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His­tor­ic­al Ori­ent­a­tion for Harp­ists

  • Year of study: Two semesters, fall and spring.
  • Final assessment: Assessment from the course instructor.
  • Prerequisites: Only for students with the harp as their principal instrument.
  • Language of instruction: Norwegian/English.

Course description

Theoretical and practical orientation about harp playing in a historical context.

Responsible department: String and Harp Department.

Course teacher: Knut Johannessen.

Learning objectives

On completion of the course, the student is expected to

  • be able to play continuo in an ensemble
  • show ability to create diminutions of easy bass lines.
  • know relevant repertoire for the harp from the given musical period


The course entails a theoretical and practical introduction to basso continuo, practical diminution and ornamentation of repertoire written in the 15, 16, and 17-hundreds.


The course begins with a theoretical introduction lasting 3 double lessons. Following this, the group will split in two for 8 double lessons of practical exercises for the harp. Lessons take place throughout the year.

Course requirements

At the end of the academic year, students must produce a list of repertoire that must be approved by the course teacher. The list must include at least 30 minutes of repertoire, both solo and ensemble work in different styles.

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

Final assessment

All course requirements must be fulfilled and approved before the student can receive a final assessment.

Student assessment is based on the learning objectives. The final assessment will be given as a pass/fail mark, which will be determined in one of two ways:

  • Alternative 1: Students must commit to following at least 80 % of the lessons. In this case, there is no need for an exam (alternative 2) and the mark will be determined by the course teacher based on each student’s level of achievement throughout the course period.
  • Alternative 2: The marks are determined by an exam with at least two internal examiners. Students will perform a 20-minute program of their own choosing.

New assessment

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

Published: Apr 3, 2020 — Last updated: Mar 23, 2021