Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2017-2018 (archived)

Module MUSI1291: Performance 1: Practice through History (with essay)

Department: Music

MUSI1291: Performance 1: Practice through History (with essay)

Type Tied Level 1 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2017/18 Module Cap Location Durham
Tied to QRV0
Tied to W300


  • A-Level Music or equivalent.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • MUSI1241 Performance 1: Practice through History (with recital)


  • In this module students will engage with various aspects of performance including the ways musicians and composers have been trained throughout history, critical listening of music, as well as practical insight into music performance. By gaining a better understanding of different genres and their context, students will be able to better organise their ideas with the aim of creating well-informed and engaging performances of their own as well as becoming versatile performers.


  • The module includes a listening portfolio of repertoire spanning from the Middle Ages through the Twenty-First century. There will be discussions on musical scores and other primary and secondary sources, as well as on the ways in which music has been performed throughout history. In addition, there will be sessions on strategies to optimise practice time, dealing with performance anxiety and more. Throughout the module students take individual instrumental/vocal lessons with a teacher from the Department's list of approved teachers and will receive small group tutorial supervision from the course module.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Students will gain fundamental understanding of the relationship between performance and context.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Students will gain skills in listening, score recognition and practising which are applicable while dealing with repertoire and performing music.
  • Students will gain enhanced critical understanding of instrumental/vocal performance in context.
Key Skills:
  • Technique and musicality in performance.
  • Practice routines, time management, discipline, and organisation.
  • Analysis of communication within music performance.
  • The ability to work with other musicians, demonstrating and evaluating individual and group skills.
  • Awareness of historically informed performance practice.

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

  • The module consists of 21 lectures and 3 tutorials and is supported by instrumental/vocal tuition. Lectures address theoretical issues in conjunction with directed reading, and incorporate listening exercises. The group tutorials focus on the formative assignments and more specific topics. Additional teaching is provided by instrumental and vocal tutors, who develop performance competences. Regular formative assignments such as the fortnightly Listening Diary are given to develop listening skills.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 21 weekly 1 hour 21
Group Tutorials 3 termly 1 hour 3
Instrument/vocal tuition 8 during terms 1, 2 and 3 1 hour 8
Instrument/vocal practice 22 weekly 3 hours (minimum) 66
Reading and Preparation 102

Summative Assessment

Component: Written Examination Component Weighting: 40%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Written examination including: score identification, historical context, and descriptive analysis 1.5 hours 50% Yes
Take-away paper By 1pm next day for take-away paper 50% Yes
Component: Listening Exercise Component Weighting: 10%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Listening exercise based on the work done throughout the year on the Listening Diary 1 hour 100% Yes
Component: Summative Essay Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Essay 2,500 words 100% Yes

Formative Assessment:

Completion of a listening diary (each entry of 250 words in length) and practice performance exercises. Peer-assessment is made and verbal feedback is given by the module leader during tutorials.

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