Norges musikkhøgskole Norwegian Academy of Music
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Applied Piano – Improvisation/​Figured Bass I/II

  • Course type: Elective course.
  • Course level: Bachelor/Master.
  • Year of study: Two semesters, fall and spring.
  • Final assessment: Assessment from the course instructor or practical exam.
  • Prerequisites: BRUKLA10 (compulsory in the first module) or equivalent. BRUKLA20 is prerequisite to BRUKLA22.
  • Language of instruction: Norwegian or English.

Course description

The course includes an introduction to figure bass playing and practical use of the instrument. The course can not be chosen by students with piano as their main instrument.

Responsible department: Piano, Accompaniment, Guitar and Accordion Department.

Course instructor: Eyolf Dale.

Learning objectives

Upon completion of the course, students are expected to

  • have musical, technical and creative skills in utilizing the piano's possibilities as a support instrument for singing and ensemble playing.


On the basis of the students' abilities and future employment situations, the course will include work with

  • Figure playing
  • Playing by ear
  • Transposition
  • Improvisation
  • Ensemble playing and accompaniment
  • Piano technique


The course is taught individually and/or in groups of no more than 4 students. Content and work methods are adapted to students' individual level. Tuition is given within the time frame of 22,5 minutes per student per week for 24 weeks.

Course requirements

At the end of the academic year the students must present a repertoire list of at least 30 minutes which includes all areas covered in the course. Minimum requirements should be the equivalent to standard popular tunes with a varied use of chords.

Deadline: The repertoire list must be approved by the course instructor by 15 May in the second semester of the course.

Final assessment

All course requirements must be approved prior to obtaining a final assessment.

Assessment is based on learning objectives. The final assessment is given as a pass/fail mark, and is determined in one of two alternative ways:

Alternative 1 (normal)

Students choosing alternative 1 commit to following at least 80 % of the tuition in the course. Students will also perform at least one internal concert per semester. The final assessment is based on each student’s level of achievement throughout the course period.

Alternative 2

Final assessment is set on the basis of a practical examination with at least two internal examiners, where the student performs a self-chosen program of approx. 20 minutes. The student will also be tested in simple transposition by ear and prima vista play by chords.

Students who choose Alternative 2 are responsible for making their choice known by sending an email to the Exams Office at by 1 February in the second semester of the course.

New assessment

Students who do not pass the course must complete a practical exam as described above in Alternative 2.

Published: May 19, 2020 — Last updated: Feb 1, 2021