What kind of music is popular in Scotland?   

Scotland is well-known for its traditional music, also known as folk music. Scottish traditional music features bagpipes, cellos, pianos, and accordions. You can enjoy Scottish traditional music at festivals such as Celtic Connections. Not only that, but you can also experience the incredible blend of traditional folk music with modern elements. 

As well as traditional folk music, Scottish musicians work across various genres such as pop, rock, indie, and jazz music. We have a rich and diverse music scene with Scottish musicians embracing our values of authenticity and inclusivity. One collective redefining the traditional music landscape is Hen Hoose, an award-winning, Glasgow-based production house. 

Experience Scotland’s diverse music scene 

Filmed at Glasgow music venue, Barrowland Ballroom, this film depicts local talent, Hen Hoose. Enjoy the blend of traditional Scottish music with modern elements from the award-winning collective.  

Meet Scottish collective Hen Hoose 

Founded by Tamara Schlesinger, Hen Hoose brings together female and non-binary writers, artists and producers from across Scotland and beyond to collaborate across multiple genres.  

Funded by Creative Scotland, Hen Hoose writers have worked on Hollywood films, Netflix shows and global TV adverts. The collective was also nominated for the Scottish Album of the Year (SAY) Award for its debut album 'Equaliser'. 

What was the inspiration behind Hen Hoose? 

Tamara established Hen Hoose in response to the underrepresentation of women in the music industry, explaining that the name Hen Hoose comes from the idea of a house of women. “Hen” comes from the Scots word meaning woman or girl and “hoose” comes from the Scottish word for house. 

Set-up during Covid lockdown, Tamara took time to reflect on what she felt needed to change in the industry. She established the collective to create a positive support network, upskill artists and “shine a light on the talented artists, composers and producers based here in Scotland,” she explained.  

Female and non-binary collective Hen Hoose playing musical instruments

Scottish music: exploring international collaborations 

Cross-culture collaboration and creativity are in Scotland’s DNA as exemplified by Hen Hoose. Hen Hoose has recently expanded the collective by collaborating with international writers, thanks to the John Lennon Foundation.  

Due to its work on gender equality, Hen Hoose received a limited vinyl pressing of 'Happy Xmas (War Is Over)' by John Lennon and Yoko Ono. The collective also received a personal letter from Yoko Ono and Sean Lennon Ono. The note congratulated Hen Hoose and asked the collective to auction the vinyl to raise additional funds. 

Only four Scottish organisations received the limited vinyl. Tamara explained that it is: “The stuff of dreams really, especially if you are a huge Beatles fan!” 

The additional funds from the auction have allowed Hen Hoose to bring in writers from further afield. The collective is made up of 23 writers and producers, five of whom are based internationally.  

Tamara explained that the goal of Hen Hoose is: “to also develop international songwriting camps, we would love to make Hen Hoose one of the go-to collectives for writers and producers”. 

Female and non-binary Scottish musicians playing instruments at the Barrowlands, Glasgow

How are Scottish musicians supporting gender equality? 

Glasgow-based collective Hen Hoose is redefining the traditional landscape by shining a light on gender equality. It’s working with PRS For Music, a music rights organisation, to provide mentoring for women and non-binary artists across the globe.  

Members of the collective are adopting “mentor roles depending on the genre of music and area of expertise,” founder Tamara said. The collective received over 80 applications with only four mentorships available.   

“It has made us aware of just how much necessity there is for guidance and development for female and non-binary artists in the music industry and how vital it is to be able knowledge share,” Tamara added. 

The collective has received support from numerous grassroots organisations in Scotland that are working towards changes in gender equality. Hen Hoose has also been named one of the Big Issue's Cultural Changemakers of 2023 for its work. 

Scottish music artists and collective Hen Hoose playing instruments

Improving gender equality in the music industry 

Hen Hoose hopes to continue creating equal opportunities in the music industry. “The music scene in Scotland is so exciting and diverse and we hope that we can continue to open the doors to more opportunities for female and non-binary artists and help create a balanced and equal landscape for all,” Tamara said. 

Hen Hoose hopes to offer further mentoring and workshops. Tamara added: “We have already run free audio production courses and they were over-subscribed.” According to Tamara, only 5% of members of MPG (Music Producers Guild) are currently women.  

The collective aims to encourage female and non-binary artists to “not shy away from the technical roles” and to “gain confidence that they can do whatever they want within the industry.”  

Read more about the impact Scottish bands and artists are making on the global stage. 

Discover more about what Scotland is doing on our progressive Scotland page.

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