Descriptor for Summer II Junction classes

"The Celts in the Hills: Celtic Culture and Music Studies at

Texas Tech’s Hill Country Campus"

Earn Texas Tech University college credit while studying Celtic folklore, music, and culture with Dr Christopher Smith at TTU’s Junction Campus in the beautiful Hill Country of Texas.

June 24-July 13 2007

Course offerings include:

MUHL4300/5321: Music, Folklore, and Tradition in Irish Cultural History

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, watching, listening, playing, and singing together—we will discover Irish influences from and to the other Celtic nations and to global communities; the interaction of orality, 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. Dr Smith

MUEN3106/5106: Celtic Ensemble

The TTU Celtic Ensemble is a small ensemble of 6-10 musicians (winds, strings, percussion, voice) specializing in group performance of the traditional dance music and song of the seven Celtic nations: Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Brittany, Cornwall, Galicia, and the Isle of Man. Repertoire is typically learned, taught, and played by ear and participants are encouraged to make consistent progress at developing appropriate performance practice. Participants are also encouraged to employ traditional instruments (winds: simple-system timber flute, tin whistle, bombarde, bagpipes; strings: fiddle, banjo, bouzouki, guitar, harp; percussion: bodhran, bones; keyboard: accordion) and in appropriate languages insofar as possible; opportunities for learning associated dances will also be available. Dr Smith

Link to Junction campus homepage

Dr Smith’s professional biography:

Associate Professor of Musicology/Ethnomusicology and director of the Vernacular Music Center at Texas Tech. Recipient of the Alumni Association’s New Faculty Award, the "Professing Excellence" award, member of the Teaching Academy. Research interests are in American and African-American Music, 20th Century Music, Irish traditional and other folk musics and cultures, improvisation, music and politics, performance practice, and historical performance. The author of books, articles, and liner notes on many topics in jazz, classical and world music. Has presented concerts, master-classes, scholarly papers, and lectures across North America and in Ireland, the British Isles, Germany, Austria, and Australia. Authorized biographer of Irish folklorist, piper, singer, collector, and broadcaster Séamus Ennis and a published poet. Records and tours internationally with Altramar medieval music ensemble, with the Irish traditional band Last Night's Fun, and the Juke Band (pre-WWII blues and jazz). His 2005 CD Coyotebanjo was a winner of Global Rhythm magazine’s May 2006 Song Contest, and he is a founding staff member of ZoukFest, the world's only music camp and festival for players of the Irish bouzouki. Faculty biography; commercial site; public radio program.

Dr Smith will also draw on his worldwide network of contacts among Celtic players, singers, producers, and journalists for guest lectures, demonstrations, and much more.