Putting traditional music at the heart of Scottish life

Welcome to Traditional Music Forum

The Traditional Music Forum (TMF) is a network of over 100 organisations and individuals actively involved in traditional music in Scotland. Members include folk clubs, festivals, community music projects, academic institutions, promoters, agents, publishers, labels and individuals; representing a broad sweep of diverse activity and thousands of musicians, enthusiasts, activists, participants and listeners across Scotland.

This collective voice for traditional music was set up in 2012 to ensure that traditional music in Scotland is able to flourish and remain at the heart of Scottish life. There is no prescriptive description of what this traditional music should be – other than it reflects the traditions and culture of the people who play and listen to it. Our members include people who do not have English as a first language and this in turn reflects Scotland today.

All involved with the TMF help to deliver our collective vision for traditional music in Scotland:

"Traditional music as a vital and diverse element of Scottish culture, valued by people and communities, locally, nationally and internationally."

Join the TMF

What we do

Advocating for, lobbying for and demonstrating the value of traditional music across policy and political environments.

The TMF is a key resource for Creative Scotland, Cross Party Working Group on Arts and Culture, Scottish Governments Music Education Strategy Group, Heads of Instrumental Teaching Scotland (HITS), amongst others.

Being a key resource on traditional music for agencies and decision makers

Agencies we work with include Education Scotland, Museums and Galleries Scotland, VisitScotland, and the Social Enterprise Network.  In 2018 we will update our Census of Involvement in Traditional Music and continually look into where research needs to be updated or carried out.

Providing opportunities for skills development

Last year we piloted a mentoring scheme for teaching musicians and across 2017 and in to 2018 plan to develop that further.  Over the next year and into 2018 we will be carrying out regional events where members and anyone with an interest can come together to share information, network and learn from each other.

Widening access to and participation in traditional music

We do this through hosting events such as our recent Young Trad workshop and concert at Innerleithen Music Festival and also through campaigning and lobbying to ensure all can access traditional music who want to access it can access it.

Enabling networking and learning across membership

We run events such as our annual Trad Talk where members can come together and discuss issues and take forward new ideas. Our most recent Trad Talk looked at gender inequality across traditional music alongside issues musicians face in publishing and distributing music. We are now taking forward a series of meetings looking into the viability of a co-operative model of music distribution.

Being a communications hub for traditional music

Through our website, our newsletter, and social media we continually showcase the activities of our
members and share news, events, and information.
The small staff team are able to do all of the above because we are supported by the members. Members matter as members help to shape the thinking, the activities and the hands on work of the Forum.