Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 2 (Taught over 2 semesters)
Mutually Exclusive
Mutually Exclusive

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 22 Hours.
Seminars / Tutorials 8 (four per semester) one hour tutorials


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 1 Hours   One hour aural examination  20%
Semester Assessment 8 Research assignments/presentations  40%
Semester Exam 1.5 Hours   Final Examination  40%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

Identify musical forms, genres, and styles with reference to their place of origin.

Describe the historical development and performance context of these forms.

Discuss the social dimensions of traditional music and its historical and literary role in self-definition.

In the case of students with performance skills, to perform traditional music in an authentic manner.

Brief description

This module examines the history and development of those features which have come to define traditional music ('national music' in an older terminology) within each of the Celtic-speaking countries. It also examines the social role of the singer or musician in relation to his local community and nation.


By lecture topic (a provisional list)
1. `Traditional music of the Celtic countries' vs. `Celtic music' : an introduction to the main issues.
2. The place of musical art and musicians in the Celtic-speaking populations of antiquity and the middle ages (as seen in law and literature)
3. The harp in the middle ages: Wales and Ireland
4. The Robert ap Huw manuscript
5. The pipes and the development of the `classical' tradition in Scotland
6. The `emergence' of Gaelic and British traditional music in the seventeenth century.
7. Song-forms in Scotland.
8. Song-forms in Ireland.
9. Song-forms in in Wales.
10. Song-forms in Brittany
11. Dance and Dance-music in Scotland and Ireland.
12. Dance and Dance-music in Wales.
13. Dance and Dance-music in Brittany
14. Fiddle styles in Ireland and Scotland
15. The traditional `bard' in Scotland
16. The traditional musician in Ireland (case study)
17. The traditional musician in Scotland or Cape Breton (case study)
18. The traditional musician in Scotland (case study)
19. The traditional singer in Wales (case study)
20. Musical collections and nationalism
21. Musical revival in Ireland
22. Musical revival in Wales and Brittany
23. Traditional music in emigrant communities
23. Functional differentiation and sex roles within 'traditional music'
24. Recording and marketing of `Celtic Music'.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Communication Written course-work is required and will be assessed so as to encourage the development of the appropriate skills and formats. Students are expected to participate in oral discussions in tutorials.
Improving own Learning and Performance Feedback will be given on all tutorials
Information Technology Students will be expected to use the Internet and computer resources (e.g. mp3 files, RealPlayer video, and audio programs such as Audacity) for course-work. Technical (i.e. musicological) presentations will make use of text-based 'ABC' music files. This will allow them to create and play musical files which may then be printed in standard notation.
Personal Development and Career planning Engagement with art forms should always lead to the development of aesthetic values. In addition to this - and given the current popularity of 'Celtic traditional music', a good understanding of the genre will be useful for students interested in the arts, broadcasting, and entertainment.
Problem solving Analysis and critical evaluation are expected from the students.
Research skills Tutorial assignments will require independent research and active engagement with the art-forms under discussion.
Team work In certain cases two aspects of a tutorial presentation be shared by two individuals, each one concentrating on a different component (e.g. musical transcriptions and analysis vs. biographical or historical research). Their individual contributions to the presentation, however, will be assessed independently.


This module is at CQFW Level 4