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Unit information: Performance Studies in 2015/16

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Unit name Performance Studies
Unit code MUSIM0022
Credit points 60
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Academic Year (weeks 1 - 52)
Unit director Dr. Glyn Jenkins
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Music
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

The 60-credit performance unit enables students to deepen their understanding of musical performance to an advanced level. Individual vocal or instrumental lessons provide a secure technical and musical foundation for recital work in appropriate repertoire. These are further supplemented by visiting masterclasses and regular performance workshops. Candidates offer two public recitals: one in June of 25 minutes duration and the other in September (at the end of the year) of 50 minutes duration. With respect to solo performance, challenging repertoire is explored alongside appropriate stylistic considerations for its presentation (including an awareness of historically-informed styles of performance). Tuition is given by specially selected teachers, many of whom are world-class performers; further details are available at: Students taking the Performance pathway through the MA in Music are encouraged to take every opportunity to integrate academic and practical work and actively to seek links between their development as players or singers and the intellectual probing of music and its historical and analytical contexts.


Principal objectives include: the enhancement of technical and interpretative skills, the further extension of solo repertoire, the acquisition of more critical attitudes to matters of performance and interpretation, and the harnessing of all these objectives within the context of a teaching environment.

Intended Learning Outcomes

  1. It is expected that students following the performance option will identify meaningful overlaps between their activities as performers and other academic aspects of their MA programme
  2. Refinement of instrumental/vocal technique and interpretational/expressive skills to a professional level of competence.
  3. Relation of individual practical skills and scholarly treatment of various sorts of documentary evidence for performance practices of relevant repertoire.
  4. Sensitivity in the application of such evidence to specific performing situations
  5. Be able to identify subtly different shades of interpretation and display sensitivity towards the consequences of their application
  6. to display to a professional standard the ability to reconstruct in performance technically and musically challenging repertoire (perhaps encoded in complex notations) that have been internalised and interpreted in a thoughtful way involving both aural awareness and study of relevant historical documentary evidence
  7. experience in seeing a project through from conception to planning, blueprint realisation, and execution
  8. a sensitive and imaginative approach to programme building
  9. a professional level of presentation in performance
  10. a fruitful interaction of scholarly and practical abilities in written and oral situations

Teaching Information

One-to-one vocal/instrumental lessons (16 hours, paid for by the University), attendance at Departmental Masterclasses and Workshops (20 hours), individual tutorial guidance as required.

Assessment Information

SHORT RECITAL IN JUNE (25 minutes): 30% of mark for unit. This will measure outcomes 1, 3-5, 7-10 and, in the strongest candidates, outcomes 2 and 6

MAJOR RECITAL IN SEPTEMBER (50 minutes): 70% of mark for unit. This will measure outcomes 1-10

Reading and References

  • Brendel, A.: Musical Thoughts and Afterthoughts (London, 1980)
  • Brendel, A.: Music Sounded Out (London, 1993)
  • Dunsby, J.: Performing Music: Shared Concerns (Oxford, 1993)
  • le Huray, Peter: Authenticity in Performance (Cambridge, 1990)
  • Meyer, L.: Emotion and Meaning in Music (Chicago & London, 1956)
  • Rink J. (ed.): The Practice of Performance (CUP, 1995)