In this digital age, it seems that music is forever in the headlines.

The music industry is dead. Streaming is the future. Vinyl is back. Live music is where it's at. And so on ... Another debate rages on, however: in what form should music be on television, if at all?

Without sounding unnecessarily nostalgic about some kind of mythical bygone era, music television was part of my upbringing and occasionally a cultural epiphany for fans, friends and aspiring musicians. Top Of The Pops' importance has been well documented, as has its decline in viewing figures and ratings; but I will always remember key moments watching Adam & The Ants, Madness, The Smiths and Stone Roses breaking the deadlock of manufactured pop supremacy and showing us an alternative at primetime.

Once I had become a bonafide music nerd, I discovered The Old Grey Whistle Test for more in-depth, considered and chin-stroking analysis of rock's subcultures and nuances, with Bob Harris, Mark Ellen and Annie Nightingale presenting. It clearly had some extraordinary moments, which is why DVDs of the programme are still sold and clips from episodes repeated on BBC Four.

Obviously, the Later… With Jools Holland strand has inherited Whistle Test's mantle, appealing to the epicurean tastes of the real rock, blues and world music fan over an eye-watering 42 series since 1992. It works well, and 22 years on air is proof of its continuing success. I'm still glued to it most weeks, even if the format does feel somewhat tired and lazy at times.

I do however often pine for the Zoo TV programmes of the 1980s and 1990s, which I feel are sorely missed today. Notoriously, The Tube was a total shambles but also hugely enjoyable. Not only did it introduce us to the likes of Muriel Gray, Paula Yates and the aforementioned Jools Holland, but it also served up an unruly and disobedient mix of visual arts, performance, film and music for an explosive five years. What's more, it gave lots of artists their first and sometimes only TV exposure.

A few years later, The Word appeared on our screens and was almost as good. Unconventional, uproarious and rather tasteless at times, it was here we first watched Mark Lamarr, Terry Christian and Amanda de Cadenet, as well as untamed performances from Nirvana and others.

What compares today? I'd like to see a modern equivalent of the latter two shows, and I'm certain the audience is there for them. The blanket coverage of live music at Glastonbury, T in the Park and Reading festivals is admittedly great, but you sometimes miss a sense of unpredictability and chaos in proceedings.

If watching these weekly music shows was a bonding experience, and gave insight into hippy, glam, punk, acid-house and hip-hop countercultures, the argument is that everything today is available online. It's true that the likes of YouTube, Facebook and Twitter connect us in new ways, but I do think television offers something unique in its own right.

Perhaps pop music has actually lost its cachet. Maybe the danger has gone. It certainly surrounds us like never before; on film, in computers games, at shopping malls and hairdressers. Punk rock can now underpin a car advertisement. Maybe it's simply less rebellious, less tribal and less of a definitive lifestyle choice for teenagers.

Or is rock'n'roll still regarded as a low-brow, less worthy art form? You do see specialist presenters in news, sport, current affairs and visual arts, but that doesn't seem to happen so much in contemporary music. The exceptions to the rule are tucked away on BBC Four, where documentaries and themed specials are well received by minority audiences. And you might occasionally see Paul Morley analysing something on BBC Two's Culture or Review shows from time to time.

Within two minutes of a planned meeting with a television commissioner years ago, I was once given the short, sharp retort to my A4 dossier of potential programme ideas: "Music doesn't work on TV!" That was the end of the discussion, before it had even begun. Not only did it feel like a personal defeat, I found this reaction disappointing and utterly unfair. However, from what I've gathered, this may not be an uncommon opinion.

On August 21, another series of Rapal started on BBC Alba and will be broadcast weekly for 12 weeks, as well as appearing online. As a presenter, this is my third series on the show and gives me the rare opportunity to talk on camera about a selection of trailblazing local acts who are making headway at home and abroad, such as Honeyblood, Casual Sex, The Amazing Snakeheads and Capitol 1212.

I am not a native Gaelic speaker, and in truth only know a few phrases, but I am delighted to have my own A Reir Vic (According To Vic) feature, alongside presenting anchor Emma MacInnes. It's a simple format, made on a shoestring budget, with artists performing brief, live sets in the BBC Scotland studios.

It's also testament to BBC Alba's commitment to music, arts and culture that the show is now in its eighth series. Sadly, and rather unbelievably, it is still one of the only places on TV where new Scottish artists can be seen and heard. It might not change the world, or indeed television as we know it, but it's a great platform for musicians and might just connect with a new generation of young, aspiring music fanatics. Long live music on the telly.

Vic Galloway presents on BBC Radio Scotland on Mondays at 8.05pm, with Nicola Meighan sitting in as host tomorrow. Rapal is on BBC Alba on Thursdays at 10pm; this week's show features Kendà Nagäsaki, The Moon Kids, Turtle, LAW and Have Mercy Las Vegas. Contact Vic at