• Offered by School of Music
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Music
  • Areas of interest Music
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Erin Helyard
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in Second Semester 2015
    See Future Offerings

Advanced academic study of the resources, instruments, techniques and stylistic conventions relevant to the performance of music from Renaissance to modern times, with an emphasis on the works of the 18th and 19th centuries.

Sometimes referred to as  performance practice, period performance, or "authentic" performance, "historically informed performance" (HIP) is an historical approach that seeks to uncover and decipher performing techniques of the past in order to better understand the musical culture and expectations of the time.
The course is intended for those majoring in Musicology and/or Creative Musicianship as well as Performance students. Although the course focuses on performance practices and musical cultures of the 17th to 20th centuries, the theoretical and practical issues discussed will also be of interest to jazz students, composers, and musicians and scholars involved in popular music.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Upon Successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Explain and evaluate, at an advanced level, a range of issues involved in historical performance practice including debates about the aesthetic validity of ‘historically informed performance’.
  2. Explain and evaluate, at an advanced level, how music in a particular style might originally have sounded, as well as the links between the historical study of style and contemporary approaches to performing. 
  3. Identify and evaluate the use of primary sources as lines of evidence for historical performance styles.

Indicative Assessment

Journal Portfolio: 1,500 words 30% (LO 1, 2, 3)

Essay/research project: 2,500 words 50% (LO 1, 2, 3)

Seminar presentation: 10 minutes 20% (LO 1, 2, 3)

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


2 hours of lectures per week for 13 weeks and 12 hours of tutorial/feedback. Students are expected to undertake a further 92 hours of independent study, research, reading and writing over the semester (total 130 hours).

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have previously completed MUSI1104 and MUSI1106.

Prescribed Texts

John Butt, Playing with History: The Historical Approach to Musical Performance (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002).

Clive Brown, Classic and Romantic Performance Practice: 1750-1900 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999.

Other readings will be provided either online or in a coursepack.

Preliminary Reading

Howard Mayer Brown et al., “Western Performing Practice,” §1, §5-8, New Grove 2.

Harry Haskell, “‘The Musical Pompeii,’” “‘The Apostle of Retrogression,’” and “Playing Bach ‘his’ Way’” in The Early Music Revival: A History, (London: Thames & Hudson, 1988), 13-25, 26-43, 175-188.

Assumed Knowledge

Familiarity with standard western music notation.




Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $2604
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $3576
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
3641 20 Jul 2015 07 Aug 2015 31 Aug 2015 30 Oct 2015 In Person N/A

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions