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Rebecca Lomnicky

I am a Ph.D. candidate in Ethnomusicology specializing in Scottish traditional music. My dissertation project examines the relationship between precarity and labor in the context of Scotland’s traditional music scene and the impending ramifications of Brexit. I am investigating three kinds of labor practices that Scottish musicians perform – memorization, virtuosic performance, and entrepreneurial business tactics – and the extent to which these practices and the innovative approaches within these domains ensure their livelihoods.

In 2014, I graduated summa cum laude from Cornell University, earning a B.A. in both Music and Anthropology. As an undergraduate, I spent a semester abroad at the University of Edinburgh where I studied and worked in the School of Scottish Studies Archives. I have an M.A. in Ethnomusicology (2017, UC Berkeley) specializing in Scottish traditional music, and an M.A. in Folklore (2019, UC Berkeley) for which I wrote a thesis titled, “Performing Place in the Scottish Folk Music Festival Scene: A Circulating Tradition.”  

In addition to my research experience, I am also an avid performer of Scottish fiddle. I have competed both nationally and internationally, and in 2009 won the Glenfiddich Fiddle Championship which is equivalent to the world championships for Scottish fiddle. I perform regularly with my traditional Scottish music trio “The Fire,” and I was recently featured in Fiddler Magazine which stated “Rebecca has proved herself to be an accomplished and gifted interpreter, composer, and champion of Scottish fiddling.” 

Research Interests

Scottish traditional music, labor, precarity, embodiment, performance, oral histories, nostalgia, space & place, commercialization


Scottish fiddler, performer, and teacher. Performs regularly with The Fire Scottish Band. For additional information, please visit: