- Highland Bagpipes
This is the UK’s only Bachelor of Music curriculum dedicated to traditional and folk music, and to the music of the Scottish Highland Bagpipe. Aspiring performers on this course explore Scotland’s unique and dynamic musical traditions as a conceptual, critical and creative framework within which to achieve a historically-informed yet distinctively personal voice as a piper and artist. This is interwoven with a solid basis in contemporary and eclectic performance practice. The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and The National Piping Centre offer a specialist degree that allows pipers to study piping within the context of Scottish traditional music to the highest level. This unique degree offers the chance for students to concentrate on the total study of piping in all forms, whilst also developing their performance under some of the best players in the world. Students receive instruction individually and in small groups and workshop settings. The course includes substantial study of the history, repertoire, contexts, traditions, performance practice and organology of the bagpipes, producing expert performers that have a deep understanding of their own, and other, traditions. The connection between the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and the National Piping Centre lies at the very heart of the current drive to bring Scotland’s national music to its rightful place in the nation’s cultural life. The nature of the Highland bagpipe and its repertoire, defined by highly individual and highly complex parameters of performance and musical structure, demands a teaching approach which integrates the instrument with the rest of Scottish traditional music while simultaneously respecting its uniqueness. To that end, two separate degrees have been created – the BMus (Traditional Music) and the BMus (Traditional Music – Piping). The differences here are mainly ones of practicality: the piping degree is carefully structured to give the most thorough grounding possible in all aspects of the piping tradition, including vital specialisms – such as solo piping, pipe band skills, piobaireachd, light music, piping in a folk ensemble context and canntaireachd. However these two academic qualifications share an immense amount of common ground and the institutional emphasis is always on co-operation. This is based on the mutual recognition that a large part of the bagpipe’s future lies in working with other instruments, both from the wider Scottish tradition and beyond. The current results of our collaborations are exciting and thought-provoking in equal measure, and the feeling in the air is that we’re only at the beginning of this cultural and musical journey. For any aspiring musician, the chance to immerse themselves in the study of their chosen instrument to learn from the masters is a thrilling prospect. That is what the BMus (Traditional Music – Piping) offer to pipers.
During the application and audition process, you must select which instrument(s) you wish to specialise in for the duration of your course. On this course, you can choose from the following options:
Only one instrument is studied. It may be possible to study a further instrument formatively, but this will not contribute towards the qualification.
For all courses, you must select at least one specialism from the 'primary' list. For those studying primary/secondary pathways, two instruments may be selected – one from the 'primary' list and one from the 'secondary' list. Joint pathway students may select any two instruments from either list.
Year 1 In your first year, you will consolidate and enhance your performance technique, repertoire and personal style in your principal study instrument, interwoven with development as a critical and creative artist, able to connect and engage critically with your own experience as a piper. An introduction to digital literacy and website design features, as you not only begin to construct your identity as a musician, but interpret it to the world. At the same time, broaden your collaborative musical experience in both a discipline-specific and cross-disciplinary bedrock of practical supporting studies, including group singing, folk ensembles, music theory, studio recording and the consolidation of your skills in programming, performing and calling a ceilidh. Year 2 In second year, you will continue to nurture and extend your knowledge and practical skills as a soloist and collaborative traditional musician through a broadening exploration of technique, repertoire and style relative to your instrument or vocal tradition. You will expand outwards, exploring historic and social contexts and concepts, and draw relationships between practice, perception and context. You will further nurture your soloist and collaborative composition, arrangement and performance skills and expand your entrepreneurial skillset with reference to licencing issues, intellectual property, marketing, digital music distribution and the option of organising your own tour. You will also begin to tap into the wider array of elective opportunities to be found in the department, the Royal Conservatoire and beyond. Year 3 Year three will see you develop a solid musical persona through fluent knowledge and expertise informed by your principal study and a consolidation of your critical artistry in research and reflection. You will do this whilst developing your skills in teaching traditional music in a range of environments. You will address essential vocational issues in greater detail, such as self-assessed taxation, contract negotiation, creative arts funding and administration and the option of a formal work placement, in addition to an ongoing array of elective opportunities to be found in the department, the Royal Conservatoire and beyond; thereby continuing to nurture your own distinct artistic specialisms. Year 4 Year four – the Honours year – occasions a synthesis of your critical, technical and creative development as a traditional musician or piper. In addition to engaging in your own substantial project work, deeply rooted in both tradition and innovation, toward an independent and original contribution to the field, you will continue to take advantage of the array of elective opportunities to be found in the department, the Royal Conservatoire and beyond. The Honours year is student-centred: working to achieve a distinct identity and musical voice within your own established parameters, culminating in a themed final public recital.
This course is closed for the 2020 academic cycle. Please contact the provider or view the 2021 courses.
If your application is completed by the following date, it’s guaranteed to be considered:
1 October*If you apply after this deadline, universities or colleges don’t have to consider your application if they’ve filled their spaces, so the sooner you apply, the better!
*If you are an international applicant, or you are applying for a postgraduate course, or are choosing certain assessment locations, the 'on time' deadline may be later in the year - please contact the conservatoire directly.
You will need these codes when you add a choice to your application.
|Campus name||Main Site|
The following entry points are available for this course:
Currently around 20% of our students come from outside the UK. Between them, they represent over 53 different nationalities and add a rich diversity to the Conservatoire. The Conservatoire holds auditions at the locations below. If you wish to audition at any of the locations listed, please submit your application at least one month in advance of the audition date. For further information, please see our website - https://www.rcs.ac.uk/courses/bmus-with-honours/traditional-music-piping/#introduction.
|A level||Passes in two subjects at A Level Subjects recommended are: • History at Advanced level • English at Advanced level • The study of Gaelic and/or another European language at least to GCSE|
|Scottish Higher||Passes in three subjects at Higher level Subjects recommended are: • History at Higher • English at Higher • The study of Gaelic and/or another European language at least to National 4/5 or Standard Grade|
Please refer to our Guide for Applicants for what to prepare for audition - https://www.rcs.ac.uk/studyhere/how-to-apply/music/
In the event of a successful assessment, applicants may be invited for a further interview prior to being made an offer.
Remote assessment recordings may be accepted in the event that you cannot attend an assessment in person.
|Location||On-time Fee||Late Fee|
|Location||On-time Fee||Late Fee|
|Singapore||Not available at this location|
|RCS||Not available at this location|
|New York||Not available at this location|
|Guangzhou||Not available at this location|
|Beijing||Not available at this location|
|Shanghai||Not available at this location|
|Seoul||Not available at this location|
|Recording||Not available at this location|
For more information on what to prepare for the audition, please see our website - https://www.rcs.ac.uk/courses/bmus-with-honours/traditional-music-piping/#introduction.
|Northern Ireland||£9250||Year 1|
The Royal Conservatoire is able to offer a number of entrance scholarships which are awarded as part of the audition/selection process on the basis of merit and financial need. Please see our website for more information - https://www.rcs.ac.uk/studyhere/scholarships/.