Celtic Musical Traditions

Journey through time to explore the diverse worlds and musicians that have given birth to the sound of Celtic music as we know it today. From Cape Breton to Galicia, the 10 units include reading, listening, and written assignments, as well as your responses to thought-provoking questions on the musical traditions of Ireland, Scotland, and beyond.

At a glance

What: Celtic Musical Traditions

When: Start anytime, complete within 1 year

Where: Online

Cost: $185

Continuing education credit: 30 hours (3.0 CEUs)

Instructor: Robert Newton

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For additional information, contact Jessica Courtier: 608-890-3626

What we will cover

This colorful and thought-provoking tour through Celtic music will take you deep into the traditional music of:

  • Ireland
  • Scotland
  • Cape Breton
  • Wales
  • Cornwall
  • Brittany
  • Galicia
  • Asturias

Study on your own schedule, at any computer in the world with a proven, easy-to-use Web-based teaching system. The best Celtic music resources from across the Web are built right into each unit, offering you a rich multimedia educational experience. Away from the computer, you will have the engaging book Celtic Music (Mathieson) to kick back and read, and plenty of supplemental reading (which you can print out) selected from the most authoritative books, journals, and e-publications on the regional traditions within Celtic music.

Your written assignments will challenge you to explore your personal attraction to the music and will guide you towards expressing well-informed, intelligent opinions about the many kinds of music known as "Celtic." No musical background is required.

The 10 course units each include reading, listening, and written assignments. After having absorbed the material of a unit, simply e-mail your written responses to the instructor, who will respond with personal feedback and explain how you can further pursue the questions you found most interesting. The course also makes both a discussion board and live chat available for you to freely communicate with fellow students and with the instructors.

  • Unit 1: Exploring Your Celtic Connections
  • Unit 2: Definitions: Celtic and Traditional Music
  • Unit 3: Scotland: Harps and Pipes
  • Unit 4: Scotland: Fiddle and its Diaspora
  • Unit 5: Ireland: Instruments and Early Tune Collectors
  • Unit 6: Ireland: Music Traditions in the Diaspora and Revival
  • Unit 7: British Celts and Revivals: Wales, Cornwall, and Isle of Man
  • Unit 8: The Continental Celts: Brittany and Galicia
  • Unit 9: Song Traditions
  • Unit 10: Celtic Contemporary: Continuity and Innovation

How it works

You can start anytime, and there are no required hours to log on. It's all done with one-on-one correspondence with the instructor using email. You can read and print course materials in the course web site, which you can access at your leisure with a password that we will give you. Because of the one-on-one nature of our workshops, you'll find them an excellent "coaching" or mentoring situation that will keep you going. And if you want to just work on your own, that's fine too. We're also here throughout the year if you have questions.

Review the current technical requirements for students in Learn@UW online courses.

Student comments

"Well organized and especially the resources were great."

Course materials

Textbook: Mathieson, Kenny, ed. Celtic Music, San Francisco: Backbeat Books, 2001. ISBN 0-87930-623-8.
Web resources:

You Tube