 1937 Hotchkiss 486.
I searched for ‘The Music and the Land’ online and found, here at the Birlinn website, its retail price is £60.00. Notwithstanding I didnae have to pay for mine that actually seems like a pretty good deal to me.
I know I have many delights ahead as I take my time to explore the two tomes further. I recommend it, wholeheartedly.