Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

Performance Practice MUSIC4080

  • Academic Session: 2022-23
  • School: School of Culture and Creative Arts
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Runs Throughout Semesters 1 and 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

The course illuminates the relation between sources, instruments and performance practice, including the study of the variety of styles, conventions and beliefs about performance within western music history.


8 x 2hr lectures over both semesters as scheduled in MyCampus; 3x1hr seminars and 2x1hr tutorials as scheduled on MyCampus. This one of the Honours options in Music which may not run every year. The options that are running this session are available on MyCampus.

Requirements of Entry

Available to all students fulfilling requirements for Honours entry into Music, and by arrangement to visiting students or students of other Honours programmes who qualify under the University's 25% regulation.

Excluded Courses

Notation and Performance Practice (MUSIC4058) 




Essay (3,000 words) - 60%

Either practical 15 minute demonstration of performance practice or presentation of 15 minutes - 40%

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non-Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

This course will provide the opportunity to

■ understand issues concerning the performance of music from the Renaissance up to the present. The course is essentially about historical and cultural practice (in the widest sense) - how each period, culture and area brings a variety of practices - and how this can be applied to the preparation of performance today.

■ develop an awareness of stylistic differences in performance and interpretation both in historical contexts and in current practices.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ recognise differences between performance practices in the present and those at various points in the past.

■ relate the history and performance practices of at least one instrument (or voice).

■ differentiate and compare contemporary performance practices.

■ evaluate and apply knowledge of historical or contemporary performance practice to performance.

■ criticise debates about historical performance and the ideology of performance

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.