In addition to the formation of a solid technical competence upon the instrument, an important part of the cornetto player's training involves the development of a distinctive personal style and approach to matters of performance and interpretation. This is primarily gained through direct, "hands-on" experience of the instrument's repertoire, involving musical styles and compositional techniques in use from the beginning of the 15th to well into the 18th centuries, with particular emphasis given to vocal music of the 15th and 16th centuries. The discipline of colla parte playing in polyphony along with the practice of improvising embellishments upon existing compositions are a few fundamental aspects of the study of the cornetto's repertoire and technique, along with its vast and ambitious solo repertoire -- which includes a wealth of music shared with the violin and the voice as well.

The Bachelor in Cornetto 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. There are a wide variety of music styles associated with the Cornetto. You will study an extensive repertoire, exploring and stretching the boundaries of the characteristic possibilities of the instrument. You will take part in various projects involving the performance of cantatas and orchestral and operatic works which will give you the chance to perform works for your instrument in your own way and in the right context. Master classes and lectures will be given regularly by specialists (musicians and musicologists) from the Netherlands and abroad. 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.

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