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Norges musikkhøgskole Norwegian Academy of Music Search

Prin­cip­al Instru­ment II

  • Year of study: Year 3 and 4, four semesters.
  • Final assessment: Exam concert.
  • Prerequisites: Passing mark from 1st module of Bachelor of Music Performance.
  • Language of instruction: Norwegian/English.

Course description

The course is for wind instruments, harp, piano, guitar, accordion and cembalo.

The course is based on Principal instrument I (UTHO10).

Learning objectives

On completion of the course, the student is expected to

  • demonstrate creativity and confidence in the genre when playing solo and in ensembles.
  • have acquired a comprehensive, balanced repertoire.
  • present music in various performance situations and be able to communicate with the audience.
  • be able to work independently and with purpose, when playing alone and in ensembles.
  • know and show an ability to reflect upon relevant academic and professional ethical issues


The repertoire is chosen with the intention of building the widest possible repertoire within students’ interests and proficiency levels. A large part of the course is learning a new repertoire and maintaining and developing previously learned repertoire. Norwegian music, Nordic music and contemporary music should be part of the repertoire. The exam repertoire may include repertoire learned in chamber music tuition. The course places heavy demands on students’ ability to judge and create independent musical renditions.

In the course, students will mainly work on

Principal instrument

  • Learning a new repertoire.
  • Technical exercises.
  • Interpretation and performance presentation.
  • Techniques for rehearsal and learning new repertoire.
  • Studying recordings and literature. Students will choose recordings and literature under the supervision of their instructor.

Accompaniment and rehearsal (for winds)

  • Learning repertoire and playing with accompaniment.
  • Help with repertoire and musical and interpretational challenges in works. As well as the challenges of playing with accompaniment.

Forum and interpretation

  • Performance practice, knowledge of the instrument and repertoire.
  • Developing the ability to judge and comment verbally on performances, the students' own and from others.
  • Developing musical and verbal communication skills, and communication with an audience.
  • Knowing the elements of a good performance.
  • Ensemble and orchestral group rehearsing.
  • Rehearsing audition techniques.

Orchestra and chamber orchestra (for winds and harp)

  • Learning and performing repertoire common to orchestras, chamber orchestras, wind ensembles and other large ensembles from the seventeen hundreds until now.

The Academy also arranges optional courses and specialist seminars on topics like musicians' health, performance preparation, how to be a freelancer and commercial awareness.


Organisation and methods vary in this course. The student's independent work with rehearsing and literature studies (recordings, books) related to rehearsing is central. Students will participate in several organised concerts and performances.

Principal instrument

  • Individual guidance and classes with the instrument instructor will take place weekly.

Accompaniment and rehearsal (for winds)

  • Individual lessons with accompaniment.
  • Performances with accompaniment in principal instrument lessons, forum, interpretation lessons, classes, concerts and exams.

Forum and interpretation

  • Weekly lessons and/or projects/workshops in instrument groups (woodwinds, brass etc.).
  • Will be taught by several Academy teachers, as well as guest teachers.

Orchestra (winds, harp)

  • Project weeks ending with concert(s).
  • A plan for repertoire, seminars, rehearsal times, concerts, instructors and conductors will be made at the start of each academic year.
  • Student participation is regulated by instrumentation and repertoire demands. Lists of participants and final project schedules (including group rehearsals) are made available no later than three (3) weeks prior to the start of each project.

Students have registered automatically for instruction/supervision and assessment in the course in accordance with the study progress requirements set out in the individual education plan.

For an overview of the anticipated study progression, please see Organisation under the description of the individual study programme.

Course requirements

1. Compulsory participation in forum and interpretation

  • Active participation is expected. The course coordinator will keep a protocol for forum and interpretation.

2. Compulsory orchestra projects (piano, guitar, accordion and cembalo are exempted)

  • Compulsory active participation in accordance with lineup needs, rehearsal schedules and guidelines from the Orchestra Committee.

3. Compulsory participation in at least two concerts in the second module

  • Concerts will be organised by the Academy if no other agreements are made.

4. Compulsory participation in semester exam concert once a year, and compulsory participation in one test of orchestra or band studies (woodwinds and brass)

  • At the end of the third semester of the second module, students will take a test in orchestra or band studies. The Academy brass and woodwinds teachers will organise the test and act as a jury. 14 days before the test the student will receive information on which orchestra excerpts they are expected to play. The test will last 20 minutes. Oral feedback will be given immediately after the test. Students must pass the test prior to receiving the final assessment in Principal instrument II.

5. Submit the principal instrument report. The report must be signed by the principal instrument teacher and must include

  • Exam programme of 45 minutes Durata (piano 60 minutes)
  • All learned repertoire (at least 270 minutes including 1st module repertoire)
  • Participation in chamber music and ensembles
  • Participation in concerts, seminars and masterclasses
  • Relevant literature the student has read

Deadline: Three copies of the principal instrument report must be submitted to the exam's office by 15 April in the fourth-course semester.

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 on a scale from A to E and is determined based on an exam concert at the end of the fourth year of study. Students are assessed by at least one external and two internal examiners. The Examination Committee will give the student oral feedback regarding the concert.

Exam concert

The concert is normally held at the Academy. The student and principal instrument teacher will determine the exam repertoire together. Chamber music should be included in the programme. In the case of disagreements, the principal instrument teacher makes the final decision.

Scope: Approx. 45 minutes (maximum of 50 minutes).

Scope for piano: Approx. 60 minutes (maximum of 70 minutes).

Brass players will perform at least one piece from memory. Chamber music can make up no more than 10 minutes of the programme. The candidate has the right to have a 20-minute break.

New assessment

In the case of re-assessment, the same procedures apply.

Study component

Published: Apr 3, 2020 — Last updated: Mar 4, 2021