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MUS1096 : Traditions of These Islands

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Ms Catriona Macdonald
  • Lecturer: Mr Alistair Anderson, Ms Nancy Kerr Elliott, Dr Matthew Ord, Ms Kathryn Tickell, Dr Matt Price, Mrs Sandra Kerr, Mr Niles Krieger
  • Owning School: Arts & Cultures
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 10.0


•       To provide an overview of the vocal and instrumental traditions of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales
•       To widen the student’s repertoire to include material from areas they might previously have not known
•       To demonstrate the strength of traditional material from all these traditions
•       To introduce students to some of the conventions and disciplines of folk music studies and university undergraduate work

The course provides an overview of the vocal and instrumental traditions of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales and seeks to establish a base-line knowledge, with particular reference both to stylistic divergence and the overlap and evolution of repertoire between communities. The module should help students to articulate the differences and common strands found within the traditions of these islands, and to develop their own understanding of what constitutes a “tradition” . It will also provide an introduction to some of the conventions and disciplines of folk music studies.

Outline Of Syllabus

This module offers a broad-based introduction to the study of musical traditions of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales and will focus on:
•       Significant and essential foundation knowledge for folk music studies
•       Technical understanding (for example ornamentation and tune types)
•       The roles of orality and literacy in traditional music
•       Musical instruments and instrumental genres and styles
•       Song genres (for example ballads, ceremonial music and love songs) and singing styles
•       Regionality and diversity in musical traditions

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture132:0026:00Present in Person Lectures
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials73:0021:00Asynchronous lecture materials, in conjunction with PiP seminar
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials20:301:00Bookable online Essay tutorial surgeries (2x 30 minute tutorials)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops71:007:00Present in Person or online small group seminars.
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1145:00145:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

A mixture of Present in Person and Online asynchronous lectures are given by a team of staff members. Present in Person or synchronous online seminar given in conjunction with asynchronous lecture materials give students the opportunity to enrich the contents of lectures and to ask the lecturer questions around the previous lecture content. The seminars may also have an applied element such as tune and song learning, dancing. Much of your learning for this course lies in your private study, which involves listening and reading to build a thorough base - line knowledge of the traditions of these islands and how they sit in relation to the rest of Europe and beyond.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Aural Examination901A30Listening test
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2A703,000 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The final summative essay will establish the concept of academic engagement with key ideas and the listening test will engage the student with stylistic elements contained within regional styles within the aural tradition.

Reading Lists