Orkney is a land of great contrast. There are wide open spaces where, apart from distant birdsong, you will not hear a sound. On other days, the wind and crashing waves will provide your only accompaniment. However, head to our towns and villages and the volume is turned up! Nothing captures the true spirit of Orkney like music!

Walk down any street and there's every chance you'll be greeted by the sound of music. You'll hear musicians tuning up and letting rip - welcome to Orkney! It is often said that music reflects the soul of a community and this is so true of Orkney.

On Orkney, children are encouraged to play an instrument from an early age as generations have done before them. It's in the blood and in schools across the islands emerging young talent is helping to preserve this reputation. Orkney has a rich and diverse musical heritage and a long tradition of fiddle and accordion music. Today, groups including the Orkney Traditional Music Project and the Orkney Strathspey & Reel Society keep the music alive and ensure that this unique sound is introduced to new audiences.

Orkney's stature is such that the islands have forged strong cultural links with musicians from the world over, many of whom perform at the famous St Magnus International Festival held in June each year. In fact, in recent times Orkney has hosted performances from violin maestro Nicola Benedetti, country legend Steve Earle and everyone's favourite folk rock combo Mumford & Sons. Now, that's some line up!

Here, anything goes and all tastes are catered for. Each year, festivals celebrating jazz, folk, blues and ceilidh music attract large and loyal audiences. And in pubs and village halls throughout Orkney, there's always something going on. Orcadians take little persuasion to strike up a tune. Every event needs live music - a wedding, Christmas party, or simply a get together of friends celebrating the fact that the weekend has begun! It's that sort of place and you're welcome to join us!

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