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Inter­pret­a­tion Prac­tice in New Music (From ca. 1950)

  • Year of study: Two semesters, fall and spring.
  • Preliminary schedule: Mondays 09:30 – 13:00.
  • Final assessment: Assessment from the course coordinator.
  • Language of instruction: Norwegian or English.

Course description

Performance is central to this elective course of in-depth work with contemporary music repertoire for solo instruments and ensembles. Aesthetics, musical language, expression and original thinking defines the works, rather than the exact dates of musical periods.

The course focuses on the rehearsal of and knowledge of central repertoire, and knowledge or aesthetic tendencies in contemporary music.

INTERC is concluded with a concert.

The course is available to all students of all genres.

Responsible department: Composition, Music Theory and Music Technology Department.

Course coordinator: Tanja Orning.

Learning objectives

Upon completion of the course, students are expected to

  • be able to rehearse and interpret contemporary music independently and creatively
  • have knowledge of repertoire from the relevant time period
  • have knowledge of the historical lines in contemporary music from the dissolution of tonality up to the present - on the basis of repertoire for their own instrument
  • have knowledge of notation, new instrumental techniques, aesthetics, compositional and dramaturgical perspectives in the music


The course has four focus areas:

  1. Main instrument.
  2. Ensembles.
  3. Aural training.
  4. Perspectives.

1. Main instrument


  • Rehearsal of contemporary music for one's own instrument (solo or smaller ensembles) from about 1920 to today.
  • Performance practice and knowledge of key performers and composers.
  • Development of one's own artistic agenda.
  • Various forms of musical notation and open form.
  • Exploration and understanding of sonic and technical possibilities on the instrument.
  • Rehearsal techniques for contemporary music.
  • Introduction to computer programmes for rehearsal and practice.

2. Ensembles

  • INTERC-students will form chamber music groups. Students will collaborate with composition students, they will commission and learn works. The student must participate in at least one project with the NMH Sinfonietta if they play a relevant instrument.
  • Improvisation.

3. Aural training

  • Prima Vista and rehearsal of advanced rhythm patterns.
  • Listening and aural development through repertoire knowledge.
  • Intonationand microtonality.

4. Perspectives

Pieces from the student's repertoire and/or central pieces in music history is illuminated through various perspectives - interpretational, aesthetic, historical, analytical, and dramaturgical. In addition, there will be an introduction to electronic sound processing.

The collaborative performer

  • program selection, performance strategies, choice of communications
  • collaborative processes between composer and performer
  • biographical/historical/analytical studies of works and composers
  • notation forms in contemporary music
  • using music technology in performance
  • electronic sound processing
  • other art forms' expressions and aesthetics in the period


A team of teachers are responsible for the tuition, and the course is organized with four hours per week throughout one academic year (24 weeks). In addition, the students must participate in at least one week project with NMH sinfonietta (depending on line up needs). In the weekly tuition, the first two hours are mainly devoted to group tuition in either Aural Training or Perspectives. The last two hours are reserved for the Main instrument and ensembles, in which students work either independently or with teachers, by agreement. If several students have the same main instrument or constitute a permanent chamber music group, the tuition is organized as seminars or classroom tuition.

Course requirements

  1. Attendance and active participation is mandatory. More than 20 % absence from class will normally cause the student to fail the subject.
  2. Students must participate in at least one project with NMH sinfonietta or a chamber music ensemble.
  3. Students must perform in 1 concert at the end of the year. (Solo and/or chamber music.)
  4. In the run of the course, students must hand in 3 papers (500 words per paper) on composers or relevant works.
  5. Students must hand in a reflection paper on their own work and development (1200-1600 words / 3-4 pages).
  6. Students will hand in a list of the repertoire made up of solo pieces for their principal instrument to show knowledge of the core repertoire of contemporary music.

Final assessment

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

Students are assessed in correspondence to the learning objectives of the course. The final assessment is expressed with the grades pass/fail, and set by the course teacher on the basis of active participation and an individual assessment of the student’s skills throughout the course period.

New assessment

Students who do not pass the course must attend the course in its entirety again.

Study component

Published: Apr 3, 2020 — Last updated: Feb 3, 2021