The Historical Clarinet course centres on the classical five- or six-key clarinet in Bb, which came to prominence among the other woodwind instruments from Vienna around 1800. Eric Hoeprich launched this course at the Royal Conservatoire twenty years ago and has now been succeeded by one of his most successful former students, Nicola Boud.

The Bachelor in Historical Clarinet in the Early Music Department of the Royal Conservatoire is a highly practice-oriented course. In addition to the elements of the curriculum supervised by teachers, you will learn to develop projects of your own and discover ways of performing them convincingly for an audience. As a student of Historical Clarinet, the large number of students of fortepiano, strings, wind instruments and singers means that you will have plenty of opportunities for chamber music projects. In addition to the Classical repertoire, during the course you will work with Xavier Lefèvre’s Méthode de Clarinette. Naturally, it is advisable to immerse yourself in the C, Bb and A clarinet, as well as the basset horn.

Although the course is highly practical in nature, the study of early music demands a good theoretical grounding and background knowledge of the history of music and instruments. You will therefore also study the fundamentals of basso continuo, the historic development of this instrument, as well as the practice and theory of ornamentation, diminutions, notation and analysis of style. Research is another essential feature of the programme and you will be introduced gradually to the subject with lessons in bibliography, source studies and research techniques.

The Early Music Department of the Royal Conservatoire enjoys a worldwide reputation as one of the largest and most important faculties of its kind. For more than fifty years the Department has formed a unique breeding ground and melting pot for talent in historical performance practice. Vocal and instrumental styles of music from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance up to the Romantic period are taught by musicians with an international reputation as authorities in their field. Because of the high standards demanded by the international teaching staff, a degree from the Royal Conservatoire is an automatic recommendation in professional circles.

Here, you can find an overview of teachers for Early Music.





60 min/ week


4 years


Bachelor of Music

Tuition fee

Check 'Tuition fees'

Department head

Teunis van der Zwart

Introduction Royal Conservatoire