Early Music studies have always been a centrepiece of Birmingham’s offerings, and the department includes three early music specialists: Mary O’Neill, who has expertise in music from the Middle Ages to the late 18th Century; Amy Brosius, specialist in seventeenth-century vocal music; and Andrew Kirkman, scholar of late medieval music and director of early music projects from the fifteenth to the early nineteenth century. In addition, CEMPR has some twenty professional early music performers of international standing on its staff who not only teach early vocal and instrumental techniques and repertoire, but also engage in practice-led research.
You will study two core modules:
Information Skills and Resources in Music
Introduction to Music Research
You will study three optional modules and complete a 15,000-word musicology dissertation.
You will study two core modules:
Information Skills and Resources in Music - This module helps you to identify and access appropriate bibliographical resources, archives, and other sources of relevant information; describe in detail the process of bibliographical research and justify it; and execute a critical survey of the existing literature on a research topic.
Introduction to Music Research - This module introduces you to contemporary issues, methods, techniques and debates in music, in areas such as source studies (manuscript, printed, electronic), historical performance practice, reception history, and genre studies.
You will also choose three optional modules as follows:
One of –
Advanced Studies in Baroque and Early Classical Music - This module will provide the technical and theoretical background for working in this period and equip you with the skills necessary to proceed to a PhD in Baroque and Early Classical Music. Through a series of case studies, you will be shown a variety of analytical models to provide you with different ways of engaging with the music as well as of talking and thinking about it. You will also examine complex and controversial issues of performance practice.
Advanced Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Music - This module will provide the technical and theoretical background for working in this period and equip you with the skills necessary to proceed to a PhD in Medieval or Renaissance Music. Through a series of case studies, you will be shown a variety of analytical models to provide you with different ways of engaging with the music as well as of talking and thinking about it. You will also examine complex and controversial issues of performance practice.
Plus, one of –
Techniques of Music Editing - This module will show you the mechanics and transcription of early notation in the context of brief editing projects, and to apply knowledge gained in Introduction to Music Research and elective modules in understanding source traditions. You will develop skills in transcription, in the interpretation of various notations, and in the critical evaluation of different editions.
Special Study in Music - You will undertake a special study of a particular field of your choice under the direction of the leader of your pathway, which will typically require attendance at an appropriate series of lectures or tutorials as well as independent reading and research. Topics for study might include: vocalists in the Baroque era; topics in music analysis; or topics in critical musicology.
Baroque Performance Practice - This module will equip you with a range of skills necessary to proceed to PhD in Performance Practice, or, if you are specialising in other areas, it will give you a detailed knowledge to be able to engage with many practical aspects of Baroque music. Topics covered will include organology, rhythm and tempo, articulation, pitch and temperaments, notation, and performance rhetoric.
Plus, one of –
Musicology Research Seminar - Invited speakers from other universities will give eight musicology research seminars, each of one hour in length, followed by discussion. The seminars will provide case studies in a range of methods, techniques and philosophies in contemporary musicology. Staff of the Music Department will lead four follow-up sessions of up to one hour in length, examining the broader issues that lie behind the approaches taken in the seminars.
Introduction to Medieval and Renaissance Music - This module introduces you to some central issues of music of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Topics addressed will include: issues of working with original sources; orality and literacy; the relationships between image, music and text; performance practices and locations; liturgical, secular and broader social and cultural roles of music. You will also look at new critical ways to approach music of the time within an interdisciplinary context.
Early Music Small Ensemble - You will have the opportunity to put together a small ensemble, arrange regular rehearsals, devise and prepare a programme of 25 minutes of music and write a commentary on the programme.
Module outside of Music - You may also select a module outside of music – for example, a language module or a module from Medieval or Early Modern programmes within the College of Arts and Law.
Fees and funding
We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2014/15 are as follows:
Home / EU: £5,940 full-time; £2,970 part-time
Overseas: £13,665 full-time
Learn more about fees and funding
Scholarships and studentships
Scholarships to cover fees and/or maintenance costs may be available. To discover whether you are eligible for any award across the University, and to start your funding application, please visit the University's Postgraduate Funding Database.
International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government.
University of Birmingham graduates - including those due to graduate in summer 2014 - may be entitled to a fee reduction through the College of Arts and Law Alumni Bursary scheme.
Learn more about entry requirements
We accept a range of qualifications, our country pages show you what qualifications we accept from your country.
English language requirements
You can satisfy our English language requirements in two ways:
How to apply
When clicking on the Apply Now button you will be directed to an application specifically designed for the programme you wish to apply for where you will create an account with the University application system and submit your application and supporting documents online. Further information regarding how to apply online can be found on the How to apply pages