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MUSI6028 Elements of Musical Performance

Module Overview

This module introduces you to the practicalities of a performance career, which involves much more than simply playing an instrument or singing well. Key questions include: why do you want to perform; to whom and with whom do you wish to perform; where do you want to perform; and who will pay you to perform. Methods for the management of your performing career will vary depending on the responses, and the module aims to help you analyse your goals and devise effective strategies for achieving them. Seminars will cover issues such as image and identity; venues and audiences; recording and the recording industry; marketing and publicity; and financial and legal rights and responsibilities. You will arrange publicity for your own concerts as an urgent practical example of many of the topics broached.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

• introduce you to the practicalities of a performance career • help you to devise effective publicity for yourself and your performing groups • make you aware of issues beyond performance technique (repertory, specialism, image, location, technology, finance) that shape successful performing careers

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • markets for musical performance and their management
  • strategies of publicity for performance
  • professional relationships within the music business (agents, recording companies, other musicians)
  • financial and legal responsibilities and rights of performers (income tax, VAT, pensions, copyright, unions and societies)
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • appropriate to your performance profile
  • identify appropriate media for the dissemination of your performances
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • assemble a proposal for an arts event, using a mode of presentation appropriate to the context
  • exploit your knowledge of marketing techniques and publicity to promote your work and that of others
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • devise engaging publicity for a performance event
  • manage the practical aspects of your own performing career


A series of seminar discussions will be undertaken, which may include the following: • Performance: Why do you want to perform? How do you choose your repertoire and your colleagues? • The role of Research and Practice-Led Research. • Style: selection, creation, rejection. • Performance genre: traditional, innovative, multi-media, and other add-ons. • Your Image: created, accidental, or pretending to be accidental? • Knowing the business. Promoters & agents. Self-promotion. Sources of funding. • Knowing your market. Venues, audiences, their interdependence, and how you insert yourself between them. • Recording, broadcasting & marketing. Are they one and the same? • Outreach, education & added value.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include • lectures • seminars • tutorials Learning activities include • individual study/ research • practice • collaborative projects Lectures and seminars introduce the principles of effective marketing of performers and performances, which you will apply in immediate practical terms by devising publicity for your own concerts and recitals required in the context of the MMus Performance pathway. Seminars on audience expectations, funding, and venues encourage you to imagine practical performance proposals that will succeed in convincing concert hall and festival managers and in attracting sufficient funding; your ability to devise practically feasible plans is assessed in the final portfolio.

Completion of assessment task50
Wider reading or practice100
Preparation for scheduled sessions50
Follow-up work50
Total study time300

Resources & Reading list

LEBRECHT, Norman (1997). Who killed Classical Music?. 

EVANS, Andrew (2003). Secrets of Performing Confidence. 

DUNSBY, Jonathan (1995). Performing Music, Shared Concerns. 

HERBERT, Trevor (2001). Music in Words. 

HOROWITZ, Joseph (1990). The Ivory Trade. 


Assessment Strategy

Assessment Method Portfolio of performance proposals, capable of realization, including recordings and broadcasts (5000 words or equivalent: posters, designs, websites, etc). Some projects may actually happen, some may remain bright ideas at present. They should all offer opportunities to put into practice the ideas discussed during the seminars.


MethodPercentage contribution
Portfolio 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Portfolio 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal

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