Welcome to the BA with Honours (Scottish Music). We are the world’s leading degree course in
traditional Scottish music, where performers can develop their skills on their main instruments in
the contexts of practical and academic studies. In addition to offering a formal strand of the
programme dedicated specifically to the Great Highland Bagpipe (see the menu to your left), the BA
Scottish Music offers the following principal studies:
- Gaelic Song
- Percussion (pipe band snare drum; bodhran)
- Scots Song
- Scottish Harp (normally gut-strung)
Students concentrate on developing their repertoire and performance skills on their chosen
instrument, and study related topics such as singing, groupwork, folklore, dance, business studies
and Scotland’s indigenous languages. Transcription and techniques of teaching are also
Groupwork, singing in both Scots and Gaelic, historical and analytical studies are all
integral parts of the BA programme and there are electives that enable traditional musicians to
qualify for PGCE courses for secondary school music teaching.
The fourth (Honours) year of the programme allows a student to concentrate heavily on both his
or her principal study instrument and a large honours research project, drawing together the
knowledge, understanding, performance practice and scholarship developed in previous years to
produce an original and innovative contribution to Scotland’s musical heritage.
Our staff are professional performers, composers, and scholars of Scottish traditional music
with active careers. They understand the challenges that you’ll face in your own career, and can
provide help and advice as you progress. As well as working with our elite core staff, you’ll get
the opportunity to learn from visiting artists and academics from all over the world.
There’s a great atmosphere in the department and the Conservatoire as a whole; it’s a
close-knit community where you end up performing and gigging with other students and staff, and
making friends for life.
As for professional and institutional collaborations, we work closely with the National Piping
Centre, Sabhal Mòr Ostaig and the Celtic Connections festival in delivering a varied and
vocationally robust experience for its students. We also possess longstanding exchange agreements
with a host of European and North American universities, allowing you to study for a trimester or
year abroad – including East Tennessee State University’s world-famous bluegrass and old-time music
programme, Sibelius Academy (Finland) and the Irish Music and Dance department of the University of
Limerick, among many others.
Our students tell us that one of the best things about studying at the Conservatoire is the
range of opportunities available and the contacts they make. You can expect exciting performing
opportunities, including tours around the United Kingdom, teaching placements in Europe, recording
and production of albums, and appearances at high-profile events, including Glasgow’s
internationally famous Celtic Connections festival, Piping Live! and international occasions of