Study information

This curriculum and structure of this new Master’s programme (from September 2017) are similar to those of the general variant of the Master in Theory of Music, but focuses specifically on music theory from the Middle Ages up to the early Romantic period. This is a unique international programme.

The specialisation in the theory of early music is provided in association with the Early Music department, which enjoys a worldwide reputation as one of the largest and most important programmes of its kind. Accordingly, the theory can always be studied in relation to the practice. Naturally, during the Master’s course the connection will be made with the ‘third cycle’ (academic research at the highest level in anticipation of a PhD programme on completion of the Master’s).

You will develop a broad range of methodological/didactic skills which will, help you launch an international practice as a teacher of music theory in an Early Music department. In other words, the programme offers very specific career prospects.

There are three main strands to the two-year Master’s curriculum.

The first is the métier: this module contains three courses in which creating music, analysis and literature/research of sources are integrated according to the ACML formula: Analysis/Creating Music/Literature. Each of the three courses encompasses an historical period: the Middle Ages and Renaissance, from High Renaissance and Baroque to Late Baroque, and Classical and early Romantic. In addition to the core subject of Basso continuo/partimento, you will also choose a number of electives, such as improvisation in different styles, the philosophy/aesthetics of music, rhetoric and affect theory, notation, Liturgical/Gregorian and vocal/ensemble conducting.

The second strand is the research: we would like you to develop into an independentaly functioning musician, who can adapt to the constantly changing practice. Therefore, you will perform your own Master’s research. You will be guided by your supervisor, besides attending an introductory course on conducting research and an elective in the first year. You will participate in the Master circle - a peeer-to-peer group, consisting of fellow students and a circle leader. At the end of your degree, you will present your conclusions. In that context, you will participate in the international discourse on music theory and/or music teaching by writing papers and participating at conferences , symposia, study days, etc. You will engage fully with the music theory community and visit music institutes in other countries. Because you are part of music theory life, visits to institutions in other countries are crucial to your research. 

On application to the Master's Degree, you will set up a Master Plan, describing how you would like to design your course. More information may be found here.






2 years


Master of Music

Tuition fee

Check 'Tuition fees'

Department head

Paul Scheepers

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