Dr Gary West
- Dr Gary West
- Senior Lecturer in Scottish Ethnology
- Office hours: Tuesday 1-3
- Room 3.05
- 27 George Square
- EH8 9LD
- Work: +44 (0)131 650 4151
- Dr Gary West
Gary West was born and brought up in Highland Perthshire, attending Pitlochry High School and Breadalbane Academy, before moving to Edinburgh at the age of 18. He was the first person to graduate from the University of Edinburgh in the newly launched degree entitled Scottish Ethnology and Scottish Historical Studies, in 1988. Following a brief and ill-judged period as a banker, he returned to the School of Scottish Studies to undertake a PhD, and was later appointed to the staff there as a lecturer in 1994.
From the age of 7 he has been highly active within the field of traditional music, learning his trade with the innovative Vale of Atholl Pipe Band with whom he won both the Scottish and European Championships. On settling in Edinburgh he moved sideways into the folk music scene, joining the band Ceolbeg in 1988, and the so-called ‘Scottish folk supergroup’, Clan Alba, in 1993. In more recent years he has played and recorded with a variety of musicians, and has toured widely in Europe and North America. Since 2002 he has presented the weekly specialist programme on BBC Radio Scotland, Pipeline.
His research interests centre around the general theme of the use of the past within the present, and include heritage, revivalism, oral history and the conceptualisation of tradition.
- Board Member, Creative Scotland
- Chair, Traditional Arts and Culture Scotland
- Board Member, Arts Trust Scotland
- Board Member, Gordon Duncan Memorial Trust
- Member, AHRC Peer Review College
- External Examiner, University of Liverpool
Survivals and Revivals; History of Piping; Oral History; Heritage
Tradition in a Modern World; Regional Ethnologies
Current Research Projects
European Ethnological Research Centre - Regional Ethnologies of Scotland; The Survivals and Revivals Project
- ‘Exploring New World Perspectives on “Style” and “Authenticity” in Gaelic Dance-Music of the 21st Century’
- 'Survival and Revival in the Lowland and Border Bagpipe Tradition'
- 'The Piping Tradition of Ontario, Canada'.
- 'Ethnology and National Identity'
- 'The Contemporary Role of the Kilt and Tartan in the Construction and Expression of Scottish American Identity'.
- 'Scottish Competition Bagpipe Performance: Sound, Mode and Aesthetics’
- 'An Ethnological Approach to Landscape and Identity'
- 'A Highland Estate: Continuity, Change and Identity'
- 'Negotiating the City: oral and visual narrative perspectives'. 'Ethnological Perspectives on Oral and Visual Narrative'
- 'Women's Wartime History in the Scottish Italian Community'
- 'The Pipe Band: Origins and Development'
- Voicing Scotland: Folk, Culture, Nation. Luath Press, Edinburgh, 2012.
- Farm, Family and Neighbourhood in Post-Improvement Perthshire: an Historical Ethnography, Mellen Press, Lampeter, 2007.
Journal Articles and Book Chapters
- 2013 (forthcoming) ‘Further Reflections on Collection-centred Ethnology: the View from Scotland’ in Bealoideas: Journal of the Folklore of Ireland Society, Vol 80
- 2013 ‘Ethnology and the Heritage Industry’ in Scottish Life and Society: a Compendium of Scottish Ethnology, Volume 1, John Donald Publishers Ltd
- 2013 ‘Oral Testimony’ in Scottish Life and Society: a Compendium of Scottish Ethnology, Volume 1, John Donald Publishers Ltd
- 2012 ‘Scottish Military Music’ in E Spiers, J Crang and M Strickland (eds), A Military History of Scotland, Edinburgh University Press.
- 2010 ‘Hamish Henderson and the Piping Tradition of the North East’ in E Bort (ed), Borne on the Carrying Stream: the Legacy of Hamish Henderson, Grace Note Publications, Ochtertyre
- 2006 ‘Music’, In Storrier, S (ed) Scottish Life and Society, Volume 6, Domestic Life. Tuckwell Press, 120-133
- 2006 ‘Custom’, In Storrier, S (ed) Scottish Life and Society, Volume 6, Domestic Life. Tuckwell Press, 562-580
- 2005 (encyclopaedia entry) ‘Scott, Sir Walter’. Enzyklopädie des Märchens: Handwörterbuch zur historischen und vergleichenden Erzählforschung. Band 12, Lieferung 1. 461-465. Walter de Gruyter, Berlin and New York.
- 2003 ‘Learning Locality: Inter-generational Narratives of Place and Belonging in a Scottish Local Education Project.’ International Journal of Learning, Vol 10, 3229-3241
- 2003 ‘Lands and Lyrics: the Dynamics of Music and Song in Rural Society.’ Review of Scottish Culture Vol 15, 57-66.
- 2001 ‘Oral Testimony and the Hearth: Custom, Belief and Superstition in the Scottish Tradition.’ in Marion Wood (ed) The Hearth in Scotland Scottish Vernacular Buildings Working Group Regional and Thematic Studies 7, 86 - 99.
- 2000 ‘Conceptualising Neighbourhood: Charity Labour Gatherings in Rural Perthshire, 1850-1950’. Scottish Studies, Vol 33, 132-144.
- Steele the Show, A Tribute to Davy Steele, Greentrax, (2011)
- Wendy Stewart and Gary West, Hinterlands, (2008)
- Blair Douglas, Stay Strong, (2007)
- Katherine Campbell The Songs of Amelia and Jane Harris. Springthyme (2004)
- Various, The Piper and the Maker Greentrax, (2004)
- Royal Scottish Pipers Society Recital. Greentrax (2003)
- Wendy Stewart, Standing Wave (2003)
- Gary West, The Islay Ball Greentrax (2001)
- A Clear Day's Dawning: Music for a New Parliament Greentrax (1999)
- Ceolbeg, Cairn Water Greentrax (1999)
- Wendy Stewart, About Time 2 Greentrax (1997)
- Andy M Stewart, The Man on the Moon Green Linnet (1993)
- Wendy Stewart, About Time Greentrax (1993)
- Ceolbeg, An Unfair Dance Greentrax (1993)
- Talitha MacKenzie, Solas Riverboat Records (1993)
- Wolfstone, The Prophet Lismore (1992)
- Ceolbeg, Seeds to the Wind Greentrax (1991)
- Connie Dover, Somebody Green Linnet (1991)
- Kathy Matthea, Time Passes By (1990)
- Ceolbeg, Not the Bunnyhop Greentrax (1989)
- Vale of Atholl Pipe Band, No Reservations Lapwing (1989)
- Vale of Atholl Pipe Band, Salutation Dunkeld Music (1988)
- Vale of Atholl Pipe Band, Both Sides of the Tracks Lapwing (1985)
- Vale of Atholl Pipe Band, Cam ye By Atholl Lapwing (1982)
Gary presents the weekly Radio Scotland programme, "Pipeline".
This article was published on Dec 2, 2013