Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2017-2018 (archived)

Module MUSI2711: Performance 2: Practice as Research

Department: Music

MUSI2711: Performance 2: Practice as Research

Type Open Level 2 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2017/18 Module Cap 25 Location Durham


  • MUSI1241 Performance 1: Practice Through History (with Recital) - at least a mark of 60 in the practical examination.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To develop constructive ways to think about performance as a subject where scholarship, critical understanding and practical skills combine, leading to 1) the understanding of core issues in musical performance in different historical contexts and 2) the production of a performance that demonstrates such understanding. To introduce the idea of practice as research and develop a research-led approach to performance.


  • Students will study key areas of performance as a specialist discipline, including: 1) performance practice (both historical and contemporary), 2) knowledge about scores and editing, for scholarship and practical use, 3) repertoire search, 4) issues concerning planning, practice, execution and assessment of practical performance in solo and small-groups, and 5) methods for performance research. These will feed into the formative and summative work.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Students gain practical and critical understanding of the context in which music is performed and how to approach writing about it.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • 1) the ability to think and express ideas in written form and in performance, and 2) to gain confidence to perform in front of people.
Key Skills:
  • 1) The ability to assess performance critically and to execute ideas appropriately in performance, and 2) The ability to work with other musicians using aural and performing skills, demonstrating and evaluating individual and group skills. 3) The ability to apply scholarship to develop well-informed performance practice.

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

  • The learning and teaching will be delivered in weekly lectures, workshops with the students, individual and group tutorials, supported by individual instrument/vocal tuition. In addition there will be bi-weekly performance seminars in terms 1 and 2 on chamber music repertoire.
  • Students will write a paper on an issue of performance practice as discussed and approved by the module leader(s).
  • Students will write a book review on bibliography addressing practical elements of performance (e.g. memorisation, practice techniques, performance anxiety, etc).
  • Students will submit a repertoire list (20 min of music) of the pieces they will perform in the practical exam (during exam week). The repertoire list must be discussed and approved by the vocal/instrumental techer.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures/workshops 21 Weekly terms 1, 2 and 3 1 hours 21
Performance seminars 10 Fortnightly in terms 1 and 2 1 hour 10
Individual tutorials 6 3 in each term 20 mins 3
Lessons 11 Fortnightly 1 hour 11
Preparation and Reading 155

Summative Assessment

Component: Essay Component Weighting: 40%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Essay on a performance practice issue of your choice to be approved by the module leader(s) 2,000 words 100% Yes
Component: Book Report Component Weighting: 10%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
A Book Report Essay on a book from the list provided (please enquire if you would like to use a different book) 1,000 words 100% Yes
Component: Practical Performance Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Practical Performance: 20 min. The module leader(s) will provide a list of accompanists during term 2 (usually pianists but please ask the module leader(s) for other arrangements). Repertoire list must be discussed, approved and signed by instrumental/vocal teacher. Failure to submit the signed repertoire list by the deadline will result on a 5% penalty on your performance practical exam mark. Small ensemble project: various opportunities during the year. Engagement on these activities will affect the final mark for the performance practical exam with the percentage ranging from excellent participation = 0% deduction to no participating = 5% deduction. 20 minutes 100% Yes

Formative Assessment:

Workshop performances and written/recording assignments including repertoire search. Feedback will be given in individual 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