Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2007-2008 (archived)


Department: Music


Type Open Level 4 Credits 60 Availability Available in 2007/08


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • This level 4 module studied over two terms provides advanced training for students in the theory and practice of conducting music ensembles and bands. The module is designed specifically for students studying Brass Band Studies.


  • This module will help develop the skills necessary to become a competent conductor. Students will be able to work with ensembles and bands. The following areas will be addressed: basic techniques; advanced techniques; brass band repertory; rehearsal and performance technique; stick technique; stylistic approach; art of accompaniment; score analysis, preparation and marking up; critical evaluation of performances; communication skills; rehearsal planning and scheduling; programme notes; compeering. There will be opportunities for masterclasses and workshops with guest artists, guest teachers and bands. The studies will be both practical and theoretical.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Students will be able to rehearse and perform works for a range of music concerts from the initial stages of organisation to the final interpretation in the concert hall or recording studio. They will have a good understanding of the techniques required and will appreciate stylistic variation, and the necessary skills to achieve these outcomes. These include the ability to read and prepare scores, plan and arrange rehearsals, and convey creative intentions interactively through gestures and verbal communications.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Students will have developed skills and talents necessary for conducting. By various methods they will be able to demonstrate a range of approaches enabling them to perform at a high level of conducting competency.
Key Skills:
  • Besides conducting techniques, studies will include: aural training; working/performing in groups; how to prepare a score; how to organise a performance; musical appreciation and interpretation; performance skills; communication with an audience.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • The outcomes of this module involve the development of basic and advanced conducting skills and the study of interpretation and exemplary performances. These require the study of rehearsal techniques, performance characteristics and the study of repertory. It involves seminars and individual tutorials where various conducting techniques are introduced, practised and evaluated through weekly assignments. Furthermore, occasional masterclasses, group tutorials and full band conducting experiences will enhance the development of conducting techniques. Examples of top class conductors will be studied in recordings and videos and occasional live performances. Assessment will be by peer comment, module leader's reports, written self-assessment and feedback from formative assignments both theoretical and practical using a stated criterion.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Tutorials 19 weekly 1 hour 19
Seminars/workshops 9 fortnightly 2 hours 18
Masterclasses/ensembles/full bands 10 fortnightly 1 hour 10
Student preparation 553
Total 600

Summative Assessment

Component: Final Performance Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Final Performance 100% yes
Component: Take-away Examination Component Weighting: 25%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Take-away Examination 100% yes
Component: Portfolio of Studied Repertory (scores and essays) Component Weighting: 25%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Portfolio 100% yes

Formative Assessment:

Regular assignments of a theoretical and practical nature, with written and oral feedback, form the basis of a developing portfolio and the development of skills.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University