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Performance Studies III (Ensemble Studies) - MUS00140H

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  • Department: Music
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. John Stringer
  • Credit value: 10 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2022-23
    • See module specification for other years: 2021-22

Module summary

Year 3 Core performance module

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Autumn Term 2022-23 to Summer Term 2022-23

Module aims

Following on from Performance Studies I & II (Solo Studies and Ensemble Studies), Performance Studies III (Ensemble Studies) develops practical music-making skills and critical reflection upon those practices through engagement with ensemble rehearsal and performance.  You will develop these skills through consistent participation in a department ensemble or registered ensemble.

Module learning outcomes

Students should develop:

  • a broader knowledge of relevant repertoire, including repertoire that might feature in professional auditions;

  • an increased awareness of style and performance practice;

  • punctuality, preparation, focus and attention;

  • an understanding of rehearsal organisation, direction and conducting, and an ability to respect and follow the musical decisions of a director or conductor;

  • technical solutions for performance challenges that differ from those presented by solo work;

  • an enhanced awareness of both intonation and micro-rhythm as problems requiring collective solutions;

  • an awareness of balance, blend, and foreground-background relationships through attentive listening to the total ensemble;

  • an awareness of the social dynamic of performance within a collective;

  • the individual responsibility that is needed for effective team work;

  • the confidence and judgment necessary to evaluate the individuals role in the collective performance, especially in cases where individual decisions are governed by knowledge of what others are playing - decisions that can only be determined within the ensemble.


Task Length % of module mark
Essay: Record of Participation and Repertoire
N/A 100

Special assessment rules


Additional assessment information

There are two parts to the assessment of this module:

  1. Participation in a departmental ensemble or a registered ensemble (see Section A below) and complete the record of ensemble participation where required (see Section B)

  2.  Complete the end-of-year ensemble repertoire report (500 words) to a satisfactory standard (see Section C).

A: Participation in Departmental Ensembles

As part of your course, you are required to contribute to the practice of music within the Department – as a performer, producer, educator, or in other appropriate ways. Most often this contribution will take the form of participation in departmental ensembles. A list of these is given in this Handbook. It is also possible, however, for you to form your own band or contribute in chamber groups, as an accompanist, or as a soloist in (for example) the Music Society’s series of lunchtime concerts. Or you may perform elsewhere within or outside the University in groups affiliated with the Department: a jazz group might perform at one of the Colleges, a folk band at a local festival, a world music ensemble for a group of schoolchildren. You might also contribute as an arts administrator, designing or promoting musical events; or as a technician, supporting an existing ensemble or new band in live sound and recorded productions; with individual composition work; individual scholarly work; musical work in the community; or in other ways you might suggest.

B: Record of Ensemble Participation

Because all such contributions are monitored through a system of credits, they must be made known to the Department. For departmental ensembles and departmentally sponsored concerts, this is done automatically, and you need take no action – all registers will be sent to the Office by ensemble leaders.

Where your name does not appear on an official register, you will be asked by the Board of Studies to provide evidence of your activities. Therefore, for all other events, and for lunchtime concerts having no programme, it is your responsibility to supply the Departmental Office with appropriate documentation. This would normally consist of programmes, flyers, concert reviews, letters of acknowledgment, copies of internet announcements, and the like; it may also take the form of audio or video recordings. Any such documentation must be submitted to Kath Watson. You do not need to provide this evidence unless requested to do so. No credits can be awarded for non-Departmental events unless the Department is provided with adequate documentation.

C: Repertoire Report

Write a 500-word report on one piece of repertoire that you have performed in either a departmental or registered ensemble. Consider the following examples of what you might write about: what did you find important in terms of learning about the work from the ‘inside’; what technical issues did you overcome while learning the work; were there aspects of performance practice you gained from performing this piece; were there aspects of the work that inspired you to look closer at this type of repertoire?


Task Length % of module mark
Essay: Record of Participation and Repertoire
N/A 100

Module feedback

Confirmation of Pass/Fail within 20 working days of submission.

Indicative reading


The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.