Instrumentation, Voicing and Orchestration (W3076)

15 credits, Level 4

Autumn teaching

During this module you will deepen your knowledge and understanding of the western musical repertoire over the past 500 years in ways that are relevant to all modern musicians. You will survey works for voices and instruments by examining a case study from a different time period each week of the module. The aim is not a standard history of music, rather the focus is on voicing and instrumentation, giving you the chance to understand and link technical changes to historical contexts through close study and to gain vital skills in music's practice and craft. Each week you will start a practical exercise in class, which will help you to complete your assessments (an exercise and a creative project). Your survey will include works by Josquin, Tallis, Palestrina, Monteverdi, Bach, Beethoven, Debussy, Ruth Crawford Seeger, Judith Weir and Unsuk Chin.

Having taken this module you will have consolidated and improved your competence in reading scores and further developed your technical understanding of and practical abilities in orchestration. You will also have gained insights into the structures and internal organisation of music for a wide range of vocal and instrumental ensembles from 1500 to the present day.

Teaching and assessment

We’re currently reviewing teaching and assessment of our modules in light of the COVID-19 situation. We’ll publish the latest information as soon as possible.

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 20 hours of contact time and about 130 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

This module is running in the academic year 2021/22. We also plan to offer it in future academic years. However, we are constantly looking to improve and enhance our courses. There may be changes to modules in response to student demand or feedback, changes to staff expertise or updates to our curriculum. We may also need to make changes in response to COVID-19. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: