The traditional music of Scotland has a long history. Centuries-old ballads, folk songs and dances are still performed. The ancient Gaelic culture has seen a parallel development in Scotland, only recently receiving official support, unlike in Ireland, where the government, as a factor in the post-independence movement between the wars, pushed Erse intensively. The resilience of the Scottish cultural traditions has ensured the survival and spread of Scottish musical expression. Everybody recognises the Scottish bagpipes: the highland or war pipes. Fiddle and accordion music is widespread and popular, as music and dance are naturally related. Guitars and other instruments are commonly used to accompany songs.
Scotland is partly a Celtic nation, and its traditional music is obviously related to Irish, Welsh, Breton and Galician folk music. The music emigrated with its people all over the world, notably to USA and eastern Canada, with Nova Scotia a particular hot spot. Folk music from Scotland is also many things: the muckle sangs - the great ballads dating back to the Middle Ages, pipes and drums, fiddle and accordion, and the influencial folk revival of the 60s, sessions in pubs and masses of fine songwriting. Scots folk musicians have made their mark on Tønder Festival since the very beginning.