Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2020-2021 (archived)

Module MUSI42660: Performance Project

Department: Music

MUSI42660: Performance Project

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 60 Availability Available in 2020/21 Module Cap None.
Tied to MA in Music


  • We require evidence of standard at least equivalent to a strong 2:1 degree final year performance recital. A video recording of no less than 10 minutes must be submitted to prove that the applicant is of the required level.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • <If other modules, please enter module code using 'Right Click, Insert module_code' or enter module title>


  • To provide an opportunity for independent performance research, both as a chosen area of specialism at MA level and both as possible preparation for further research at doctoral level
  • To facilitate the acquisition of advanced skills and technique in performance, and an in-depth understanding of professional presentational conventions
  • To foster independent critically-informed musical and intellectual judgement
  • To facilitate in-depth study of the musical and technical challenges associated with performing the repertoire chosen for performance
  • To enable students to develop a critical understanding of, and reflective approach to performance, above all as the basis for the critical evaluation of their own performance research, in accordance with AHRC definitions of research practices


  • The module content will relate to the study and performance of appropriate musical repertoire from the Western classical music tradition (broadly understood), chosen by students in consultation with their supervisors.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • in-depth knowledge of selected musical works from the Western classical music repertoire, and relevant performance traditions and practices
  • advanced knowledge of musical repertoire in a chosen area of specialism
  • advanced understanding of theoretical and methodological approaches relevant to the performance of repertoire in a chosen area of specialisation
  • knowledge appropriate to work at Masters level of the research context and of scholarly work previously undertaken on musical repertoire in the chosen field of specialism and related intellectual issues pertaining to performance
  • critical understanding of theories and methodologies pertinent to the scholarly study and performance of music, drawn from varied disciplinary perspectives
  • advanced knowledge of relevant creative and performative praxes
Subject-specific Skills:
  • communicative and technical skills necessary to perform selected musical works with fluency, authority, and originality, and at a level appropriate to Masters standard
  • critically- and historically-informed awareness of technical and aesthetic dimensions of musical works
  • an in-depth understanding of the ways in which music relates to its socio-cultural context
  • skill in articulating and substantiating at a high level a refined and imaginative response to music, both through musical performance and the written word
  • advanced knowledge and understanding of concepts and theories relating to musical performance
  • an advanced ability to describe and analyse works from a range of musical repertories, informed by an understanding of the socio-cultural matrices from which they emerged and of their specific formal and stylistic features
  • an advanced ability to draw upon appropriate theoretical perspectives and methodologies to study and perform music while simultaneously deriving independent intellectual and creative insights from these activities
  • advanced competence in musical literacy
  • advanced competence in engaging with musical materials of different kinds, whether as physical objects (e.g. scores) and or in electronic formats (e.g. recordings, audio-visual materials)
Key Skills:
  • an advanced ability to realise musical works effectively in performance
  • a high degree of competence in the planning and execution of a large-scale independent performance project
  • a capacity for independent thought and judgement, and to assess the ideas of others
  • sophisticated skills in musical performance and musical interpretation
  • professional organisation and time-management skills
  • engage in close readings of a wide range of challenging texts (musical, verbal, audio-visual, as appropriate)
  • independent research skills using appropriate specialist tools and resources;
  • the ability to synthesise complex materials from a wide range of sources and to present them cogently in the form of written documents, oral reports, presentations, and musical performances, as appropriate
  • competence in information technology skills to support MA learning and research
  • advanced knowledge of professional conduct in meeting academic standards, including appropriate use of relevant ethical codes of practice and correct referencing of sources
  • organisational skills, including time management
  • demonstrate the ability to design and execute a major project appropriate to the chosen area of specialism which is conceptually and methodologically sound, meets appropriate professional standards, and is potentially worthy of dissemination to a critical and discerning audience

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

  • Students’ choice of repertoire will be subject to the approval of the Board of Studies, and the availability of appropriate supervision in the area of specialism.
  • upervisions will provide students with guidance on all aspects of the project and feedback on work-in-progress, but without jeopardising the independence of their research.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Individual consultations 6 three in term 2, three in term 3 1 hour 6
Individual instrumental/vocal/conducting lessons variable to be arranged throughout the academic year in consultation with tutor variable 20
Preparation and reading 574

Summative Assessment

Component: Recital Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Recital 50' 80% yes
Commentary 2,000 word critical commentary 20% yes

Formative Assessment:

Supervisors may set brief formative tasks at their discretion, or at the request of the student.

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