Texas Tech University

Music, Folklore & Tradition in Irish Cultural History

Course Details

Professor: Dr Christopher J Smith (christopher.smith@ttu.edu)

Course Facebook Page, with extensive annotations: http://on.fb.me/1LGraAP

Google Map of typical itinerary: http://bit.ly/1LGreAg

By permission of instructor ONLY

This seminar is an intensive, topics-oriented survey of the styles, practices, and cultures of music and oral tradition in Ireland since St. Patrick. Drawing on lectures, reading, listening, audio/visual sources, in-class performances, and individual research, this course provides students with an enhanced learning experience combining approaches from folklore, ethnomusicology, cultural and literary history, performance studies, anthropology, geography, and more.

Exploring the interaction between music and other aspects of cultural expression—talking, reading, listening, playing, and singing together—we will discover Irish influences from and to the other Celtic nations and to global communities; the interaction of morality, memory, texts, music, dance, and the sacred; and the impact of the Irish Diaspora on music and culture worldwide.

Tracing the Irish tradition's histories, influences, and modern permutations, and examining them on recordings, video, and in live performance, we will expand our own artistic and intellectual insight and cross-cultural sophistication. Our theme will be the complex combinations of social, historical, political, colonial, economic, biographical, and artistic factors which have shaped Irish culture and identity over the last two millennia.

LIMITED TO TEN STUDENTS ONLY. May be contracted for Honors Credit.


Students on bikes

Study Abroad Component

Intersession study abroad: A final component will be a spring intersession trip (approx. May 21 – June 5) to the West of Ireland, immediately following Spring graduation, during which Dr Smith and Dr Angela Mariani will lead day trips, musical expeditions, and roaming seminars on music, folklore, and cultural history in the Irish countryside. Participation in this trip is a mandatory part of the course and Study Abroad scholarship assistance is available.

Open to undergrads and grad students from across the TTU campus. Permission of instructor required. Fulfills upper-level Music History requirement for music majors.

Requirements include mid-term and final essay exams, a research or creative project, attendance, and participation.

Additional funding is available through the Study Abroad Competitive Scholarship (deadline Jan), applications for which we can help coach: www.studyabroad.ttu.edu

Priority for enrollment in the course is given to (1) graduating seniors and graduate students and (2) music majors.

Courses Offered

  • MUHL 4338-001 (CRN 52860)/MUHL 5323-001 (CRN 52857)

Estimated Program Fee

Program Fee Includes

The cost is assessed as a course fee (like a lab fee) and can be paid by using financial aid and other monies.

  • Airfare
  • Accommodations
  • All in-country transportation
  • 1 meal per day

Program Fee Does Not Include

  • TTU tuition and fees (3 credits)
  • Insurance ($2.57/day)
  • Education Abroad fee ($200)
  • Some meals
  • Personal spending money

Program Dates

  • May 21 - June 5, 2019 (program dates subject to change)

Program Open To

All TTU students, with the permission of the professor

  • Priority given to (1) graduating seniors and graduate students, (2) music majors
  • The program is limited to 10 students

For more information:

Contact:Dr. Christopher Smith

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