SOAS University of London

Department of Music, School of Arts

Performance As Research

Module Code:
FHEQ Level:
Taught in:
Full Year
This course is comparable to the dissertation component in other SOAS MA programmes.



Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

Performance as Research requires students to develop a project based around the instrumental or vocal tradition chosen that has research at its core. The research component is agreed with the convenor of the course, but may include:

  • reconstruction of musical performance based on historical or other source materials;
  • improvisation, based on an understanding of the musical language of the instrumental or vocal tradition studied;
  • arrangement, rehearsal, and performance of a repertory for one or more instruments or voices within or beyond the tradition studied;
  • composition, rehearsal, and performance of a repertory for one or more instruments or voices in a manner that reflects the stylistic features of the tradition studied.


By arrangement

Scope and syllabus

Students will normally continue to work with the teacher (and the music tradition) approved by the convenor in advance for the first course, Performance.

The convenor meets students three times, normally over the summer period. During these meetings, projects are approved, and discussions held to consider the research component of the work.

Method of assessment

  • One 3 000 words essay (or equivalent in other media) (worth 20%) to be submitted by 15th September
  • One performance exam (worth 80%) to be held in September


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules