MU5011 - Historically Informed Performance Practice

What will I learn on this module?

How do we know what music sounded like in the past? Do early recordings give us an accurate representation? What about music composed before the advent of recording technology? This module examines what we can find out from the historical record about performing music. We will be assessing how useful different types of primary source material are for informing our own interpretation of music: these include early recordings, musical scores, treatises and archival records. We will be considering what they can tell us about all aspects of performing music, including instrumental/vocal technique and style (or, to use an eighteenth-century term, ‘good taste’). The module covers the performance of music from the seventeenth to the twentieth centuries.

How will I learn on this module?

The first part of the module is taught through two weekly classes. Each topic is introduced with a two-hour seminar, and then students prepare short presentations for a one-hour seminar in the following week. Some classes involve an element of experiential learning, exploring performance practice through experimentation. The second part of the module involves a short self-directed research project on an aspect of performance practice.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Your academic development will be supported by the module tutor, engagement with your peers and through your programme leader. Your module tutor will offer tutorials, both for the preparation of your assignments and for feedback. In addition, you will also be able to see the module tutor (for instance, in the publicised feedback and consultation hours) and to raise questions via email. Your peers will provide you with a collaborative learning environment, and your programme leader will guide you through the requirements and expectations of your course. You will also be supported through individual engagement with the academic literature, recordings, lectures, and resources available on the eLearning Portal. Feedback will be ongoing throughout seminar activities and through assessment tasks.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
1. You will gain knowledge of historical techniques and musical style associated with several instruments/voice relating to repertoire across several centuries
2. You will understand the limitations of the various kinds of primary source
3. You will gain an appreciation of the debates surrounding historically informed performance and an understadning of the intersection between musicology and performance, and research-led performance/performance-led research.
Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
4. You will develop an ability to analyse primary source material, including audio recordings, musical scores, books and treatises, as evidence for historically informed performance and to extract information relevant to performance from the sources
Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):

5. You will demonstrate the curiosity to confront, explore and assimilate unfamiliar musical sounds, concepts, repertoires and practices.

How will I be assessed?

1. Essay of 2,500 words on an aspect of historically informed performance practice relating to the first part of the module. (MLOs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
2. A presentation of about 20 to 25 minutes duration on an aspect of performance practice. This may relate to your own instrument/singing, but need not do so. The presentation should include audio examples, either performed live or in the form of extracts from recordings. MLOs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Formative assessment will take the form of
1. seminar presentations which will help develop the skills required for the summative assessment.
2. Individual sessions to go over essay plans

Feedback on the essay comprises annotations to the script and a short report, plus an opportunity to go over your work with the course tutor in an individual tutorial.

Feedback on the presentation is given on a feedback form.

Pre-requisite(s)

N/A

Co-requisite(s)

N/A

Module abstract

How do we know what music sounded like in the past? Do early recordings give us an accurate representation? What about music composed before the advent of recording technology? This module examines what we can find out from the historical record about performing music. We will be assessing how useful different types of primary source material are for informing our own interpretation of music: these include early recordings, musical scores, treatises and archival records. We will be considering what they can tell us about all aspects of performing music, including instrumental/vocal technique and style (or, to use an eighteenth-century term, ‘good taste’). The module covers the performance of music from the seventeenth to the twentieth centuries.

Course info

UCAS Code W320

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Humanities

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.

 

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