Glasgow, the City of Music

In June this year, a delegation from Scotland got on a plane for Paris. They were going to promote the city of Glasgow as a potential Unesco City of Music. This honor has only been bestowed on two other European cities, namely Seville and Bologna, and with Edinburgh already been named a Unesco City of Literature, delegation members and supporters did not foresee any problems with their Glasgow request, as the city has a long history of music. And they were right, as it has just been announced that Glasgow is now a Unesco City of Music.

Glasgow has always been a city that has its musical roots firmly planted in the history of traditional music, which has allowed the sounds of music genres such as Celtic and folk music to survive and still be appreciated by a modern audience. A few well known folk music bands have sprung up in Glasgow, such as The Whistlebinkies, The Incredible String Band and The Humblebums and the sounds of live music can be heard almost every night in various venues around the city.

Not only do the musicians in Glasgow concentrate on folk music, but the city is also host to classical and instrumental musicians. The Royal Scottish National Orchestra is located in Glasgow, as is the Scottish Opera, the National Youth Orchestra, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. With such a wide variety of music genres in one location, the city hosts just over a hundred and twenty musical or music related events per week, making music one of the biggest industries in Glasgow and contributing millions of pounds to the city’s economy each year. Annual music festivals attract thousands of visitors to the city and lure international performers and musicians from all over the world.

The excitement of announcing that the bid was successful has cut the waiting period in half, and Mr. Koichiro Matuura, Unesco director general, will be handing the letter of confirmation to the delegation personally. He will also be treated to a visit to the Edinburgh Fringe, after which he will be taken on a tour of Edinburgh and enjoy a spectacular performance in the Scottish Dance Theatre. The announcement that Glasgow is now recognized as a Unesco City of Music has put an end to the months of agonizing waiting, and will hopefully attract more visitors and musicians to this magnificent city.