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Will Yes vote silence the roar of our BBC-backed arts?

The BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra is halfway through its two-day celebration of American composer Elliott Carter as I write this - an event that, like the Tectonics weekend earlier this month, has proved there is a real appetite for contemporary music in Glasgow and Scotland.

It is also important to point out that the SSO, perhaps particularly since the association of conductor Ilan Volkov with the orchestra, is in the front rank among the pantheon of BBC bands, and indeed UK orchestras, in making a speciality of 20th and 21st-century repertoire.

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Would this bold role continue in the event of a vote for Scottish independence? Indeed, is there any guarantee of a future for the SSO, whose primary role is to make music to fill the schedule of Radio 3 for the British Broadcasting Corporation, in the event of a Yes vote?

The truth is that, like so much else left untouched by the debate, no-one seems to know. The BBC will not comment on such issues until the result is known, and the SNP's proposal to create a Scottish Broadcasting Service, which Fiona Hyslop's speech to the Royal Television Society in Glasgow last week did disappointingly little to flesh out, makes no mention of the orchestra, or anything much else of the infrastructure of the BBC in Scotland.

Last weekend the BBC's pop music station, Radio 1, set up camp in George Square and on Glasgow Green, an exercise that filled the radio waves and BBC Three digital channel with performances by top rock and pop names from both sides of the Atlantic including Katy Perry (pictured), a remarkable bill of fare that stole a march on the summer festivals and set a benchmark for Glastonbury, T in the Park, Latitude and the rest in the way that can only be done by an organisation with the clout of the BBC. It seems unlikely at best that such an exercise would be repeated were Scotland to decide on independence. The British Broadcasting Corporation would not mount such an event in Dublin, although its claim to be a capital of music is every bit as strong as Glasgow's, Unesco designation notwithstanding.

On the weekend following the Tectonics at Glasgow's City Halls, for the first time in a decade the final of the BBC Young Musician of the Year was held in Scotland, at Edinburgh's Usher Hall, with the BBC SSO as the house band, again for the first time in 10 years. The winner back in 2004 was violinist Nicola Benedetti, who has not only become one of the most conspicuously successful of the competition's victors and a great ambassador for the prize, but is also the last Scot to win. I know I am not the first person to wonder if the truth of that designation may carry on in perpetuity, if there is a Yes vote in September.

In a week where the debate leading up to the referendum has been reduced to an argument over £1000 or so being added or subtracted from each Scot's personal wealth, these questions, taken collectively, can hardly be accused of being trivial. And although I can confidently predict nationalist-minded web-junkies claiming that this 2014 focus on Scottish venues for BBC events is some sort of conspiracy designed to undermine the SNP cause, I am convinced there is no evidence for that whatsoever, the building blocks of all of them being in place before the voting date was decided. What strikes me as strange is that while artists in Scotland have been among the most outspoken supporters of the Yes campaign, nobody on either side of the question yet seems interested in talking practically about the impact of such a decision on the arts.

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