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2021/22 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

MUSS5335M Concerto/Song-Cycle/Extended Work

30 creditsClass Size: 10

Module manager: Prof Mike Allis

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 (Sep to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2021/22

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

On this module you will have 5 one-to-one lessons, 2 hours of coaching, 1 tutorial, plus the opportunity to get feedback on your chosen extended work in performance classes. Assessment will be via a 20-30-minute performance of an extended work of your choice (90%), supported by programme notes of c.750-1000 words (10%).


The progressive development of instrumental or vocal technique and performance skills through study of a specific concerto, song-cycle or (where these are not appropriate), an equivalent extended work (e.g. suite, sonata, extended stage role, etc.) with piano accompaniment. The continued development of aural awareness, memorising skills as appropriate, and ensemble skills related to the specific nature of the repertoire. The professional development of academic writing skills for performers. On completion of the module, students should have developed a distinctive approach to a single extended work. They will have explored interpretative matters and issues of style and have an intellectually informed approach to performance. In the examination they should demonstrate fluency and technical reliability as an executant performer, strong and consistent communication of musical ideas, an awareness of long-term performing strategies appropriate to extended works, and convincing presentation as a performer. They should have well informed and insightful powers of self- and peer-review, and be able to frame comments on performances in a constructive manner. They should have acquired an enhanced degree of independence as a performer, which they should be able to apply distinctively in their future work. They will have experience of using recordings as an aid to the study of performance. They will be able to place their performances in a wider context through the writing of coherent and informative programme notes.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module students should:
• Show a mature understanding of their instrument/voice’s repertoire
• Perform with a developed level of interpretative skill and technical ability
• Display developed skills in musical communication and awareness of ensemble
• Display an ability to communicate an extended musical structure
• Be independently motivated in their performance preparation
• Be able to contribute constructive review and criticism of performances by their peers
• Be capable of continued personal development through the application of intelligent and efficient self-review
• Have an awareness of a range of performing strategies appropriate to ‘M’ level study
• Develop an awareness of source materials pertinent to their repertoire choices

Skills outcomes
1. Expression, style and interpretation, as relevant to the specific musical works and genres. This typically involves the following, as appropriate: shaping of phrases, appropriate tone quality, clear articulation, flexibility, projection, communication with audience, accompanist or ensemble, sense of performance, sense of style, musicianship, stage presence, choice of tempo, consistency.
2. Technique and accuracy (specific to instrument or voice). This category typically includes the following, as appropriate: concentration, security, consistency, intonation, tone quality, understanding and control of the instrument/voice, agility, articulation, dynamic range, in addition to specific qualities such as diction, breath control, pedalling, finger-work, bowing, pronunciation, language skills, flexibility, precision in rhythmic figures.
3. Other skills (as relevant). This category typically includes the following, as appropriate: aural perception, understanding of style (e.g. historical practice), sight-reading, speed and independence of learning, memorisation, initiative, creativity, leadership, preparation, professionalism, critical awareness and reliability.


Students take a course of instrumental or vocal lessons with a specialist teacher, focusing on one concerto, song-cycle or extended work (e.g. suite, sonata, extended stage role, as appropriate to a student’s specific repertoire interests) normally c.20-30 minutes. The specific repertoire to be studied is negotiated between the student, the instrumental teacher and the tutor, but at this level it is expected that the student will have clear ideas about repertoire and where teaching should be focused. Specific MMus performance classes will be devoted to feedback on early performances of the work chosen at the beginning of semester 2. Tutorials will be devoted to programme note writing, with a diagnostic test to help the development of academic writing skills for performers.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Instrumental/Vocal Lesson51.005.00
Supervised Practice21.002.00
Private study hours278.00
Total Contact hours22.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)300.00

Private study

Private study can be divided as follows:
(i) Personal Research (listening to recordings, identifying and reading pertinent source materials), plus preparation of programme notes: 38 hours
(ii) Private practice/preparation for the assessment: 240 hours

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Specific performance classes, in addition to individual instrumental/vocal lessons, allow student progress to be monitored.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Written WorkProgramme notes (750-1000 words)10.00
Report250 Words0.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)10.00

The concerto, song cycle or equivalent should normally be c.20-30 minutes long, depending upon the nature of the instrument/voice and genre; repertoire should be chosen in consultation with the student’s instrumental/vocal teacher and the module tutor.

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Practical Exam / OSCE0 hr 30 mins90.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)90.00

The concerto, song cycle or equivalent should normally be c.20-30 minutes long, depending upon the nature of the instrument/voice and genre; repertoire should be chosen in consultation with the student’s instrumental/vocal teacher and the module tutor.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 30/11/2021


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