Widely recognized as a major international musical centre, Glasgow is the musical capital of Scotland, and is the largest music economy in the UK after London. Historically, music has played a key role in Glasgow. Music continues to be a vibrant part of city life and is reflected in the excellence of its musicians and practitioners, the enthusiasm of its music audiences as well as in its public policies addressing music both as an art form as well as a tool of education and social integration.
Glasgow’s music businesses generate proportionately more output than anywhere else in Scotland. Numerous music events take place in the city every week. Five of the six biggest Scottish employers in the music industry are based in Glasgow as is over half of the country’s music workforce. Glasgow can boast world-class artists and venues across genres, from rock and pop, to classical and electronica and is also home to the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Glasgow also has the country’s highest density of higher education institutes offering music courses as well as the largest population of music students.
A city with vast social, economic and ethnic diversity, Glasgow is divided by extremes of wealth and poverty. However, the city addresses these challenges with imagination and creativity. In 1990, as Europe’s Capital of Culture, Glasgow caught the world’s attention and showed how powerful the arts can be for social and economic development. In 2014, Glasgow reached another historic landmark in its presentation of the 2014 Commonwealth Games and its accompanying cultural programme.
As a Creative City of Music, Glasgow envisages:
- increasing participation in music for everyone in the city, with special importance being given to women and youth. Moreover, the Big Big Sing project promotes singing as an art form but also as an activity promoting health and wellbeing and a tool for overcoming the challenges of social exclusion;
- championing partnerships, targeting families and young people, with companies that produce music. Through its Music Fun Days and new Big Music for Minis initiatives, Glasgow invites companies to showcase their work and expand their audiences;
- participating annually in artistic exchanges with other cities in the UCCN enabling professionals from Glasgow to meet international colleagues, perform and extend their experience and practice; and
- strengthening its music industry by celebrating Glasgow’s heritage and tourism infrastructure. In 2015 Glasgow will publish Dear Green Sounds, a history of music and venues in the city linked to tourism activities such as walking tours and package deals.