Page last updated at 10:56 GMT, Friday, 27 June 2008 11:56 UK

The sound of music for a remote glen

By Colin Wight
BBC Scotland

Glenbuchat (Pic: Undiscovered Scotland)
The ballads provide an insight into the culture and history of the area

The songs and history of a remote Aberdeenshire community are being brought back to life after lying undiscovered for generations. The "Glenbuchat ballads" are being performed in the local village hall.

Sometime in the early 19th Century, the Reverend Robert Scott, minister of the parish, compiled a collection of traditional ballads.

The minister did not give the precise locations of where he collected his ballads, or name the performers, but the texts are unique and appear to have been drawn from oral sources.

As such, the ballads revealed a great deal about the nature of traditional music at the time they were collected.

The collection included one of the best-known ballads, "The Bonnie Lass O' Fyvie", and provided an invaluable insight into the culture and history of the area.

There were 68 ballads in four volumes. They were thought to have been lost until 1949 when the complete work was donated to Aberdeen University by a descendent of Reverend Scott.

They were published last year and now many of them will be performed again.

Major influences

One of the performers, Marc Ellington, said: "Aberdeenshire has been 'mission control' for our ballad resource for a couple of hundred years."

He added: "Versions of some ballads have been recorded by people as wide-ranging as Bob Dylan and the Grateful Dead.

"They are a cornerstone of major cultural influences globally and we haven't, I don't think in Scotland, embraced these ballads enough.

"They are an amazing resource."

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