The Performance pathway through our MA in Music culminates in a major 50-minute solo recital on your first instrument or voice in September; in addition to this, you will offer a shorter 25-minute recital in June. All of this adds up to 60 credits. The remainder of the 180 credits comes from coursework taken during the academic year as detailed below
Tuition will be given by an appropriate specialist in the Bristol area. Among our instrumental and vocal teachers are Raymond Clarke, a world-class pianist with an enviable reputation for his performances of contemporary British works, including the piano sonatas of Sir Michael Tippett. Other instrumental and vocal teachers from Wells Cathedral School, the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and principals from the BBC Welsh Symphony orchestra regularly visit the Music Department to teach.
In addition to a programme of individual lessons funded by the Department, you will be eligible to take part in masterclasses and other coaching sessions given in the Department from time to time by visiting professionals.
We hope that students taking the Performance pathway through the MA in Music will take every opportunity to integrate academic and practical work and actively seek out links between their development as players or singers and intellectual probing of music and its historical and analytical contexts.
For further information about the MA options, see this year's unit booklets
** taught as supervised independent studies
This unit introduces students to different categories of musicological sources and discusses issues arising from these, including recent authenticity debates surrounding the use of these materials in performance. It acquaints students with the nature of historical source materials for different repertoires and with the ways in which these may inform an understanding of compositional process. It also introduces typical problems involved in the preparation of critical editions to the highest standards of modern scholarship by means of particular case studies. It is intended that this unit will stimulate an awareness of the sensitivity required in handling primary and other musical source materials and that it will help students to acquire a critically informed approach to musical texts.
The 60-credit performance unit enables students to deepen their understanding of musical performance to an advanced level. Individual vocal or instrumental lessons provide a secure technical and musical foundation for recital work in appropriate repertoire. These are further supplemented by visiting masterclasses and regular performance workshops. Candidates offer two public recitals: one in June of 25 minutes' duration and the other in September (at the end of the year) of 50 minutes' duration. With respect to solo performance, challenging repertoire is explored alongside appropriate stylistic considerations for its presentation (including an awareness of historically-informed styles of performance). Tuition is given by specially selected teachers, many of whom are world-class performers; further details are available at: http://www.bris.ac.uk/music/staff/. Students taking the Performance pathway through the MA in Music are encouraged to take every opportunity to integrate academic and practical work and actively to seek links between their development as players or singers and the intellectual probing of music and its historical and analytical contexts.
This unit will focus on research skills that are particularly relevant to musicians, focusing on the construction of a detailed bibliography as assessed work and how to give a successful oral presentation.
Selected topics in current musicology, including theories of historiography, concert practice, orality and the work concept, gender and critical theory.
This unit offers you an opportunity for detailed study of particular areas of interest in the field of historical musicology. Each Special Study (one or two chosen, in consultation with available staff each year) will be taught as supervised independent study in tutors' postgraduate office hour. You and your tutor(s) will cover topics and repertoires methodically in regular meetings by way of discussing bibliographies, outlines, critical approaches and methodological strategies and by reading out short essays. Additionally, the weekly departmental research seminars will encourage you to refine your critical responses and discussion skills. Overall, the tutorials should demonstrate an ability to research aspects of a topic effectively and sufficiently, leading naturally to the MA dissertation in terms of approach (though not necessarily topic). Three 2000-word essays will be researched per 20-credit unit, presented, discussed and graded on the spot at regular intervals through the semester. The best two grades of three carry forward, with the marks confirmed or adjusted when all the essays are handed in and second-marked at the end of the semester.
This unit will introduce students to the compositional techniques of the classical and early romantic periods, both through the analysis of representative movements and the composition of short pastiche exercises in these styles. It will deal, in the main, with song accompaniments in the style of Schubert, though some attention will also be given to classical string quartet writing in the style of Haydn and Mozart.
This unit will develop students’ understanding of the harmonic language of the 19th century, both through the analysis of representative models and the composition of songs, piano and chamber music pieces in similar styles. By way of introduction, the piano music of Schumann will be examined, but the main part of the course will be devoted to the work of Mendelssohn and Brahms. Exercises will vary between the completion of extracts and the composition of substantial songs or movements for piano or small chamber ensembles.
For further information please contact one of the following:
When applying for the Performance pathway please:
a) send an audition DVD or CD to the Graduate School at the same time as you complete and submit your online application form. Please include two contrasting pieces, totalling no more than 15 minutes. We will not be able to assess your application until we receive the audition DVD/CD.
b) attend one of the Graduate School's Postgraduate Open days, during which we will schedule a short informal audition in the Music Department. Prepare two contrasting pieces, totalling no more than 15 minutes. Please let the Graduate School administrators know when you sign up for the open day that you will need to audition in the Music department, what your instrument is, and whether you will need an accompanist. If you will need an accompanist, we recommend that you select music with a straightforward accompaniment, since your rehearsal time will be minimal.
For further information on life as a postgraduate in Bristol, and for information about upcoming open days, visit the Graduate School of Arts and Humanities