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Studying Early Music

Our department offers a variety of courses depending on the previous experience of the student and we try to be flexible when finding the best course for each applicant. The Bachelor of Music combines the usual broad music subjects including Music History, Harmony, Aural and Analysis with specialised early music subjects:


  • Historical Instrument Studies - taught by a specialist in the Musical Instrument Museum of the University of Leipzig, which includes examining historical instruments in the museum's collection, how they function and their place in the development of the instrument.
  • Historical Source Studies - where you gain an overview of the most relevant primary sources and learn how to work with them.
  • Historical Notation Studies - learning to read, transcribe and perform from original notation from the 15th to the 17th centuries.
  • Tuning and Acoustics - introduction to the physical and acoustical aspects of music and examining the issues of tuning and temperament.
  • Methodology - close examination of the historical sources relating to your principal study, taught by one of the teachers of that instrument.


Further subjects which can be chosen include: second study instruments, historical gesture, historical dancing, harpsichord tuning and maintenance, singing for instrumentalists, methodology for instruments other than your own, renaissance and baroque improvisation, language classes (including German) and a selection of classes offered by other departments.


The two Master of Music courses differ depending on how much the student has already studied early music, but both offer flexibility for the student to tailor the course to their own needs and can include all of the above subjects.




8 semesters = 4 years


If you do not have a music degree yet. You might be just starting to study, or have recently started to study and wish to change schools (in which case the course might be less than 8 semesters, depending on how much you have studied in your previous school.) When you successfully complete the course, you will receive a Bachelor of Music degree.
If you already have a Bachelor of Music degree (e.g. modern violin), but not in an early instrument (e.g. baroque violin). In this case you might be permitted to go straight into the two-year "verbreitende" Master of Music course, but we would normally recommend that you join the Bachelor of Music course in the fifth (or even the third) semester, to take advantage of the specialist early music classes. Classes which you have completed in your 'modern' study are normally recognised and do not need to be repeated. You would study for two (or three) years and then have the option of continuing with a one-year "vertiefende" Master of Music degree. These possibilities will be discussed with you during the entrance exam and every effort will be made to accommodate your wishes.


In the later years of the Bachelor course it is possible to include pedagogical subjects leading to teaching qualifications.


PLEASE NOTE: For a second study at the same level, i.e. a second Bachelor degree, study fees are payable. There are also fees for students from countries outside the European Union; there are however a range of scholarships and stipendia to help any student with financial difficulties.  For more information about fees, click HERE



MASTER OF MUSIC (Vertiefend)

2 semesters = 1 year

This course is for students who already have a Bachelor degree in early music, either from our own department or one of the other recognised schools with a Bachelor in early music. There is the option of choosing a performance profile or one with a stronger research element. Upon completing the course you will be awarded a Master of Music degree.



Master of Music (Verbreiternd)

4 semesters = 2 years


This is a postgraduate degree, ending with a Master of Music degree. You must have successfully completed a first music study and hold a recognized diploma or Bachelor of Music degree, although this will usually not be for 'early music' studies. In addition to your principal study lessons, you also receive Korrepetition (professional accompaniment) and such specialist courses as you have not already completed in your first diploma. In the second year of this course there is an option of choosing a performance profile or one with a stronger research element.


Depending on your previous early music experience, we might suggest that you consider doing the second half of a Bachelor degree with your early instrument, followed by a one year Masters. We will discuss all the options with you during the entrance exam and try to find the most suitable course for you. Please read the information about the Bachelor course above. If you are uncertain about which course to apply for, choose the Master of Music (verbreiternd).



"Masterclass" (Meisterklasse)

4 semesters = 2 years


This is an advanced course for people who already have a Masters degree in early music. The performance requirements for entry to this course are very high, and at the end you must play/sing two demanding performance exams. You receive your principal study lessons and Korrepetition (professional accompaniment) and have a small requirement to choose some extra subjects, but are of course welcome to visit as many of the other early music classes as you wish. In addition you will be required to give tutorials to some of the other students; if you have no previous pedagogical training, you will be required to choose some pedagogical subjects in your first year.



   (Guest auditor)

In the Gasthörerstudium you can choose which subjects you would like to study. This could be just lessons in your principal study instrument, or you can attend further classes as well. For this  course of study, fees are payable, depending on how many classes you choose to attend. If you want, you can choose to do an exam, for which you will receive a certificate. For more information about the course, please follow this link


Module catalogue, study and examination regulations...

Module catalogue, study and examination regulations...

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