Hebridean Celtic Festival © Colin Cameron
Pulsating, vibrant, rousing and… electrifying?!? It's safe to say the Scottish traditional music in the 21st century offers a few surprises. You might think you know what traditional music is all about, but delve into today's dynamic music scene and you're bound to find something unexpected yet wholly captivating. Beware: it's pretty easy to get hooked!

Get connected in winter

Scott Wood Band Scott Wood Band at Oran Mor during Celtic Connections 2016 © FirstThreeSongs/James Carney

Did you know Celtic Connections features over 2,000 artists? A firm favourite in the live music calendar, this Glasgow festival offers a diverse range of Celtic, roots and world music, so unsurprisingly it's a hotbed for some of the most talented contemporary trad artists.

Usually spanning over three weeks in late January and early February, it's the perfect start to get a feel for the Scottish musical landscape with showcases and collaborations such as the World Beat Bothy and the Roaming Roots Revue.

Feel Scotland's rhythm in spring

In late April and early May, check out Edinburgh's TradFest, one of the biggest festivals promoting Scotland's traditional arts and Gaelic culture, with events across a range of city venues including The Pleasance and The Caves.

In the north, experience live music at the lively Shetland Folk Festival in April, a must for fans of fiddle music, or voyage to Orkney in May for the Orkney Folk Festival which features a bill of both home-grown talent and international acts.

On the Isle of Mull, spirits are high during the Mull Music Festival in April. Over the course of a weekend, the pubs and bars of Tobermory become filled with Scottish music and cheerful revelry.

Curated by trad-fusion band Skerryvore, Oban Live serves up two days of Scottish sounds in May, while near Castle Douglas in the beautiful Dumfries & Galloway, also in May, you can join a community of world music lovers at the likes of Knockengorroch World Ceilidh.

Starting in late May,  Fèis Ìle, the Islay Festival of Music and Malt, is the ideal opportunity to sample fine whiskies, Islay's most famous export, as well as experience folk sessions, trad concerts and ceilidhs.

Trad music has something special about it nowadays. You get the freedom to play what you want, be as creative as you can be, experiment with your different influences and essentially express yourself as who you are.

Mohsen Amini, BBC Young Traditional Musician of the Year

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