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MA in Music (by research) - Performance Practice

University of York

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Course options

  • Qualification

    MA - Master of Arts

  • Location

    University of York

  • Study mode

    Full time

  • Start date

    OCT-21, JAN-22, APR-22, JUL-22

  • Duration

    1 year

Course summary

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.

Tuition fees

Students living in United States
(international fees)

£ 22,250per year

Tuition fees shown are for indicative purposes and may vary. Please check with the institution for most up to date details.

University information

University of York

  • University League Table


  • Campus address

    University of York, Heslington, York, York, YO10 5DD, England

Inspiring teaching delivered by leading academics, integrated with award-winning employability programmes, equips students for the international labour market.
A diverse campus community of students from over 150 countries that offers a lifelong global alumni network.
Specialist international student support includes orientation, immigration advice, Language Skills Centres, and International Pathway College programmes.

Subject rankings

  • Subject ranking

    11th out of 103 5

    17th out of 87 3

  • Entry standards

    / Max 196
    156 82%


  • Graduate prospects

    / Max 100
    64.0 64%


  • Student satisfaction

    / Max 5
    4.05 81%


  • Entry standards

    / Max 214
    151 74%


  • Graduate prospects

    / Max 100
    70.0 70%


  • Student satisfaction

    / Max 5
    4.31 86%



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