The Ulster-Scots Folk Orchestra







The Ulster Scots Folk Orchestra (USFO) is a band of musicians who come together to perform music from the Ulster-Scots tradition, and are part of a wider revival of interest in Ulster-Scots language and culture that developed during the 1990s. They draw on long established practices of community music making, including gospel-singing, fiddling, piping, flute and accordion bands, drumming and fifing, but they combine these traditions in innovative ways, producing sounds that are both new and distinctive. Their focus on the local is complemented by the creative use of related traditions in Scotland, Ireland and the Scots-Irish diaspora in North America.



The USFO are of particular interest to anthropologists as an example of ways in which local and regional communities may preserve and adapt their cultural practices to maintain a sense of belonging in a changing and globalising world.

This study was conducted during summer 2004. Some members have since left the ensemble to pursue other projects, whilst other musicians have joined.


Click button to listen to an audio recording of the USFO -Roughcut from in the Byre.




This website has been prepared as part of the ‘Music-making in Belfast’ project under the auspices of the School of Anthopological Studies of Queen University of Belfast. Unless otherwise indicated, all views expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of the USFO.