Historical Performance PracticeThe programme

About the programme

Bachelor of Music
Mode of study:
Utrechts Conservatorium
Bachelor of Music
4 jaar

Historical Performance Practice in brief

  • Study music from a historical perspective
  • From the Renaissance to the Romantic
  • Choose your own main subject
  • Study with a close-knit, international team of specialists
  • Move from your bachelor’s to a master’s at HKU University of the Arts Utrecht
Want to know more? Watch this talkshow recorded during the Open Day in November 2020, in which host and teacher Anne-Maartje Lemerijs talk with course leaders Joop van Deuren and Cecile Rongen, and tutor Marijke Arnold about the courses Classical Music and Historical Performance Practice.

Watch talkshow


How do you know if Historical Performance Practice is right for you?

Of course you’re passionate about music. You’re also interested in it from a historical perspective. And you want to let your enthusiasm shine through to your audience, fellow musicians and students. If this sounds tempting, then we’d like to get to know you.

Why study Historical Performance Practice at HKU?

At HKU, you can get both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in Historical Performance Practice. If you’ve finished your bachelor’s and are in the master’s programme, you can even switch to a historical instrument! Does this make you happy? Then apply now.


Excited? Apply now!

Course in figures

Want to know how this Bachelor of Music scores compared to other courses?

Go to the course in figures


Historical Performance PracticeWhat will you learn
Historical Performance Practice

What will you learn

You’ll become a musician with a broad knowledge of instruments. Every performance starts with research. You’ll ask questions like what instruments a composer had available, and what playing techniques were used in that country at that time. You’ll find the answers using historical sources like instruments, methods, letters and newspaper articles. With the critical attitude of a musicologist and with help from the sources, you’ll try to find out what a source really has to say.

While studying, you’ll develop a critical mindset that will enable you to draw conclusions from source research. You’ll learn lots and get new insights in the Historical Documentation and Historical Lab classes. These classes, taught by visiting lecturers, will teach you a lot about particular themes and subjects. You’ll also work on projects and play in ensembles with other historical-performance students.


You’re not in this alone. You’ll have support and guidance during the entire programme, from your main subject teacher and from other teachers.

Course Structure

Exploring and getting your bearings

You’ll have lessons in your main subject and do research. You’ll develop a broad set of skills, and learn specific techniques for specific styles.

Connecting with your audience
You’ll also learn how to connect with your audience while performing. You’ll talk about the historical context of a piece, such as what tuning was used for it, and why.

Theory class
In addition to your main subject, you’ll have theoretically oriented classes in subjects like music theory, sight-reading, harmony and analysis. You’ll explore subjects like tonality, modality, rhythm and instrumentation, and compose your own short passages.

Going into more depth

In the second year, too, you take a variety of subjects. You’ll also choose a choir to sing in, like the Baroque-Renaissance Choir.

Lessons in education
You’ll also develop as a teacher. You’ll take methodology classes for your instrument or instrumental family. You’ll also have general pedagogy classes, studying things like how to structure a lesson.

You’ll do an internship with instructors who are professionals working in the field. You’ll be both observing and teaching. You’ll also do an internship working with a group such as a student orchestra.

Carving out a path

Starting in the third year, you and your study coach will take a look at your future.

You’ll talk with your study coach about your strengths, and the courses and other activities that are the best fit with them. You fill your year with extracurricular activities and electives.


In your last year, you’ll also have lots of room for extracurricular activities, projects and electives. And of course, getting ready to graduate.

Final research project
You’ll finish the bachelor’s programme by doing a research project that clearly shows your view of education, based on sources like books, interviews and methods.

Subjects you can choose

You choose one of the main subjects. If you’d like to find out more, contact the course leader, Cecile Rongen.
  • Historical violin
    Historical viola
    Historical cello
    Historical basson/dulciaan
    Historical trombone/sackbut
    Historical oboe
    Viola da gamba/violone 
    Traverso/Historical flutes

  • Baroque cello and classical cello
    Viola de Hoog
    Baroque oboe
    Daniël Lanthier
    Baroque trombone
    Bram Peeters
    Baroque violin and baroque viola
    Antoinette Lohmann (main subject teacher)
    Basso continuo
    Mary Sayre
    Frans Haagen
    Christiaan Winter (harmony at the carillion)
    Chamber music
    Joshua Cheatham
    Siebe Henstra
    Viola de Hoog
    Heiko ter Schegget
    Choir direction and choir practicum
    Rob Vermeulen
    Jörn Boysen
    Siebe Henstra
    Historical documentation
    Antoinette Lohmann
    Historical flutes/traverso
    Doretthe Janssens
    Musician's health
    Criss Taylor
    Musical history
    Arnoud Heerings
    Musical theory
    Euwe de Jong (main subject teacher)
    Kees van Unen
    Daniel Lanthier
    Orchestra practicum
    Antoinette Lohmann
    Willem van Merwijk
    Reitze Smits
    Vertical flute
    Heiko ter Schegget
    Viola da gamba/violone
    Joshua Cheatham

    Take a look at the complete list of lecturers at HKU Utrechts Conservatorium

Historical Performance PracticeWhat will you make
Historical Performance Practice

What will you make on the course

Off to work

On completion of your studies, you are awarded a Bachelor of Music degree and can put the letters BMus after your name. You are then a specialist in the field of historical performance practice. And you feel completely at home in the different roles in the field. In an ensemble or baroque orchestra, or as a soloist, teacher, organizer or musical director: you are ready to get to work. With a keen eye for social developments, you continuously see opportunities for new places in the field.


This course gives you access to state-of-the-art studios and equipment. Discover which facilities you can use.
Historical Performance PracticeApplication and admission
Historical Performance Practice

Application and admission

The course is right for you if you seek to inspire others musically.

Important Dates

To be announced.

Go to the Admission Status page to see if you can still apply.

Prior Education

You can take the course if you have one of the following diplomas: pre-university (vwo), senior general secondary education (havo), or senior secondary vocational education level 4 (mbo) or equivalent.


The board of examiners decides on exemption requests. They look at which parts of the course you should take in whole or in part. This applies, for example, if you have already studied musicology or taken a professional music course elsewhere. Following admission, requests are dealt with by the tutor.

Selection Procedure

Apply via Studielink for Historical Performance Practice.

Admission Exam

Admission consists of a theoretical and practical exam. First you will be invited for the online theoretical exam. This will be conducted in February and March. You submit an admission assignment for the practical part. This consists of a video assignment, a pitch and a questionnaire. The upload deadline for this is March 14, 2021.
The admission committee decides on the basis of the results of the theory exam and the admission assignment whether you are admitted to the program.

Below you will find examples of the theory exam and the requirements:
Theory entrance requirements (pdf)
Example theory test (pdf)
Answers theory test (pdf)
Example listening test (pdf)

Theoretical exam

The theoretical exam will be taken online by one of the theory teachers. The theory exam will take approximately 30 minutes. It consists of a component general music theory and a listening comprehension test.

Entrance requirements (pdf)

Below you will find examples of the theory exam:
Example theory test (pdf)
Answers theory test (pdf)
Example listening test (pdf)

Admission requirements per instrument

Below you will find the general video instructions and the admission requirements per main instrument. You will receive the questionnaire and upload instruction after you have applied.

Bassoon + dulcian (pdf)
Cello (pdf)
Harpsicord (pdf)
Oboe (pdf)
Recorder (pdf)
Trombone (pdf)
Traverso (pdf)
Viola (pdf)
Viola da gamba (pdf)
Violin (pdf)

After the two entrance exams, you will receive the results by post.

There are three possible outcomes:

  • You can enrol for the course
  • You can enrol for the preparatory course
  • You have failed the exam

Study Costs

HKU has different rates for tuition fees. Depending on your situation, you pay either statutory or institutional tuition fees.

Calculate your tuition fee
  • The Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science anually sets the statutory tuition fees. The statutory rate applies only to students from the Netherlands, another country in the European Economic Area (EEA*), Switzerland or Suriname, and students who meet the nationality criteria of the Dutch Student Finance Act (WSF 2000).  

    (* EEA countries comprise the European Union, Iceland, Norway and Lichtenstein).
  • HKU sets the institutional tuition fees on the basis of the statutory rate. Students who have already completed a course in higher education and students from outside the EEA usually pay a higher rate.

    Partly as a result of legal changes, the rate for institutional tuition fees for non-EEA students may rise considerably in the coming years.

  • Read the information on the study costs page.

Find out more?

First, read the frequently asked questions. Haven't found your answer yet? Get in contact with the Student Affairs Service Desk. They will help you with questions about (almost) everything that has to do with studying at HKU.