Due to developments within music technology and media, Western notions and conceptions of the voice have changed fundamentally. Internet-based media provides examples of how listeners celebrate and fetishise voices that have become detached from their performance context, in terms of time, space, linguistic and cultural context, as well as from their bodily source. Thus the listener is given wide interpretive freedom and signification possibilities. To discuss these processes, this article looks at the changes in performance practice and style within the genre of Scottish Gaelic work songs, and at how the genre has become highly romanticized by the ideology of ‘Celticism’. Furthermore, it discusses the role of recording and amplification technology in the development of the soft «Celtic» sound.

Keywords: Voice, microphone, Celtic, gender, Scottish Gaelic work songs