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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.

Course description

The course is for singers.

The course is based on Principal instrument I (UTHO13).

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 new repertoire.
  • technical exercises.
  • interpretation and performance presentation.
  • techniques for rehearsal and learning new repertoire.
  • studying recordings and literature. Students will choose material under supervision from their teacher.

Accompaniment and rehearsal

  • 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.

Lied and oratorio seminar

  • learning and guidance in French, German and church music repertoire.
  • performing learned works in front of class with accompaniment.
  • Repertoire lectures.

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 those of peers.
  • developing musical and verbal skills for communicating with the audience.
  • knowing the elements of a good performance.

Chamber choir II

  • The choir works with a varied repertoire which includes music from various eras and genres. There will be long-term plans for the choir's activities and repertoire. As a suggestive norm for the repertoire, a three-year period must include at least: one project with an orchestra/ensemble, either one of the Academy's ensembles/orchestras (chamber orchestra, baroque ensemble, contemporary ensemble, or symphony orchestra), or an external ensemble
  • one a capella project
  • one contemporary music project
  • one church music project (with or without ensemble)
  • one opera project (with ensemble)

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 material studies (recordings, literature) related to rehearsing is central. Students will participate in several organised concerts and performances.

Principal instrument

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

Accompaniment and rehearsal

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

Lied and oratorio seminar

  • Weekly sessions in eight-week periods in the first and second semester of the course.

Forum and interpretation

  • Weekly lessons and/or projects/workshops.
  • Will be taught by several Academy teachers, as well as guest teachers.

Chamber choir II

  • The choir consist of students with singing as their main instrument, and students who take chamber choir as an elective course. The course is co-organised with Chamber choir I and Chamber choir for opera students.
  • Normally two choir projects will be organised. Normally there will be two concerts per project. More concerts may be arranged.
  • At the start of each academic year, there will be made a schedule over repertoire, rehearsal times, concerts, instructors and conductors. Details for the individual student's participation is regulated by lineup lists. Detailed rehearsal plans are ready three weeks before a project begins, at the latest.

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.
  • Lied and oratorio seminar.
  • Chamber choir projects; two projects in year 3 and one in year 4.

The course coordinator will keep the protocol.

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

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

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

  • Exam programme of 45 minutes durata
  • 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 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 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).

New assessment

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

Study component

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