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Comments about the soundtrack for Rob Roy (Carter Burwell)

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Americans & anachronisms
• Posted by: Andy Gilmour   <Send E-Mail>
• Date: Saturday, February 19, 2005, at 2:36 p.m.
• IP Address:

The reviewer lets Burwell off too lightly in using the wonderfully vague term "Gaelic" to describe the supposedly period Highland Scottish music in this film. Too much of his instrumentation is blatantly IRISH - uillean (Irish Gaelic for elbow) pipes, low whistles & bodhrans being prime offenders. Yes, we have 'small' pipes in Scotland, but these originate in the Borders/north of England, and would be extremely unlikely to appear at a clan booze-up in 1712! And as for the bodhran (Irish skin drum), this was practically unknown in Scotland until popular folk duo The Corries brought them over in the 1960s.

This is what happens when you hire a modern folk band to do the "ethnic" stuff.

Fiddles, lutes, and harps would have been far more appropriate, but then Americans' apparent inability to distinguish between Irish, Scottish & even English music, accents & culture has long been a source of amusement for we poor benighted Old Worlders.

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