Peter’s Tapes: Private collections and mid-century Cape Breton musical culture

  • Stephanie Conn Brock University (Adjunct)


The late Peter MacLean’s private collection of forty-eight reel-to-reel tapes is a connoisseur’s archive of Gaelic and English songs, fiddle music and radio shows, and a resource that sustained MacLean’s own practice in his later years. This article makes a preliminary survey of the collection and considers it as a significant piece of Cape Breton musical history. Personal recordings of house parties are a source of rare performances and windows into an individual’s musical experience. They also reveal much about céilidh culture in mid-20th-century Cape Breton, providing material to carry that culture into the future.

Author Biography

Stephanie Conn, Brock University (Adjunct)
Independent scholar


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How to Cite
ConnS. (2017). Peter’s Tapes: Private collections and mid-century Cape Breton musical culture. The International Journal of Traditional Arts, 1(1). Retrieved from