Music BA Honours | Middlesex University London
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Music BA Honours

Build the skills, experience and confidence to launch a career in the world of professional music making.
October 2020
EU/International induction: September 2020
3 years full-time
Usually 5 years part-time
£9,250 (UK/EU) *
£13,400 (INT) *
Course leader
Brian Inglis/Francois Evans

Why study music with us

Combining science, technology, history and arts, with social and cultural studies, business and media, you’ll learn how music plays a pivotal role across a range of industries. You’ll also get plenty of unique opportunities to see this in action by collaborating with students working in areas including dance, theatre, animation, film, TV production and computer games.

Led by our knowledgeable lecturers, our music degree will build your experience as a performer, composer, music producer and music director ­– and you’ll be continuously encouraged to optimise the skills that give you a unique and competitive edge.

You’ll build your experience in the recording studio, conducting, and performing with orchestral players from manuscript. You’ll also have the opportunity to attend lectures by industry professionals (including a masterclass with visiting Professor of Piano Martino Tirimo), along with composition workshops and concerts of student compositions by the renowned Allegri String Quartet.

Build your hands-on experience while developing your musical talents

We’ve got world-class facilities, including a concert room, recital room, 15 soundproof practice rooms, 23 pianos (including a Steinway grand and a Bosendorfer grand), hybrid analogue-digital sound recording facilities, a recording and mixing studio.

We’ll also help you build your portfolio and gain experience through applying to play a concerto, having a composition performed by young professional ensemble-in-residence London Firebird Orchestra, or writing for the prestigious Allegri String Quartet – the UK's longest-established chamber ensemble.

Our excellent links with some of London’s most prestigious venues also means you’ll have the opportunity to perform at the likes of Perform at one of the St Pancras Church, Burgh HouseHandel-Hendrix Museum, and Artsdepot.

You’ll also have the opportunity to take a work placement with our partner organisations, which include English Touring OperaBenchmark TheatreBarnet Education Arts Trust and YMCA St Paul’s Group.

Get the support you need to succeed

You’ll get plenty of support throughout your course, including access to professional staff, coaches, and personal instrumental lessons in your first study instrument or voice. You can also take advantage of our library and music practice facilities.

While you’re learning, you’ll be matched with a Personal Tutor directly related to your course. You’ll also get support from our Student Learning and Graduate Academic Assistants, who have experience in your subject area.

If you don’t see yourself on stage, our BA Music can open up exciting career opportunities in media, publishing, education, festivals, merchandising, PR, recording studios, or record labels.

*Please note this course is subject to review.

Find out more

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What will you study on the BA Music?

You will have the opportunity to explore music technology, studio music production, sound art, and live computer sound transformation. You'll consider analysis analysis to learn the means and meaning of music. Concepts in music history will be discussed and contemporary music will be studied. You'll learn harmony, counterpoint, instrumentation, orchestration and musicianship, and you will learn to write and/or perform music convincingly in a range of styles.

What will yo​u gain?

As well as cultural capital gained through an in-depth knowledge of musical repertoires and practices, you will also acquire skills in original music composition, music performance and critical thinking. During your third year, you have the opportunity to propose a topic of your own choosing to investigate and explore, along with the guidance of an allocated supervising tutor.


  • Year 1

    • Concepts in Music History (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module helps to ensure that you have a broad knowledge of the fascinating Western music repertoires from 1300 to 2000. It includes a focus on popular music 1920-2000.

    • Harmony and Musicianship (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module strengthens your knowledge of and facility with the construction and notation of tonal and 12-note harmony (the 'chemistry' of pitch) and counterpoint (the craft of combining melodies effectively). Musicianship skills are also developed to enable you to write down what you hear (in real life or from your imagination). 'Skeleton scores' are used to help you to discern musical lines from complex textures and so develop an 'X-ray ear'. The module is supported by short keyboard lessons for non-pianists. Scores are analysed to begin to see the different ways in which voices and instruments can work together to make music.

    • Music Technology and Production (30 credits) - Compulsory

      With practical work to test understanding, and run by experts, this module introduces you to the world of electronic music production. Aspects of how technology is used to make, change, develop and enhance sound through production and performance. The aim is to enable you to engage with most available music technologies so that you can feel comfortable with synthesis, sequencing, microphones, recording, acoustics, psychoacoustics, compression, mixing, equalisation and reverberation and editing, in the studio.

    • Performance and Composition Projects (30 credits) - Compulsory

      Through practical work, this module helps you to understand the complex relationship between original composition (in any style) and performance. There are lectures in instrumentation (learning about the families of instruments: woodwind, brass, percussion, other instruments and strings), orchestration, score presentation, form in music. Techniques for composing and directing different kinds of musical material are shared. Newly-composed and pre-existing materials are engaged with in collaborative surgeries. The module is backed up with instrumental lessons and/or composition tutorials.

  • Year 2

    • Music and Culture (30 credits) - Compulsory

      The relationship between music and culture can be obvious, but seemingly intangible when objectified. This module shares with you, a range of theoretical frameworks including cultural studies and gender theory, to free your understanding of the ways in which these domains have been constructed and to help you develop skills to analyse such forms.

    • Collaborative Performance and Composition 1 (30 credits) - Compulsory

      Here, you begin to put into further practice what you learned in Year 1. You will decide whether you are principally a composer, principally a performer or both, and be guided in the production of a substantial portfolio of composition and/or a recital of older and new music, to high standards and with recordings. Ensemble performance, rehearsal and direction is covered together with an optional introduction to conducting.

    • Music Journalism (30 credits) - Optional

      The world of media today serves to guide audience perceptions. How does an artist work with the press? Run by an expert practitioner, this new, optional module shows you how to improve your interviewing skills; how to approach reviews, features, biographies, the web and how to produce promotional materials – this with a view to becoming a full-time music journalist, or to use these skills as part of a portfolio career. The fascinating history of music journalism is also covered.

    • Interactive Technology and Sound Art (30 credits) - Optional

      If you would like to pursue an interest in music technology introduced in Year 1, then this optional module gives you free rein to do so. This module takes electronic and computer music further, with practical investigations into the technical and aesthetic interrelationships between electronics and acoustic (mechanical) musical instruments. Through creative projects, you will respond to current issues and technical challenges in this rapidly changing field.

    • Analysing Music and Media (30 credits) - Optional

      There are three (subjective) ways to understand music: as the composer/performer, as the audience or as the music 'itself' actually seems to be. You will be introduced to analytical techniques for 'dissecting' music, to bring new insights into its structure and functioning. These include Schenkerian, PC set, semiotic, structuralist and post-structuralist approaches. In this optional module, music is covered both in its own terms and in combination with other media.

    • Musical Styles and Techniques (30 credits) - Optional

      Music can be dated according to its style, but what exactly is it about a music's style that ascribes it to particular periods and places? Skilled composers and performers today need to be very familiar with conveying musical styles convincingly, and able to jump confidently from one manner to another. A composer may need to write music persuasively for a media production set in 1764. A performer may need to adopt late Romantic performance styles for a computer game set in the 1930s. On this optional module you can work at composing and performing music in different styles, with guidance into understanding and using the techniques which were used at the time.

  • Year 3

    • Contemporary Music Studies (30 credits) - Compulsory

      Many extraordinary things happened to music in the West during the second half of the 20th and early 21st centuries. This module presents specialist studies of extraordinary, groundbreaking works, genres, repertoires, composer-thinkers and their related, musicological theories. Modernism, post-modernism, neo-modernism are all covered.

    • Music for Dance and Theatre (30 credits) - Optional

      Middlesex is a special place to study music in that while being a discrete subject, Music has close ties with dance and theatre Arts within the Performing Arts department. This gives you an advantage on this optional module, of developing your own, guided, collaborative composition and performance projects in dance choreography, theatre, operatic work or music theatre. You'll be guided by critical and contextual studies to share relevant theory and repertoire. Projects result in filmed work which can potentially be used as future, demonstration material to help to secure future work.

    • Independent Project (30 credits) - Optional

      If there is a topic you would like to study which has not been included in your programme or if you would like to pursue a subject which you have already engaged with in greater depth, then you can propose an 'independent' project in this optional module and will be allocated a tutor best placed to support you. Past independent projects have included conducting a show in London, organising a small music festival and developing online distribution strategies for music.

    • Collaborative Performance and Composition 2 (30 credits) - Optional

      Do you want to be an imitator or a pioneer? This optional module is the final stage in the strand of performance and composition modules from Year 1. While first year develops theoretical skills and second year helps to develop practice, Year 3 focuses on guiding you into developing your own, individual voice as a performer and/or composer. You will work at solo and chamber ensemble pieces. There are opportunities for orchestral performance. Performers work towards a major recital (which can be public). Composers develop a portfolio of scores, with recordings which they have directed. There is no limit on the style in which you can perform or compose, though you will be challenged to demonstrate that you can engage professionally with the best of the last half-century of music making.

    • Music for Film, Animation and Television (30 credits) - Optional

      Notated scores are optional in this discretionary module which covers the history, aesthetics and developing practice of music for screen. This enables you to produce directly from the studio, or to use recordings of acoustic ('real') instruments (for which scores are needed). There are speed-crewing sessions with animation and TV production students. From an experienced tutor, you'll be taught how to synchronise music to picture, to 1/25th of a second accuracy, and the effects of this on your audience! Student work is often presented at preview cinemas in central London, which can attract attention. Middlesex has its own industry standard television production studio.

    • Community Arts and Music Education (30 credits) - Optional

      In university, you have a duty to be aware of your surrounding community and to take the initiative to improve it in positive ways. This new, optional module enables you to affect constructively the musical development of a community or individual. Facilitation techniques are explored to help you to develop sophisticated, creative, interpersonal skills. The module is designed to help to set you up to start working professionally in the sector or to undertake further study e.g. via PGCE or a community music Master's degree.

You can find more information about this course in the programme specification. Optional modules are usually available at levels 5 and 6, although optional modules are not offered on every course. Where optional modules are available, you will be asked to make your choice during the previous academic year. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, or there are staffing changes which affect the teaching, it may not be offered. If an optional module will not run, we will advise you after the module selection period when numbers are confirmed, or at the earliest time that the programme team make the decision not to run the module, and help you choose an alternative module.

  1. Overview
  2. Teaching and learning
  3. Assessment and feedback
  1. UK & EU
  2. International
  3. How to apply
  4. Interviews and auditions
  1. UK & EU
  2. International
  3. Additional costs

How can the BA Music support your career?

Careers in music continue to grow. Music is an excellent choice of study because it combines science, technology, history, arts, social and cultural studies, business and media.

Careers in music are exciting and diverse. You could find yourself working in media, publishing, cultural organisations, education, festivals, libraries, merchandising, PR, recording studios or record labels, or art charities as any of the following roles:

Artist ManagementAudio Production
Business Consultancy Composer
Concert Performer Event Management
Legal (Music) Music Arranger
Music Distribution Music Industry Accountancy
(Music) Journalism Music Mastering and Post-Production
(Music) Web DesignOrchestral Management
Session Fixers (Music Contractors)Session Musicians
Specialist Music Insurance Studio Design and Construction
Video Production 

Teaching is also a popular choice, and might be combined with any of the above to form a ‘portfolio’ career. Another option is further (postgraduate) study, and our graduates have gone on to such prestigious institutions as the Royal Hague Conservatoire, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, York University and King’s College, London.

Based in The Grove, you will have access to world-class facilities, including a concert room, a recital room, 15 soundproofed practice rooms, 23 pianos (including a Steinway grand and a Bosendorfer grand), hybrid analogue-digital sound recording facilities, a recording and mixing studio, a digital media workshop with 15 workstations (Mac computer with specialist music software, two monitors and piano keyboard) access to external venues and collaborative access to other creative areas of the university such as dance, theatre, film, television, animation and computer games.

Dr Brian Andrew Inglis
Programme leader

Dr Inglis taught at Trinity College of Music and originally studied at City University London (PhD, MA) and the University of Durham (BA). His music and arrangements have been heard at the Sonorities Festival (Belfast), Huddersfield Festival, Spitalfields Festival, Guildford International Festival, Secret Garden Party, Greenbelt, Truck and I Kärlekens Namn (Sweden) as well as on BBC Radio1 and Radio3, BBC2, BBC Wales, Radio Cymru and Bayern 2 (Bavaria). His interests encompass composition, musicology and criticism, and his writing projects include articles and criticism for Tempo and M magazine and copy for the BBC Proms. His recent and current projects include a piano music album Living Stones (Sargasso); a chapter on classical music and copyright for The Classical Music Industry (Routledge); and an edition (with Barry Smith) of the letters of Kaikhosru Sorabji to Peter Warlock (Routledge).

Dr François Evans
Associate Professor in Music

Trained at IRCAM, Paris, Dr Evans is a film composer, a specialist in electro-acoustic music production and an award-winning teacher. He wrote the music for Edgar Wright’s first feature film and has composed and produced the soundtracks to many other films since. In 2008 he conducted the Philharmonia Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall in London for the Barry Gray Centenary Concert in aid of the Cinema & Television Benevolent Fund. He has taught at the Royal College of Music, and runs a hybrid analogue-digital recording studio in West France. Evans is one of the few players of the French ondes Martenot instrument. His research interests involve electro-acoustic music for screen, sound languages and spectral music composition.

Professor Peter Fribbins
Director of Music programmes

Professor Fribbins is a composer, artistic director and academic in music. His compositions are performed, broadcast and recorded internationally and include two string quartets (recorded by the Allegri and Chilingirian Quartets), two piano trios, various sonatas (including the Cello Sonata recorded by Raphael Wallfisch and John York), the Piano Concerto (recorded by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra), and the Violin Concerto (recorded by Philippe Graffin and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra). Dr Fribbins studied with the German composer Hans Werner Henze in London and Italy, and at the Royal Academy, Royal Holloway and Nottingham universities. He is the Artistic Director of the London Chamber Music Society, a weekly series of concerts that traces its history back to the South Place Sunday Concerts in the 1880s. This celebrated concerts series has been resident at Kings Place in London since 2008, during which time Peter has curated more than 250 concerts with a range of famous artists, ensembles, choirs and chamber orchestras.

Dr Fiorenzo Palermo

Dr Palermo studied sonic art with the composer, performer, instrument inventor and musicologist Hugh Davies. After obtaining an MA in Sonic Art researching concrete and sound poetry, he catalogued the Hugh Davies Collection at the British Library with the support of the Saga Trust. He was awarded a PhD on Davies's work in 2015, supervised by Dr John Dack. Dr Palermo has presented his research internationally and has been invited by a number of institutions such as the British Library and the V&A to discuss his research. In 2012, he co-curated the Sho-Zyg exhibition at Goldsmiths College which saw some of Davies's instruments and archival items displayed, as well as the performance and presentation of some of his pieces.

Professor Benjamin Dwyer
Professor of Music

Professor Dwyer is a guitarist and composer and has given concerts worldwide and has appeared as soloist with all the Irish orchestras, the Neubrandenburg Philharmonic Orchestra (Germany), the Santos Symphony Orchestra (Brazil), Ensemble VOX21, the Vogler String Quartet (Germany) and the Callino String Quartet (UK). His recent recordings include Twelve Études (Gamelan Records, 2008), Irish Guitar Works (El Cortijo, 2012), Scenes from Crow (Diatribe Records, 2014), Umbilical (Diatribe Records, 2017), The Alchemia Sessions Live from the Autumn Jazz Krakow 2014 (Notwo Records, 2016), Barry Guy, The Blue Shroud (Intakt Records, 2016) and KnowingUnknowing (Farpoint Records, 2018). Professor Dwyer is an elected member of Aosdána (the Irish Academy of creative artists) and an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music, London (ARAM).

  • Joanne Yeoh

    Music BA graduate

    It was FABULOUS studying in London. This eventually became a stepping stone towards my future studies, providing me with the opportunity to attend and participate in music festivals - an experience one simply can't get in Malaysia.

    Studying at Middlesex University was definitely a door opener to opportunities in the UK. I loved the learning atmosphere, which was very different from back home in Malaysia. Students were given free time and space to explore their musical inclinations.

    When I returned to Malaysia, I was selected to participate in the prestigious Asian Youth Orchestra and travelled with the orchestra to Vietnam, Japan, Australia, Korea and Hong Kong. I was then lucky enough to perform alongside Hong Kong superstar Jacky Cheung in his Music Odyssey Tour 2002/03 which was a 40 concert tour around the world. The following year, I performed with Taiwanese heart-throb David Tao in his 2003 Soul Power Tour and in 2008 I was invited to play with another Hong Kong superstar, Alan Tam.

    I have received several awards since my time at Middlesex University. I was also selected to be included in Marquis Who's Who in the World 2012 edition and in the Malaysia Book of Records 2012. I am also a fully accredited examiner for the esteemed Trinity College Music London Examination board and I currently head the Music Department of Universiti Putra Malaysia.

  • Helen Rupp

    Music BA student

    One of the reasons I came at Middlesex University was because I wanted to collaborate with other people. Having a module where you can collaborate with theatre and dance students has been really important for me, and being around the other music courses has led to loads of collaborations. I don’t think I’d have done that if I went anywhere else, because here it’s all in one building. This year I got an amazing singer from the pop course to do a rock solo in the middle of my opera!

    There are topics that have come up that I wouldn’t have looked at before, that have really captured my attention. I got a placement with the English Touring Opera, before even thinking about writing opera or studying it, and now I might go into opera after I graduate. Before university I was just writing short piano pieces, and I would never have dreamed of writing something that could be called a string quartet or an opera. Now I’ve got two string quartets and an opera, and I’m writing a viola concerto for another student.

  • Oliver Pugh

    Music BA student

    A highlight of my time at Middlesex has to be performing as a soloist with the London Firebird Orchestra in the university’s Spring Concert. Being given the opportunity to work with a professional ensemble while still at university is something that many do not get the chance to do, and so for Middlesex to offer this really made a positive impact on my time here.

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