Master profile, Principal Instruments in Historical Perspective

The master's degree programme at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam prepares you for a varied professional practice in which you can function as a musician at the highest level. Against the background of this versatile professional practice, CvA's personal master profile or PMP gives you plenty of opportunity to give your studies a personal direction, and to create a tailor-made package of courses.

If you are accepted for your principal subject and admitted to a master profile, when you set out on your master’s study programme you will meet with a study advisor with whom you can discuss your personal profile; on this basis, working agreements are made for the courses you will follow and further facilities for your study.

A Personal Master Profile (PMP) can be given shape in many ways. In consultation with the head of your department, a wide range of well-reasoned choices can be made and set down in the plan of study, such as choosing to work with a historic version of your instrument, improvisation, the romantic lieder repertoire, or a teaching profile, for example. If you choose, you may also focus your studies exclusively on your principal subject and instrument, without any further delineation. 
The Conservatory has worked out several examples of specific content for your Personal Master Profile that you can choose to follow in your principal subject. These profiles are composed of a number of elective subjects and modules. Admission requirements apply for some of them. They can be followed separately, as part of your own individual PMP, but when taken in a particular combination and relationship, they lead to a specialisation in a specific field of study. The CvA offers the following specific profiles for this:Principal Instruments in Historical Perspective; Chamber Music, New Music, Orchestral Performance, Creative Performance Lab and Applications of Karnatic Rhythm to Contemporary Music. A limited number of places are available for such profiles and specific admission requirements may apply. In such cases, a supplementary audition or selection is part of the procedure. A supplementary audition or selection is sometimes held after you have been accepted and admitted, often before the summer (May/June) or in the first month of the new academic year (September). On this point, see the admission requirements for each profile.

If you have chosen a specific profile, this is shown by an addendum to your master’s degree stating all subjects and modules you have completed and the associated credits. If desired, on the basis of your approved plan of study and the study track you have completed, the CvA can append an additional statement about your personal master profile to your diploma (Master of Music) and to your diploma addendum. If you have any questions about this, please contact the student secretariat ( If necessary, they will refer you to the coordinator of the master profile, the study advisor or to one of the heads of programmes.

Master profile, Principal Instruments in Historical Perspective
In today’s concert practice, performers almost automatically choose the instruments intended by the composer of the piece at hand. Many orchestras and ensembles simply assume that, in addition to modern instruments, musicians are also able to perform on historical instruments. In fact, these skills are increasingly part of audition procedures. This degree programme is for students who wish to learn both a modern instrument and its historical counterpart(s). Admission requirements include a bachelor degree in the principal instrument and a potential master level on both instrument types.

The frequency, time, and amount of repertoire are relative to the number of historical variants of the principal instrument. Various specialists give lessons in the principal subject. Students are required to participate in the (orchestral) projects of both the Classical and the Early Music Departments. Theoretical schooling is related to the repertoire and the instruments, with students permitted to enrol in subsidiary subjects at the Early Music Department, or subsidiary subjects such as Thorough Bass Performance and Tuning & Temperament. A research project is an important part of this master’s degree programme.

* bachelor's degree in the principal instrument
* potential master level on both instrument types

Principal subject and related instrumental lessons: 70
Ensembles, orchestra, projects, internships: 10
Research: 10
* mandatory: Tuning & Temperament: 10
* other electives: 10
Individual credits: 10