Structures for Freedom: Graphic Scores and In-Performance Communication by Traditional Musicians, Lori Watson




Barz, Gregory, and Timothy J. Cooley (eds.). 2008. Shadows in the Field: New Perspectives for Fieldwork in Ethnomusicology, 2nd edn (New York: Oxford University Press)

Borgdorff, Henk. 2012. The Conflict of the Faculties: Perspectives on Artistic Research and Academia (Leiden: Leiden University Press)

Borgo, David. 2005. Sync or Swarm: Improvising Music in a Complex Age (London: Continuum)

Cage, John. 1968. Silence (London: Marion Boyars)

_____. 1969. Notations (New York: Something Else Press)

_____. 1990. Scottish Circus (New York and London: Henmar Press)

Collinson, Francis. 1966. The Traditional and National Music of Scotland (London: Routledge and Keegan Paul)

Elliott, Kenneth, Francis Collinson, and Peggy Duesenberry. 2001. ‘Scotland, II. Traditional Music, 1. Introduction’, Grove Music Online, <>

Ellis, Carolyn. 1999. ‘Heartful Autoethnography’, Qualitative Health Research, 9: 669–83

Etherington, Kim. 2004. Becoming a Reflexive Researcher: Using Our Selves in Research (London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers)

Fraser, Alasdair, and Tony McManus. 1999. ‘Lady Louisa Gordon’s Strathspey, The Highlands of Banffshire, The Merrymaking’, on Return to Kintail (Resistencia, RESCD082), <> [accessed 1 September 2022] 

Freeman, John. 2010. Blood, Sweat and Theory: Research through Practice in Performance (Farringdon, UK: Libri)

GlasgowImprovisers. 2013. ‘Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra: GIOFest 2012’, YouTube, <> [accessed 1 September 2022]

Kennedy, Joyce, Michael Kennedy, and Tim Rutherford-Johnson. 2012. "improvisation." In.: Oxford University Press, <[accessed October 2022]

McKerrell, Simon. 2015. Focus: Scottish Music (Abingdon, UK: Routledge)

_____. 2021. ‘Towards Practice Research in Ethnomusicology’, Ethnomusicology Forum, 31.1: 10–27, <> [accessed October 2022]

McLucas, Anne Dhu. 2013. ‘Oral Tradition’, Grove Music Online, < [accessed October 2022]

Nettl, Bruno. 1974. ‘Thoughts on Improvisation: A Comparative Approach’, Musical Quarterly, 60: 1–19

_____. 2005. The Study of Ethnomusicology: Thirty-One Issues and Concepts, 2nd edn (Champaign: University of Illinois Press)

Purser, John. 2007. Scotland’s Music: A History of the Traditional and Classical Music of Scotland from Early Times to the Present Day, rev. edn (Edinburgh: Mainstream)

Ramnarine, Tina K. 2004. ‘Performance and Experiential Learning in the Study of Ethnomusicology’, in Dorle Dracklé and Iain Edgar (eds), Current Policies and Practices in European Social Anthropology Education, Learning Fields, ii (Oxford: Berghahn Books), pp. 227–40

Rice, Tim. 2010. ‘Ethnomusicological Theory’, Yearbook for Traditional Music, 42: 100–34

Slobin, Mark. 1996. ‘Introduction’, in Mark Slobin (ed.), Retuning Culture: Musical Changes in Central and Eastern Europe (Durham, NC: Duke University Press), pp. 1–13

Team A. 2008. Pieces for Four Traditional Musicians workshop (workshop and interview by Lori Watson, 20 March), track 1–11 [unpublished fieldwork audio]

Thoumire, Simon. 2011. Field interview by Lori Watson, 20 March

_____. 2006b. Field interview by Lori Watson, 9 December

_____. 2006a. Field interview by Lori Watson, 17 July

Vallely, Niall. 2018. ‘Beyond the Tune: New Irish Music’ (doctoral thesis and folio, National University of Ireland, Cork)

Watson, Lori. 2008b. Pieces for Four Traditional Musicians I, II and III (Birgham: ISLE Music Scotland)

_____. 2008a. ‘Current Directions in Scotland: The New Traditional Composer’. Celtic Colours International Festival Talk 2 (Unpublished: talk and workshop transcription by Lori Watson, 15 October)

_____. 2010. As Water Wears the Rock (Birgham: ISLE Music Scotland) 

_____. 2013. ‘The New Traditional School in Scotland: Innovation, Beyond-Tune Composition and a Traditional Musician’s Creative Practice’ (doctoral thesis and folio, University of St Andrews)

_____. 2014. Lowood I (Birgham: ISLE Music Scotland) 

Wenger-Trayner, Etienne, and Beverley Wenger-Trayner. 2015. ‘Communities of Practice: A Brief Introduction’, <> [accessed August 2021]

Websites of artists and organisations

[web pages accessed February 2022]


Burt, George, <>

Campbell, Mairi, <>

Celtic Connections, <>

Dallahan, <>

Davey, Shaun, <>

Distil, <>

Garland, Tim, <>

Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra, <>

Green, Martin, <>

India Alba, <>

Irvine, Brian, <>

Jackson, William, <>

LAU, <>

MacDonald, Raymond, <>

Mackenzie, Kevin, <>

McGuire, Edward, <>

McKay, Catriona, <>

Ó Riada, Seán, <>

O’Rourke, Aidan, <>

Scot Free, [no web page]

Sommerro, Henning, <>

Stivell, Alan, <>

Ó Súilleabhain, Mícheal, <>

Sutherland, Adam, <>

Thoumire, Simon, <>

Watson, Lori, <>




Figure 1 - Traditional music session, copyright: Ben Nevis Bar

Figure 2 - Sketch for Score II, copyright: Lori Watson

Figure 3 - Score I Conversation Piece, copyright: Lori Watson

Figure 4 - Score III Jigs, copyright: Lori Watson

Figure 5 - Team A workshop structure, copyright: Lori Watson

Figure 6 - Team A workshop, copyright: Lori Watson

Figure 7 - Score II, workshop version, copyright: Lori Watson

Figure 8 - Score II, Take 2 analysis, copyright: Lori Watson

Figure 9 - Score I Conversation Piece, copyright: Lori Watson

Figure 10 - Score II Strathspey/Reel, copyright: Lori Watson

Figure 11 - Score III Jigs, copyright: Lori Watson




I am particularly grateful to Professor Stephen Broad and Dr Stuart Eydmann for their generous supervision of my doctoral research. I would like to offer my special thanks to Professor Raymond MacDonald and Dr Liz Doherty. I am indebted to the musicians who contributed to the 2008 experiment, funded by the Distil Angel's Share fund: Martin Green, Kevin Mackenzie, Catriona McKay, and Aidan O'Rourke. I would also like to acknowledge the assistance of Daniel Thorpe in recording the workshop and Tim Matthew for providing the venue. I am grateful to have received detailed and practical feedback from seven peer reviewers as well as benefitting from the encouragement and expertise of the JAR editorial board. Finally, thank you to my partner Duncan, whose support and co-parenting made this exposition possible.