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

Postgraduate Course: Traditional Music (SCET11040)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThrough a series of thematic case studies, this course explores traditional music in Scotland from early times to current day. One piece of required reading and listening will accompany each seminar and a study trip will take place as part of the course. Field recordings from the School of Scottish Studies Archives will be complemented by commercial recordings from contemporary musicians.

There will be opportunities to play and experience examples of traditional music repertoire and participants are expected to participate and encourage each other as part of this process.

NB There are two pathways for this course: this pathway (standard) and a performance pathway (by audition) focusing on critical engagement, creative interpretation and performance. There is also a level 10 version of the course.
Course description Traditional Music provides a platform to understand traditional music repertoire and practice more fully, to contextualise traditional music through listening and/or playing, analysis, critical evaluation of leading scholarship and discussion. The discipline of ethnomusicology will be emphasised along with the introduction and development of key skills of fieldwork and descriptive analysis.

Themes and case studies can include: Scotland¿s ¿national¿ instruments, ¿Broken¿ tradition: Scottish harp, Niel Gow and eighteenth-century dance music, Composers and collections, Twentieth-century revival: Search for authenticity, Tradition and community, Electronic tradition, Advances in harmony, Contemporary practice: Seeking genre parity.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs There might be the opportunity for a study visit to a live concert. If funding cannot be sourced for this, the cost to be met by students will be approximately £10-15.
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. ¿ Demonstrate familiarity with case-studies of traditional music
  2. ¿ Demonstrate a solid grasp of some of the major composers and collections
  3. ¿ Show awareness of some of the issues connected to traditional music e.g. orality and literacy, transmission, patronage, authenticity, change and stability, revival, community, identity, innovation, parity, commercialism
  4. ¿ Show competence in transferable skills, e.g. critical evaluation of source material, independent reading, coherent and clearly structured writing, oral presentation, group discussion, time management.
Reading List

M.A. Alburger, Scottish Fiddlers and their Music (Gollancz, 1983/Hardie Press, 1996).

P. Bohlman, The Study of Folk Music in the Modern World (Indiana University Press, 1988).

F. Collinson, The Traditional and National Music of Scotland. (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1966/1970).

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

R. Finnegan, The Hidden Musicians: Music-Making in an English Town (Cambridge University Press, 1986).

J. Ling, A History of European Folk Music (University of Rochester Press, 1997).

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

S. McKerrell Ed., Focus: Scottish Traditional Music (Routledge, 2015).

A. Munro, The Democratic Muse: Folk Music Revival in Scotland (Scottish Cultural Press, 1996).

J. Purser, Scotland¿s Music (Mainstream, 1992).

K. Sanger and A. Kinnaird, Tree of Strings: A History of the Harp in Scotland (Kinmor Music, 1992).

M. Stokes and P. Bohlman Eds , Celtic Modern: Music at the Global Fringe (Scarecrow Press, 2003).


M. A. Alburger and I. Russell Eds, Play it Like it Is (University of Aberdeen, 2006).

G. Barz and T. Cooley Ed.s, Shadows in the Field: New Perspectives for Fieldwork in Ethnomusicology (Oxford University Press, 1997).

J. Blacking, How Musical is Man? (University of Washington Press, 1973).

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]

K. Campbell, The Fiddle in Scottish Culture (John Donald, 2007).

R. Cannon, The Highland Bagpipe and its Music (John Donald, 1988).

H. Cheape, Bagpipes: A National Collection of a National Instrument (National Museums Scotland, 2008).

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

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

C. Gore, The Scottish Fiddle Music Index (Amaising, 1994).

D. Johnson, Music and Society in Lowland Scotland in the Eighteenth Century (OUP, 1972).

D. Johnson, Scottish Fiddle Music in the Eighteenth Century (Mercat Press, 1997).

G. W. Lockhart, Fiddles and Folk (Luath, 1998).

S. MacNeill and F. Richardson, Piobaireachd and its Interpretation (John Donald, 1987).

A. Merriam, The Anthropology of Music. (Northwestern University Press, 1964).

B. Nettl, The Study of Ethnomusicology: Thirty-One Issues and Concepts. (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2005).

B. Nettl, Folk and Traditional Music of the Western Continents (Prentice-Hall, 1965/1973).

M. Stokes Ed., Ethnicity, Identity and Music: The Musical Construction of Place (Berg, 1994).

Further :

H. Myers Ed., Ethnomusicology: An Introduction (Norton, 1992).

H. Myers Ed., Ethnomusicology. 2 vols (Macmillan Press, 1992-93).

J. C. Post, Ethnomusicology: A Guide to Research (Routledge, 2003).

K. Shelemay, Soundscapes: Exploring Music in a Changing World (W.W. Norton, 2006).

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
¿ Flexibility

¿ create, identify and evaluate options in order to solve complex problems in critical work
¿ analyse facts and situations and apply creative thinking to develop the appropriate solutions
¿ 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, and reporting
¿ understand 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, digital archives, and use of internet search engines
¿ establish personal vision and goals
¿ be critically self-aware, self-reflective and self-manage in order to fully maximise potential
¿ 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
¿ be effective communicators who are able to read and write, present, listen, influence and network
¿ be an interactive communicator
¿ 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
¿ have multicultural and global awareness and understand the diversity in people and different situations including online
¿ 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
¿ develop and use emotional intelligence and empathy
¿ plan, prioritise, and effectively use resources to achieve goals
¿ 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 performance pathway students and undergraduate students.
KeywordsTraditional,music,folk,oral tradition,Scotland,fiddle,harp,pipes,revival,context,historical,modern
Course organiserDr Lori Watson
Tel: (0131 6)50 8415
Course secretaryMiss Charlotte McLean
Tel: (0131 6)50 4114
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