Further information on submitting a proposal for the MA by Research in Performance Practice is available from Professor Peter Seymour: email@example.com
The MA in Music (by Research): Performance Practice programme is suitable for students wishing to research and express their understanding of specific areas of performance practice either by thesis or by performance with commentary or editions. Students may submit a dissertation of between 30,000 and 40,000 words investigating the agreed topic; this might present a fresh understanding of an acknowledged area of performance practice (eg in early music) such as rhetoric – structures, ornamentation, rhetorical figures, gesture, rhythmic alteration, articulation – or vocal or instrumental style based on primary sources. Submission by performance might be in similar areas but the research insights are presented in a portfolio of up to 3 discrete recorded performances supported by an appropriate commentary of around 2,500 words (or longer if required) discussing the performance and its preparation and situating the project in a research context. It may be appropriate to submit critical or performance editions of the music to be discussed or performed.
Examples of submissions have included Ornamentation in Early Lieder; Gesture in English Restoration Mad Songs; Rhetorical Structures in Bach’s Cello Suites; Rhetoric in Buxtehude’s Organ Works; Editions and Performance Practice in A Scarlatti’s solo cantatas; the influence of Language on the development of National Style in baroque music; Editions and Performance Practice in Grandi’s Motets; the Recorder in the 18th Century concerto grosso. Study areas may cover the later Renaissance to early 19th century.
Supervision and tutorial meetings are held on a regular basis throughout the academic year and, where appropriate, students will be offered an allowance for vocal or instrumental lessons with a Department teacher.
The MA in Music by Research offers postgraduate opportunities to individuals who prefer to study independently rather than through classroom teaching, working under the close supervision of an expert in their field. This is a research degree, not a taught course programme, and applicants will need to have a clearly-focussed research proposal in their given area in order to be considered for admission to the research MA. Supervision and tutorial meetings are held on either a weekly or fortnightly basis throughout the academic year and by arrangement over the summer vacation. There is also an opportunity for all MA by Research students to interact with one another: the MA Research Forum. Meeting on Wednesday mornings, this is a discussion group that engages with common themes, such as issues of writing about music, while offering the opportunity for individual students to present aspects of their research topics to the larger group. Students are also encouraged to attend the weekly Research Seminar series (on Wednesday afternoons) where invited speakers, staff members and PhD students give presentations about their latest work, and there are opportunities to meet other postgraduate researchers.
The MA in Music by Research lasts one year for full-time study or two years for part-time study. Candidates may elect to apply to the MPhil/PhD programme subject to satisfactory completion of the MA by Research, though progression is not automatic. The submission of a final dissertation or portfolio of work is the product of a series of carefully-structured elements produced throughout the duration of the programme in conjunction with supervisory guidance.
The following submission alternatives are available for MA by Research candidates. All are subject to supervisory agreement:
Please include as part of your application a research proposal detailing your proposed topic and how you plan to investigate it. This should include a paragraph explaining the relevance of your research or professional experience to date and another explaining why you think your work has the potential to make a new contribution to your field of interest. In addition, please include a selective resource list (maximum length: one page) of significant items (e.g. scores, analyses, published texts such as articles, books and concert ephemera, internet and audio-visual resources, etc.) that you have consulted in exploring your topic and preparing your proposal.
The Department will assist you in matching your research interests to our supervisory expertise. Please note that acceptance into the MA by Research programme requires approval by your potential supervisor.