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Unit information: Transcription and Editing in 2021/22

Unit name Transcription and Editing
Unit code MUSI20056
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Scott
Open unit status Not open

Grade 8 theory OR A level music are usually expected for participation in this module



School/department Department of Music
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

This unit will introduce students to the various editorial challenges presented by music of the renaissance and early baroque periods. Notational systems will be explained and particular attention will be paid to the study of recent scholarly editions of these repertoires. The coursework exercises will involve the transcription of simple vocal and instrumental music, including lute and keyboard tablatures, and the provision of detailed editorial notes and commentaries.


This unit aims to provide an introduction to the modern techniques of editing early music. Attention will also be devoted to matters of notation, source filiation and effective scholarly presentation of results.

Intended Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. read and understand in detail some of the most important notational systems of the 16th and 17th centuries
  2. transcribe these notations into their modern equivalents
  3. understand and apply modern editorial conventions
  4. make informed choices based on contextual awareness of early musical styles
  5. record in a detailed and concise way relevant information in primary source documents.

Teaching Information

Eleven 2-hour classes including follow-up tutorials.

Assessment Information

Three summative assessed exercises equally marked (40% - ILOs 1-3) and two formative exercises. All the exercises must be completed for credit points by the stated deadlines.

One assessed presentation (20%): "TV Live from the Renaissance"(ILOs 1-4).

Extended final assignment: 40% (ILOs 1-5). The extended final assignment will typically be an extended edition from a major source, incorporating an editorial introduction and critical commentary (500 words).


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. MUSI20056).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.