MUS2014 : Folk Tunes and Airs: performing the melodic tradition
- Offered for Year: 2019/20
- Module Leader(s): Dr Simon McKerrell
- Owning School: Arts & Cultures
- Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
|Semester 1 Credit Value:||10|
|Semester 2 Credit Value:||10|
At the end of the module, a student should be able to demonstrate:
1. a knowledge of the major genres and forms of oral traditional music in the British Isles and Ireland
2. an ability to perform to at least a basic standard, several instrumental tunes and airs in recognisable sets that take account of traditional genres and styles of performance.
3. familiarity with the critical discourse and theoretical debates surrounding composition in traditional music, structure, oral tradition, communal performance, and the aesthetics of performance and sessions.
4. an ability to compare genres, themes and content across a number of British and Irish genres of melodic traditional music.
5. the ability to recognise and identify by ear essential components of a musical style
6. the ability to recognise and describe musical organisation, style, genre or tradition in a tightly defined musical tradition
Outline Of Syllabus
The module is explicitly designed for any melody player across any of the music programmes or elsewhere in the faculty; no prior performance expertise in traditional or folk musics is required and students from any degree programme are encouraged to attend—the focus is not on excellence of performance but on understanding and comprehension of melodic structure, variation and improvisation in folk tunes and airs.
Students will be guided through selected critical listening and session performance of several key areas of British and Irish folk tunes and airs taking account of some key concepts and their manifestation in traditional music performance:
• Key genres: jigs, reels, hornpipes, slow airs, Gaelic airs, marches, waltzes, Highlands, strathspeys, slides, polkas etc.
• Phrase structure and repetition
• Melodic variation and contour in folk tunes and airs
• Regional style
• Dance music genres
• Agogic stress
• Improvisation within traditional music and the boundaries of aesthetic practice
• Notational systems in British/Irish traditional music (Great Stave, ABC, canntaireachd, mnemonics, The Sliabh Luachra ‘Code’ etc.)
The module is entirely focused on folk tunes and airs and therefore students taking the module must be able to perform on a melodic instrument of any diatonic kind (the module is not available to singers or to non-Western tuned instruments). Many instruments are however encouraged for students e.g. fiddle (violin), guitar, banjo, clarinet, oboe, cello, viola, bagpipes (Scottish, Uillean, Border, Northumbrian etc.), flute (Boehm or wooden), whistle, harp, accordion (other free reed instrument), mandolin etc. Students who play brass or keyboard instruments may wish to discuss the suitability of the module with Dr McKerrell prior to making module choices.
|Scheduled Learning And Teaching Activities||Lecture||3||2:00||6:00||Introductory lectures to the musical field|
|Scheduled Learning And Teaching Activities||Practical||1||1:00||1:00||Final Module Performance Event|
|Scheduled Learning And Teaching Activities||Practical||18||2:00||36:00||Guided and taught performance sessions|
|Guided Independent Study||Directed research and reading||40||1:00||40:00||Individual guided listening and reading|
|Guided Independent Study||Skills practice||77||1:00||77:00||Private Practice|
|Guided Independent Study||Project work||40||1:00||40:00||Work on performance project across the year individually and in pairs or small groups|
Teaching Rationale And Relationship
Practical music sessions provide the core of students’ practical learning (A1, A2, A3, A4, A5, A6, A7, B1, B2, B3, B5 above). Lectures provide fora in which students learn key concepts surrounding traditional music performance, transcription, tradition and wider issues of aesthetics and performance practice (A1, A4, A7, B2, B3, B4, B5 above). Directed listening, performing, and reading deepen and strengthen students' understanding of the particular styles of music (A1, A4, A5, A7, B2, B3, B4, B5 above).
The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners
|Performance||60||2||A||70||Peer assessed performance|
|Portfolio||1||M||30||Written portfolio of critical listening commentaries on albums and recordings|
Assessment Rationale And Relationship
Folk tunes and airs performance evaluates basic practical foundation, absorption in practice of key concepts etc. and overall level of progress and application in core practical study. The written portfolio of critical listening commentaries on albums and recordings evaluates your ability to conduct individual research into a topic informing your practice.