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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures : Scottish Ethnology

Postgraduate Course: Traditional Arts Project (performance) (SCET11038)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
Course typeDissertation AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits60 ECTS Credits30
SummaryA student-led project to advance your traditional artistry, creativity and performance abilities in your chosen traditional arts specialism.
This course is an exciting opportunity to work 1:1 with an expert professional in your field, to explore a specialist area of your choosing and to create a significant performance. You might already have an idea for a performance work that you want to develop, or you might choose to develop your performance in response to fresh research and practice.
You are expected to support your performance development with ethnological and/or artistic research methods to produce a project folio containing dissertation or creative work, and supporting materials.
Project proposals (indication of repertoire, theme/concept, methods and sources) must be approved by course organiser.
NB There are two pathways for this course: this pathway (performance) and an additional standard pathway, which facilitates production of a dissertation or creative work.
Course description With 20 hours of specialist 1:1 tuition, participants will plan, propose, develop and produce an individual performance in their chosen field of traditional music, storytelling, or dance.
Participants are further supported with feedback from the course organiser at assessment points and at a mid-course checkpoint to evaluate progress and ability to progress to project submission.

Final performances are promoted publicly as part of a programme of events.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate an ability to plan and structure a significant project of performance development and artistic research, to the standards set out in the course descriptor
  2. Communicate advanced contextual knowledge (e.g. historic, cultural, socio-political) and/or creative knowledge (e.g. form, stylistic understanding, expressive skill relating to the traditional idiom) of the traditional arts of music, storytelling or dance
  3. Demonstrate the application of critical analysis, evaluation and synthesis to complex issues and relevant scholarship and practice, which require informed or critical judgments, or both
  4. Demonstrate skills in presenting a performance to an agreed format, which is consistently clear and coherent
Reading List
Students should seek out sources relevant to their chosen performance theme (particularly repertoire) and repertoire sources will be recommended throughout the course.


J. Beech, et al. ed.s, Scottish Life and Society: Oral Literature and Performance Culture A Compendium of Scottish Ethnology, vol. 10. (Edinburgh: John Donald in association with the European Ethnological Research Centre, 2007) [See Part Two: Song and Music]

P. Cooke, The Fiddle Tradition of the Shetland Isles (Cambridge University Press, 1986).

J. Dickson ed., The Highland Bagpipe: Music, History, Tradition (Ashgate 2009).

J. Dickson, When Piping Was Strong (John Donald, 2006).

K.E Dunlay, and D. Greenberg, ed.s Traditional Celtic Music of Cape Breton: The DunGreen Collection (Toronto, Ontario: DunGreen Music, 1996)

J.G. Gibson, Traditional Gaelic Bagpiping 1745-1945 (Edinburgh: National Museums of Scotland, 1998)

E. Lyle, F. J. Fischer and S. Rieuwerts Emily Lyle: Persistent Scholar (Trier: Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier, 2007)

N. MacKinnon, The British Folk Scene: Musical Performance and Social Identity (Open University Press, 1994).

I. Russell and C. Ingram, Taking part in music: case studies in ethnomusicology
European Seminar in Ethnomusicology, Elphinstone Institute (Aberdeen: Aberdeen University Press in association with the European Seminar in Ethnomusicology, 2013).

G. West, Voicing Scotland (Edinburgh, Luath; 2012)

L. Williamson, Narratve Singing Among the Scots Travellers: a study of strophic variation in ballad performance (Thesis, 1985) [available online and in special colections]


R. Bauman, Verbal Art as Performance (Prospect Heights, Illinois: Waveland Press, 1984).

R. Bauman, Story, Performance and Event: Contextual studies of oral narrative (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986)

D. Ben-Amos and K. S Goldstein, ed.s, Folklore: Performance and communication
(The Hague: Mouton, American Folklore Society, 1975)

D. Braid, Scottish Traveller Tales: Lives shaped through stories (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2002).

J. Goody, Myth, Ritual and the oral, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010)

M. A. Johnstone et al, music arr. The Scottish Country Dance Book [books 1-52] (Edinburgh: Royal Scottish Country Dance Society, 1983).

A. MacFadyen and F. H. Adams, Dance with your soul: A biography of Jean Callander Milligan LL.D, co-founder of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society (Edinburgh: Royal Scottish Country Dance Society, 1983).

W. B. McCarthy, C. Oxford and J. D. Sobol, Jack in Two Worlds: Contemporary North American tales and their tellers (Chapel Hill, London: University of North Carolina Press, 1994)

R. Ë Maolalaigh [R. Mullaly], The Carole: a study of medieval dance (Farnham: Ashgate, 2011)

R. Schechner, Performance Studies: An Introduction (Oxon: Routledge, 2013) [3rd edition]

A. Siikala, ed. Studies in Oral Narrative S. Sinisalo trans. (Helsinki: Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura, 1989).

T. Smith, Ancestral imprints: Histories of Irish traditional music and dance International Council for Traditional Music (Cork: Cork University Press, 2012).


P. Abbs, A is for aesthetic. Essays on creative and aesethic education (Falmer Press: London, 1989).

P. Abbs ed., The symbolic order. A contemporary reader on the arts debate (London: Falmer Press, 1989). pp. 198-210

F. Bannon and P. Sanderson, ┐Experience every moment: Aesthetically significant dance education┐, Research in Dance Education. Vol. 1 No. 1 (2000). pp9-26

D. Best, Expression in Movement and the Arts. (London: Lepus books, 1976).

D. Best, ┐Aesthetic and artistic; two separate concepts: the dancers of aesthetic education┐ Research in dance education Vol 5 No 2 (2004). pp160-175

M. Boden, The creative mind. myths and mechanisms. (Routledge: London, 2004) [2nd. Edition]

P. Brinson Dance as Education: Towards a National Dance. Falmer Press Library on Aesthetic Education (London: Routledge, 1991).

U. Brockling ┐On creativity: a brainstorming session┐ Educational philosophy and theory. Vol. 38 No.4 (2006). pp 513-518

A. Carter, The Routledge Dance Studies Reader. (London: Routledge, 1999)

E. Gibbons, Teaching Dance: The Spectrum of Styles. (USA: Authorhouse, 2007)

M. Gough, In touch with dance (Winterthorn Books: Lancaster, 1993).

G. Mcfee, Understanding Dance (London: Routledge, 1996)

J. Smith-Autard, Dance Composition (A&C Black: London, 2004). [5th edition]

Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills ┐ Problem solving
┐ Critical and analytical thinking
┐ Independent research
┐ Handling complexity and ambiguity
┐ Digital literacy
┐ Creativity and inventive thinking
┐ Ethics and social responsibility
┐ Self-awareness and reflection
┐ Independent learning and development
┐ Decision making
┐ Interpersonal skills
┐ Verbal communication and presentation
┐ Written communications
┐ Planning
┐ Organising and time management
┐ Assertiveness and confidence
Including the ability to:
┐ produce clear, expressive, contextualised performance
┐ create, identify and evaluate options in order to solve complex problems in creative and critical work and collaborative projects
┐ analyse facts and situations and apply creative thinking to develop the appropriate solutions
┐ identify and ask questions of their own work and each other in collaboration
┐ analyse, synthesise, critically and methodically appraise ideas and information, recent scholarship and practice to break down complex problems into manageable components.
┐ capability to evaluate information thoroughly; identifying assumptions, detecting false logic or reasoning and defining terms accurately in order to make an informed judgement.
┐ conduct research and enquiry into relevant issues through research design, the collection and analysis of quantitative and qualitative data, synthesising, reporting and contributing to creative work
┐ have an understanding of contextually relevant ethics and values, self-awareness, mental flexibility and openness, resilience and a commitment to life-long learning
┐ use and maintain IT and ICT skills, including familiarity with word processing, presentation software, audio and video recording, digital archives, use of internet search engines, and social media for learning, disseminating and promotion, and to consider future developments in relation to their practice
┐ establish personal vision and goals
┐ be critically self-aware, self-reflective and self-manage in order to fully maximise potential
┐ think creatively and manage the creative process in oneself
┐ be adaptable and manage complexity and self-direction
┐ be curious, creative, and take risks
┐ develop higher-order thinking and sound reasoning
┐ recognise and address ethical dilemmas, social responsibility and sustainability issues, apply ethical and their own/ethnological values to situations and choices
┐ learn how to deal with setbacks and failures and learn and develop from these
┐ seek and value open feedback to help self-awareness
┐ think independently, exercise personal judgement and take initiative
┐ succeed in a rapidly changing environment
┐ analysing facts and situations and apply creative and inventive thinking to develop appropriate solutions and responses
┐ be effective communicators who are able to read and write, present, listen, influence and network
┐ develop oral communication of complex ideas and arguments using a range of media
┐ communicate and persuade orally and in writing
┐ articulate and effectively explain information
┐ be able to communicate complex ideas and arguments in writing using a range of media from formal writing to social media
┐ have the ability to produce clear, structured written work
┐ plan, prioritise, and effectively use resources to achieve goals
┐ understand the importance of innovation and taking calculated risks
┐ acquire skills for working in teams and groups, leading where appropriate
┐ demonstrate inventive thinking┐adaptability, managing complexity and self-direction
KeywordsProject,independent,dissertation,creative work,traditional,arts,music,storytelling,dance,research
Course organiserProf Gary West
Tel: (0131 6)50 4151
Course secretaryMiss Charlotte McLean
Tel: (0131 6)50 4114
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