W16 The Legacy of Marjory Kennedy Fraser

Virginia Blankenhorn

Merchiston Workshops - Workshop Space


After more than a century, Marjory Kennedy Fraser’s Songs of the Hebrides is still influential, as much among today’s ‘trad’ performers as in the solo and choral arrangements favoured by Mod competitors; her work has also significantly contributed to the clarsach repertoire since the earliest days of the instrument’s revival. Her legacy, however, has been controversial. While examining the background to her work and the reasons why her artistic choices sparked such heated debate, our discussion will also highlight her undoubted contribution to our appreciation of Gaelic song, and of the society that nurtured it over many generations.