Music and the Media of Performance (Practice) (827W3)

30 credits, Level 7 (Masters)

Spring teaching

During the past fifty years the parameters of musical performance have expanded enormously. For John Cage all musical performance was inherently theatrical since it engaged both eye and ear. The visual aspect of musical performance, and the relationship of music to the spatial and to the embodied, has often been overlooked, and has led composers such as, eg, Cage himself, Mauricio Kagel and Heiner Goebbels to explore the extended theatricality of musical performance in directions beyond opera. Other artists like Meredith Monk, Philip Glass and Robert Wilson have restored the term 'opera' to refer to music theatre works that reconfigure the traditional media of opera (music, language, voice, sound, body, space, image) in new ways. More recently muscians such as Michel van der Aa have incorporated sonic and visual media in a live performance context.

The module will examine both theories and practices of experimental music theatre and multi-media performance through critical and practical engagement with the ideas that lie behind such practices. The module will be assessed by an essay, through which you will demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of key theories and practices in experimental music theatre or multi-media performance.


100%: Practical (Workshop)


100%: Coursework (Portfolio)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 300 hours of work. This breaks down into about 40 hours of contact time and about 260 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2024/25. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.