Historical Performance PracticeDe studie

Historical Performance Practice

About the course

Bachelor of Music
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

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

  • Antoinette Lohman: historisch viool en altviool
    Viola de Hoog: historisch cello
    Heiko ter Schegget: blokfluit
    Siebe Henstra: klavecimbel
    Joshua Cheatham: viola da gamba/violone
    Cecile Rongen: Studieleider

    Take a look at the complete list of lecturers to find out which other lecturers you will have.

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.

Apply Now!

Important Dates

You can apply for the year 2021/2022 from the first of October 2020.

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.

After applying, you do an entrance exam, which consists of a theoretical and a practical exam.
Check out the different admission requirements per instrument on the next slide.

Admissions take place at HKU Utrechts Conservatorium, location Mariaplaats 27 and 28, in Utrecht or online.

Admission Requirements

The information will be available from December 1, 2020.

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 the amount of your tuition fees
  • The Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science has set the statutory tuition fees for the 2020-2021 academic year at € 2,143.

    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?

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.