THE National Museum’s current exhibition The Story of Scottish Pop appropriates the title of Simon Reynolds’ book about post-punk music, which itself borrowed Rip It Up from the one of the biggest hits of that era, and the most successful single by Glasgow group, Orange Juice. Of course Edwyn Collins, who wrote it, was consciously recycling the title of a record from the beginnings of rock’n’roll for a song that is replete with knowing nods to earlier music, in the post-modern fashion of those crazy early 1980s.

The original Rip It Up was written by Robert “Bumps” Blackwell and John Marascalco, and recorded by both Little Richard and Bill Haley. In the US charts and the eyes of posterity the Georgia Peach won that contest hands down, although in 1956 UK singles buyers went for the white man’s version.

You could take the view that all of that complicates Rip It Up’s adoption as a title for the Scottish exhibition, and for the three-part BBC Scotland documentary series covering the same territory which began screening this week and shares title and subtitle with the NMS display, which is running until the end of November.

On the evidence of this week’s first part, Margaret Shankland’s moving picture show added to its own problems in covering a diverse and fragmentary history by committing to telling it through the prism of national identity, from the tartanalia of Jackie Dennis and the Bay City Rollers (oddly not sporting a flash of plaid in the performance footage used), to the supposed suppression of the pale-skinned Celtic-ness of the Average White Band to entice black radio stations to play their music.

It is a reality of the music documentary method that dubious assertions by musicians and music journalists go unchallenged, or are even spun to justify aspirational connections and tee-up other footage. BBC Scotland’s Rip It Up, or at least this chapter of it, entitled Blazing A Trail, seemed particularly guilty of that. More generously, you might judge that it helped structure a narrative line through some drastic leaps across the years and genres, making the most of the interviews and the archive footage the producers had managed to find. The sociological story of the development of music is a tale that can be told in as many ways as feline companions may be denuded of their coats. In the end, it is only the sound that matters.

That, of course, is the also problem with the exhibition. If writing about music is like dancing about architecture, artefacts in glass cases are even more heretical to the spirit of free-wheeling, ever-evolving pop. There are an awful lot of guitars, stage clothes and industry prizes to look at as you wander round Rip It Up. Fond though I am of the music of Paolo Nutini, the shirt he wore at T in the Park adds diddly to my appreciation of his talent. On the other hand, the spangly trousers once sported by Biffy Clyro’s Simon Neil are worth a giggle, and Lulu is clearly making a point about how she has defied the ravages of time by lending both a frock she wore in the early 1960s and one from her work with Take That 30 years later, both exactly the same diminutive size.

There are opportunities to pause to listen to a record you may not know on the digital jukebox, or watch a video you missed, but, notwithstanding the touching tribute to Frightened Rabbit’s Scott Hutchison that has been incorporated at its end, the second half of the Rip It Up exhibition does have the feel of a race-for-the-tape to demonstrate the broadest musical inclusiveness. In some ways, then, suffers from exactly the opposite problem to that with the TV programme. Wha’s like us, eh?