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2017/18 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

MUSS2823 Music in Practice

20 creditsClass Size: 30

Module manager: Dr Bryan White

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

Year running 2017/18

Pre-requisite qualifications

A Level Music or equivalent (e.g. A Level Theatre Studies/ Drama)

Usually at least one of: MUSS1220, MUSS1320, or MUSS1520 or by permission of the module leader.

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

Opera in Practice: Opera NorthIn this version of Music in Practice, taught in partnership with Opera North, students will have the opportunity to observe the operatic production process and to study opera in practice through a number of critical perspectives. Opera North will be introduced as a company in its artistic, regional and historical contexts. Under the guidance of tutors, students will then be expected to observe rehearsals (at Opera North and The Grand Theatre in Leeds) from various stages of the process – from model showing to orchestra run, normally during the winter season (late November to February). There is a broad choice of critical angles and perspectives in studying these operas, which will also be introduced in seminars and lectures. These typically include musicological, ethnomusicological, contextual, historiographical, conceptual and semiotic approaches, as well as work with literary, musical and cultural policy (re)sources. Students are expected to choose one of the operas from Opera North’s 2016/17 winter season as a research topic for their portfolio submission.


Music in Practice aims to introduce students to specific topics within the field of academic practice-led research. Students will be involved in the development of project work, as directed by an individual member of academic staff, or a group of staff. A range of practice-led project themes will be offered each academic year. The content of each topic will be determined by current staff research and scholarship interests and activities. Projects may be interdisciplinary, combining different approaches to musical practice, with the aim of increasing understanding of a specific research topic.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students should be able to:
- demonstrate the broadening of their musical knowledge through study of a defined area of practice;
- apply appropriate historical, analytical, critical, technological, psychological, scientific or comparative methodologies as appropriate to the design and development of a folio of practical work;
- demonstrate the development of musical practical skills;
- demonstrate the implementation of practice-led research skills;
- develop a sophisticated awareness of contextual approaches applicable to a specific musical repertoire or field of study.

Skills outcomes
Subject specific skills in music will include any combination of the following:
• Applied dramaturgical/ contextual research skills in music and performance
• Performance / improvisation skills
• Compositional skills
• Applied music technology skills
• Applied scientific research in music skills


Students will study one topic chosen from a range of research themes to be advertised to students in advance. The topics offered will cover different areas of practice-led research in any appropriate musical sub-disciplines or genres. Areas of study will typically involve activities such as musical performance, composition, improvisation, music technology, opera studies, scientific investigation of music or combinations of any of these areas. The module will be taught via a combination of practice-led or practice-informed seminars and lectures.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours180.00
Total Contact hours20.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Students will be directed to online resources developed to support the module as appropriate, and a reading list will be provided for each area of study. Students will be expected to demonstrate their understanding of the relevant research context in their approach to practical work.

Private study time will typically include:
• 15 hours of literature review preparation,
• 1.5 hours of writing up notes per lecture (12 hours in total),
• 2 hours of preparation per seminar (24 hours in total),
• 2 hours of independent development of practice techniques per seminar (24 hours in total),
• 70 hours for creation of the portfolio,
• 15 hours of self-directed background reading and listening relevant to the topic
• Around 20 hours observing practical work in rehearsal and performance where appropriate to the topic

One of the twelve scheduled group-learning/practice-led sessions may be substituted for individual or group tutorials as appropriate. In this case, students should spend the additional private study time preparing for and working on ideas and approaches discussed in the tutorial.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Due to the interactive nature of the classes, students will receive formative feedback on their developing ideas as the module progresses. Students will be encouraged to reflect on their developing skills and how they relate to the topic of study. Peer and staff feedback will therefore be provided regularly (on a weekly basis) through group discussions.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Literature Review1400-1600 words20.00
Portfoliopractical work equivalent to 3000-4000 words80.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 26/04/2017


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