Module code: MUS1035

Module Overview

The purpose of this module is to give you the opportunity to develop your skills in performing and arranging. You can choose a joint pathway containing elements of both activities or an arranging only pathway. The teaching of each pathway contains elements of both performance and arrangement in order to contribute to your development as a rounded musician. Performing and arranging skills are learned and employed in practical situations through the preparation and presentation of your own arrangements, transcriptions and performances as well as your involvement with ensemble music making and event management within the Department of Music and Media. The arrangement pathway will enable you to develop skills in working creatively with pre-existing musical materials and writing for instruments. The joint pathway will enable you to expand your performing skills as a solo performer and develop basic independent learning skills in your individual instrument/voice. You will also develop practical skills in and understanding of event management. You will learn how to report accurately and cogently on your management and performance activities and on musical events organised by the Department.

If you opt for the joint pathway you are required to take tuition in a single instrument/voice only, and you may not change that discipline without re-auditioning. Such re-auditions will only take place between academic years, and if you wish to re-audition you must inform Registry by the end of the preceding July. The assumption is that you will continue with the same instrument, style and tutor as you were having at the preceding level.

Module provider

Music and Media

Module Leader

ARMSTRONG Thomas (Music & Med)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 4

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 122

Lecture Hours: 14

Seminar Hours: 8

Practical/Performance Hours: 6

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

Pre-requisite: Associated Board Grade 7 or equivalent standard in the instrument being studied and the permission of the Module Leader. 

Module content

Indicative content includes:

  • idiomatic instrumental writing

  • techniques for working creatively with melodic, harmonic and rhythmic elements of pre-existing music

  • the analysis and discussion of existing arrangements in a variety of styles

  • advice on working collaboratively

  • performance-based practical work in class

  • learning and preparing new instrumental/vocal repertoire oriented towards the development of instrumental technique

  • performing that repertoire in concerts and seminars, and if appropriate, in studio recordings

  • learning new technical skills appropriate to you, and consolidating previously-learned skills

  • learning a basic range of skills in event management

  • learning and performing repertoire for choir/chamber choir/orchestra

  • effective techniques for observing, reporting and documenting your management, performance and concert-going

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting

Alternative Assessment

Individual components of online folio replaced by written coursework not to exceed 1500 words (for the folio as a whole)

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate:

  • a core level of technical competence in arrangement and transcription (LO1)

  • clear reflection on both process and product (LO3)

  • a core level of experience of collaboration in both music creation and performance (LO2,6,7)

  • a core level of technical and musical competence in performance (LO4, 5)

  • a core level of experience in a large ensemble, to include aural skills development (LO6)

  • a core level of competence in observation, reporting and documentation techniques (LO8)

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of three units of assessment:

  • Practical musicianship (the content of this varies according to pathway - see ‘Units of assessment’ above):

    • a performance in private playing a solo piece/s (LO1, 4, 5). You have the option of submitting a 300 word commentary to the examiners outlining what you consider to be the most important interpretative features of the programme you will be presenting

    • an in-class performance of an arrangement devised in a small group and based on a pre-existing piece of the group’s choosing (LO1, 4, 5, 6)

    • an individually-written commentary on the arrangement, it’s technical aspects and the process of its creation (LO3)

    • a recorded performance of a transcription of a pre-existing piece with or without accompaniment (LO1)

    • a 300 word statement supporting the transcription that explains your choice of source material and notable aspects of the transcription (LO3)

  • Weekly contribution to choir/orchestra/chamber choir/own choice ensemble (LO4-6)

  • Event management duties (organised on a rota basis throughout the module) (LO7)

  • Compilation of an online folio of reviews, concert management and ensemble reports 1500 words in total (LO7-8)

Formative assessment

  • Formative assessment in transcription and arrangement will be delivered by small-scale assignments either completed in or prepared for certain lectures/seminars.

  • Rehearsals and discussions with staff and peers

  • Formative assessment point for the online folio midway through the module


  • instrumental/vocal tutors

  • staff (including formal concert feedback)

  • accompanists

  • conductors

  • peers

  • self-observation of recordings

Module aims

  • deepen your knowledge of your own instrument
  • develop critical listening skills
  • increase your knowledge of repertoire
  • identify good practice in event management to enable you to contribute effectively as part of a team
  • deepen your knowledge of other instruments
  • develop your confidence and ability in working creatively with pre-existing musical materials
  • introduce you to a range of strategies for arrangement and transcription by studying successful examples of such genres
  • develop a range of basic skills and techniques appropriate to working on your instrument/voice: i) practising and performance strategies and ii) self confidence through thorough preparation.
  • develop your skills and perceptions as both solo and ensemble performer, i) awareness while performing, ii) communication with your audience, iii) coping with performance anxiety
  • extend your aural skills
  • report accurately on musical events attended using appropriate technical language

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Arrangement-related learning outcomes - on successful completion of this module, you will be able to: adapt existing music for your own and other instruments, manipulating, devising and notating musical materials (primarily melodic, harmonic, rhythmic) as part of this process KCP
002 Work collaboratively in a small group PT
003 Reflect on your transcriptions and arrangements in cogent written form C
004 Performance-related learning outcomes - on successful completion of this module, you will be able to: employ an increasing range of technical/musical skills appropriate to your repertoire and suitable as a foundation for further study CP
005 Identify and apply appropriate practice and rehearsal techniques C
006 Show awareness, sensitivity and understanding as an ensemble participant P
007 participate effectively in small teams of students in managing events T
008 Develop and effectively utilise technical language facilitating accurate reporting of musical events attended P

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

  • develop your confidence in writing for your own instrument and help you to write effectively for other instruments

  • develop your ability to work creatively with melodic, harmonic and rhythmic elements of pre-existing pieces of music

  • develop your ability to work in small groups

  • develop your ability to think about and explain your working methods and performance decisions

  • develop your instrumental/vocal skills

  • develop your awareness of a range of professional activities (eg recording, and concerts)

  • develop your aural and listening skills

  • develop practical skills in event management

  • develop your observation, reporting and documentation skills

  • develop your ensemble skills.

The learning and teaching methods include:

  • one-to-one lessons on your instrument/voice (6 hours for the module)

  • weekly lectures or seminars

  • individual practice and coaching (as agreed with your instrumental/vocal tutor)

  • private study (as required)

  • observation of concerts given by peers

  • observation of concerts given by professional performers

  • observation of and participation in event management

  • rehearsals with choir/orchestra

  • rehearsals and coaching of unconducted repertoire

  • private listening related to your instrumental studies

  • class session on writing about performance (criticism)

  • tutorials

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: MUS1035

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Creative Music Technology BMus (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Music BMus (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2020/1 academic year.