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

Postgraduate Course: Trad Lab (performance) (SCET11042)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryTrad Lab (performance) brings together performers and facilitators to exchange, experiment and develop performance practice, including weekly performances culminating in a traditional arts showcase.
Trad Lab aims to:
┐ Bring together the traditional arts of music, storytelling and dance in a supportive and creative environment
┐ Explore key concepts, artists and creative work in relation to the traditional arts (from a Scottish perspective)
┐ Enhance individual artistry and performance practice
┐ Provide collaboration skills and experience
┐ Deliver a firm understanding and experience of artistic research methods, particularly reflective practice
Trad Lab is the first course of its kind, at the cutting edge of traditional arts practice.
NB There are two pathways for this course: this pathway (performance), available via audition, and an additional pathway (standard), which focusses on creative facilitating, producing and contextualising of traditional arts performance.
Course description Using artistic research methods, and building on the ethnological knowledge and skills gained in core courses such as Archives and Interpretation, participants will work together to devise and produce a showcase of creative and performance work. The nature of the showcase will be negotiated at the beginning of the course based on participant interests and skills e.g. live performance event(s), audio/video recording(s), or installation. Engagement with the required and suggested sources (text, audio and video) will inform each workshop/seminar.
Four key stages of performance creation are explored through practice and discussion: experimentation and development, collaboration and preparation, performance, and reflection.
Students sign-up to contribute to regular public performances (these can be formal, informal, interactive as decided by the group) and this is followed by an opportunity to reflect and discuss.
The main workshop/seminar each week will focus either on a performance theme or on showcase preparation. Performance themes can include: collaborative devising, exchange and transmission, experimentation, developing a performance philosophy, performance psychology, tradition and context, communication and presence, use of space, reflective practice, curation, project evaluation, and self-promotion.
Participants will maintain a participation and reflection journal (the format of this can be flexible: text, audio, video etc.).
Applicants should note that this course is an exciting opportunity to gain hands-on experience in creative performance practice and as a result of the unpredictable nature of the creative process, adapting and responding positively to changes and other viewpoints will be necessary.
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. Create, research, interpret and examine collaborative traditional arts performance
  2. Critically evaluate advanced theoretical, conceptual and experiential knowledge and understanding and communicate this through written work and performance of traditional music, dance and storytelling
  3. Reflect on, develop and articulate their own traditional arts practice with a mature and individual artistic identity
  4. Demonstrate a range of skills associated with deepening their traditional arts knowledge, prioritising ethnomusicological and artistic research methods, collaborative practice, creative skills, dissemination, and communication
  5. Communicate advanced contextual (historic, cultural, socio-political) knowledge of the traditional arts of music, storytelling and dance
Reading List
Cooke, Peter Ed., Studies in Traditional Music & Dance; proceedings of the 1980 Conference of the United Kingdom National Committee of the International Folk Music Council. (IFMC, 1981)

Dallow, P., ┐Representing creativeness: practice-based approaches to research in creative arts┐ Art, Design & Communication in Higher Education Vol 2, Nos 1 and 2, pp 49-66. (Bristol: Intellect, 2003)

Rubin, David C. (1995) Memory in Oral Traditions: The Cognitive Psychology of Epic, Ballads and Counting-out Rhymes (New York: Oxford University Press)

Melin, M. A Story to Every Dance. The role of lore in enhancing the Scottish solo dance tradition. Limerick and Stockholm: Lorg Press. Published 2018.
Melin, M. ┐Step Dancing in Cape Breton and Scotland: Contrasting Contexts and Creative Processes┐, MUSICultures. Special Issue: Atlantic Roots and Routes, eds. Heather Sparling, Kati Szego, and Frances Wilkinson, 40(1). 2013.
Moon, Jennifer A., Learning Journals: A handbook for reflective practice and professional development (Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge, 2006)

Nettl, Bruno ┐Transposition as a Compositional Technique in Folk and Primitive Music┐ Ethnomusicology vol. 2, no. 2, May 1958 pp. 56-65 (Illinois: University of Illinois Press, 1958)

Newton, M. S. (2013). ┐┐Dannsair air ¨rlar-dÚile thu┐: Gaelic evidence about dance from the mid-17th to late-18th century Highlands.┐ International Review of Scottish Studies 38: 49-78.

Purser, John W., The Canonicity of Scottish Music (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1994)

Sch÷n, Donald A., The Reflective Practitioner (New York: Basic Books, 1984)

Smith, D. Storytelling Scotland: a Nation in Narrative Edinburgh: Polygon, 2001.

Stokes, Martin and Bohlman, Philip Vilas, Celtic Modern: Music at the Global Fringe (Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press, 2003)

Tusa, John, On Creativity: Exploring The Process (London: Methuen, 2004)

Vallely, Fintan, co-ed., Crosbhealach an Cheoil The Crossroads Conference 2003: Education and traditional music (Dublin: Whinstone, 2003)

Vallely, Fintan; Hammilton, Hammy; Vallely, Eithne & Doherty, Liz., ed., Crosbhealach An Cheoil The Crossroads Conference 1996: Tradition and change in Irish Traditional Music (Dublin: Whinstone Music, 1999)

Wendy Welch ┐Who Owns the Story?, Storytelling, Self, Society, 5:1, 1-22, 2008.

A range of example creative works will be explored in workshop/seminars.

School of Scottish Studies archive materials (audio, video, photographs, transcriptions) will feature in workshop/seminar materials.

Additional sources, relevant to emerging project work, will be contributed by participants and tutor.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills ┐ Problem solving
┐ Critical and analytical thinking
┐ Handling complexity and ambiguity
┐ Creativity and inventive thinking
┐ Ethics and social responsibility
┐ Self-awareness and reflection
┐ Independent learning and development
┐ Decision making
┐ Interpersonal skills
┐ Verbal communication and presentation
┐ Cross-cultural communication
┐ Written communications
┐ Negotiation skills
┐ Social media
┐ Leadership
┐ Planning
┐ Organising and time management
┐ Commercial / Professional / Situational awareness
┐ Team working
┐ Enterprise and entrepreneurship
┐ Assertiveness and confidence
┐ Flexibility
Including the ability to:
┐ 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 and responses
┐ 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.
┐ understand contextually relevant ethics and values, self-awareness, mental flexibility and openness, resilience and a commitment to life-long learning
┐ 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 and in others
┐ collaborate and debate effectively to test, modify and strengthen one's own views and aspects of practice
┐ 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
┐ be effective communicators who are able to read and write, present, listen, influence and maintain strong, supportive professional relationships
┐ be an interactive communicator
┐ develop oral communication of complex and abstract ideas using a range of media
┐ have multicultural and global awareness and understand the diversity in people and different situations including online
┐ have the ability to produce clear, expressive, contextualised performance
┐ develop and use emotional intelligence and empathy
┐ develop and maintain a professional presence on social media, as required
┐ work with people from a range of cultures and backgrounds
┐ agree objectives, monitor and motivate the collaborative group
┐ plan, prioritise, and effectively use resources to achieve goals
┐ understand the importance of innovation and taking calculated risks
┐ effectively perform within team environments including the ability to recognise and capitalise on individuals' different thinking, experience and skills
┐ to demonstrate an innovative approach to creativity, collaboration and risk taking
┐ acquire skills for working in teams and groups, leading where appropriate
┐ seek and value open feedback to help self-awareness of working with a team
┐ follow another┐s lead when the context demands it
┐ know how to have a difficult conversation about performance or change
┐ demonstrate inventive thinking┐adaptability, managing complexity and self-direction
┐ effectively adapting emotions, thoughts and behaviours to environments that may be unfamiliar, uncertain and/or diverse
Special Arrangements Jointly taught with postgraduate standard pathway students. (This course benefits from a minimum of four performance pathway students.)
Course organiserDr Lori Watson
Tel: (0131 6)50 8415
Course secretaryMiss Charlotte McLean
Tel: (0131 6)50 4114
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