Course Information

Course title:

Celtic Ensemble


Course number:



Course discipline:



Course description:

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 expected 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. Presents one recital concert per semester, in addition to other service as part of SOM events (Celtic Christmas, Madrigal Dinners, etc).

Find the Ensemble supplementary website here.


Course date:

Wednesday, August 30, 2006 through Wednesday, December 6, 2006



M254 (Opera Studio)


Meeting day(s):



Meeting time(s):




Permission of instructor


Instructor Information


Dr Christopher Smith



For MUEN3106/5106 issues, the best means of contacting me is by employing TTU email ( However, I am only available via this email MTWRF 10AM-4:30PM.


Office location:



Office hours:

By appointment



806/742-2270 x249



Find a Chris Smith Biography. Find Chris Smith's commercial site and CD.


Course Goals

Course goals:


  • To develop, sharpen, and employ musical skills that study and performance of instrumental music, song, and dance in the Celtic folkloric traditions;
  • To develop cultural insights and participatory skills that permit us to begin to function appropriately in Celtic musical contexts.



Outcomes and Assessments:

What you will be expected to learn and to do



Upon completion of this semester, students should have the following skills:

1. You should have a workable, functional repertoire of Celtic traditional music suitable for ensemble performance.

2. You will be able to distingusigh between styles, forms, and genres, as both player and listener.

3. You will be expected throughout the term to develop appropriate itnerpretation and performance practice for these styles.

Because most of the Celtic traditions are taught by sophisticated aural methods--using the “ear” more than the “eye”--much of our study will be according to terminology and ways of hearing indigenous to the various musical cultures. The use of Western notation and terminology, which are alien to most of these musics, will be de-emphasized.



Required reading:

No textbooks are required. However, a wide range of audio materials will be made available through this WebCT site and you will be expected to study and retain this music.


Course Requirements


This course will include rehearsal, coachings, outside practice and study, and performance obligations. Every attempt will be made to accommodate students' varied schedules, but ensemble members are also expected to prioritize Celtic Ensemble just as they would any other professional performance obligation.



For each rehearsal, individual repertoire and listening assignments will be prepared. Primary listening material will available as mp3 files via this WebCT site. It will be essential that students prepare repertoire (including listening) prior to the meeting in which they will be rehearsed. Lack of preparation will be seen as a very serious problem.

Mid-semester grade
Although not required by TTU, I will be assigning mid-semester grades for each ensemble participant. This will provide students the opportunity to assess their progress and adjust accordingly.

Final grade
Final semester grades will be assigned after all performances have been completed. Students will be graded on attendance, preparation, musical progress, and general contribution to the Ensemble's goals.

Typically, Celtic Ensemble will present one recital concert per semester, plus additional service as part of other events (Madrigal Dinners, Celtic Christmas, etc). In this inaugural Fall 2006 semester, NO recital concert is scheduled, but we are asked to participate in both Madrigal Dinners (evenings of Nov 30, Dec 2, Dec 3, Dec 4) and the Celtic Christmas (Dec 16). The latter date is optional, though it is hoped that all students will adjust their holiday schedules accordingly.


  • Performance: 35%
  • Musical progress: 35%
  • Attendance, preparation, and participation: 30%





The following policies are required for this class by the professor, by the Honors College, and/or by the University.


Additional information:

Attendance and participation: Because our time together in class is very limited, it is essential that we make the most efficient and constructive use of that time. Therefore, attendance is mandatory and any unexcused absence will be penalized, with direct adverse effect on final grades.

Course content issues: This course will observe the university’s guidelines for avoiding sexual harassment. However, because the arts often imitate and represent human living and because sexuality, politics, religion, and personal ethics are all part of life, some materials in this course may deal with sexual, political, religious, or ethical behaviors, situations, or language. People offended by such subjects may want to reconsider taking this course.

Conduct: Students participating in MUHL classes are expected to maintain a respectful and professional level of conduct. In the event of student misconduct, it is MUHL policy that teaching staff may exercise any or all of the following:

  • Ejection from class
  • Grade of F for class session
  • Report of student misconduct to upper-administration, faculty colleagues, or studio teacher
  • Grade of F for course

Computer and technology usage: Students are encouraged, when possible, to employ modern technology during class-time, including laptops, iPods, etc.

Students employing technology during lectures are required to sit in the front row of the classroom, nearest the instructor.

Technology usage is expected to be relevant to class work, and is strictly prohibited in any testing situation.

Playing video games, text-messaging, and so on are likewise strictly prohibited. Any such activities are grounds for ejection from class.

ADA Compliance: any student who because of a disability may require special arrangements in order to meet course requirements should contact the instructor as soon as possible to make any necessary accommodations. Student should present appropriate verification from AccessTECH. No requirement exists that accommodations be made prior to completion of this approved university procedure.

Class Attendance: Absence due to religious observance ­ The Texas Tech University Catalog states that a student who is absent from classes for the observance of a religious holy day will be allowed to take an examination or complete an assignment scheduled for that day within a reasonable time after the absence.

Absence due to officially approved trips: ­ The Texas Tech University Catalog states that the person responsible for a student missing class due to a trip should notify the instructors of the departure and return schedule in advance of the trip. The student may not be penalized and is responsible for the material missed.

CHANGE IN TTU OPERATING POLICIES The 45th day of class is the last day to drop a class. After that day, all students must complete the course and receive a grade. The grade of WF will no longer be given.

Please note: It is essential that any student missing a class, for an excused or unexcused absence, should promptly contact classmates and visit the course website to get class notes and catch up with missed work.

It is our experience that students who frequently miss class do poorly or fail. Any day you are late or absent, please get class notes from one or more classmates. You are responsible for knowing what is said in class, including announcements. Instructors cannot take responsibility for filling you in on what you missed.

Academic integrity: It is the student's responsibility to know and understand Texas Tech University's policies, procedures, and penalties regarding academic integrity, as discussed in the Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct. Negligence or ignorance of the policy will rarely be accepted as an excuse for violation of the policy. Cheating on examinations or plagiarism or falsification on the research project is likely to result in an F for the course.