Module code: MUS1036

Module Overview

The basic purpose of this module is allow a flexible approach to improving your musicianship in semester two by offering separate and joint pathways in performance and composition. You will continue studying the same instrument/voice as in semester one and/or study composition using tonal and modal techniques. Performing and/or composing skills are learned and employed in practical situations through the preparation and presentation of your own performances, composition exercises and pieces. The module will enable you to develop skills in working creatively with melodic and harmonic elements and techniques in tonal/modal music and writing for instruments. It will enable you to develop basic independent learning skills in your individual instrumental/vocal discipline, and to expand your performing skills as both a solo and an ensemble performer. 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 performance or performance and arrangement 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 the Module Leader 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

JACs code: W310

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

Module Availability

Semester 2

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:

  • techniques for working creatively with melodic and harmonic elements of tonal/modal music

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

  • performance/recordings of practical work in class

  • idiomatic instrumental writing

  • 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 observation, reporting and documenting your management, performance and concert-going activities.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Practical based assessment SOLO PERFORMANCE AND/OR COMPOSITION 70

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 tonal/modal composition (LO1,2)

  • a core level of experience of collaboration in both music creation and performance (LO3, 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:

  • Solo performance and/or composition (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

    • a folio of composition exercises completed during the module (LOs 1-3)

    • composition and performance of a tonal/modal piece. (LOs 1-3)

  • 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 tonal/modal composition will be delivered by exercises and assignments completed for each of the five 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

  • develop your confidence and ability in working creatively with tonal/modal materials
  • introduce you to a range of techniques for tonal/modal composition by studying examples composed in a range os styles
  • deepen your knowledge of composing for your own instrument
  • develop your knowledge of composing for other instruments and performers
  • 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
  • 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.
  • report accurately on musical events attended using appropriate technical language

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
003 Compose effectively for a range of instruments played by students on the module P
005 Identify and apply appropriate practice and rehearsal techniques CP
006 Show awareness, sensitivity and understanding as an ensemble participant PT
001 Composition-related learning outcomes - on successful completion of this module, you will be able to: utilise the relationships between melody, harmony and phrase structure to compose short exercises and pieces KCP
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 P
002 Use a range of techniques to create and manipulate tonal and modal materials within various levels of constraint P
007 participate effectively in small teams of students in managing events PT
008 Develop and effectively utilise technical language facilitating accurate reporting of musical events attended CT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Overall student workload

Independent Study Hours: 120

Lecture Hours: 16

Seminar Hours: 8

Practical/Performance Hours: 6

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

  • develop your ability to work creatively with melodic and harmonic elements of tonal/modal music

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

  • 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

  • weekly lectures and/or seminars

  • individual practice and coaching

  • private study

  • 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


Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Creative Music Technology BMus (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Music BMus (Hons) 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Music and Sound Recording (Tonmeister) BSc (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Music and Sound Recording (Tonmeister) BMus (Hons) 2 Optional 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.