Given the astonishing range of pop music produced in Scotland since the 1950s, from chart favourites including Lulu, Garbage and Franz Ferdinand to the more esoteric sounds of Mogwai, a major exhibition highlighting its cultural significance is long overdue.
Perhaps anticipating a furore over potential omissions, the National Museum of Scotland said it expects a “huge amount of lively debate”, but given the number of acts there are bound to be some. As Midge Ure points out, Scotland has “punched way above our weight” on the international stage. The importance of music and the arts can be overlooked but, as the influence of Hollywood on the world’s attitudes to the United States demonstrates, they are key elements of “soft power”.
Music, in particular, often arouses strong passions. And love for a Scottish band can translate into anything from warm feelings towards Scotland to hard tourist cash as people visit the country.
But the sounds of modern Scotland should actually be celebrated for one reason alone: the sheer joy it has brought to millions of people all over the world.