Viola da Gamba / Violone

Bachelor Instrumental Studies
Barocknacht 2022 | © Christian Schneider

Early music today! The viola da gamba was one of the most popular string instruments during the Renaissance and Baroque periods, and in the bachelor's program the particularly rich and varied repertoire is central. In addition to in-depth training in technical skills, the program also teaches physical awareness, reflection on interpretive and historical contexts, and ensemble and chamber music for the instrument.

Department of Early Music
+43 676 88122 482

Study & Examination Management
+43 676 88122 492

Length of study
8 semesters / 240 ECTS-AP


Registration deadline
from February each year 
to the dates

Admission examinations
summer semester each year
to the dates


Study & Occupational Fields

The study program is oriented both to the current state of development and development of the arts and to the state of research in the sciences involved. The goal of the instrumental studies is the practice-oriented and scientifically founded professional preparation for the following fields that are offered to the students:

  • Soloist
  • Chamber musician
  • Orchestra musician (for example in chamber, opera and symphony orchestras, orchestras and ensembles for contemporary music, orchestras and ensembles for historical instruments)
  • Freelance artist

General study information

The goals of the Bachelor's program Viola da Gamba / Violone at the Mozarteum University are artistic maturity and independence, ability for critical reflection and self-evaluation, artistic and scientific ability to develop musical works of art of all epochs, ability to practice professionally as well as ability to fulfill artistic, pedagogical and organizational tasks within cultural life.

The curriculum is competency-based. Students should, upon completion of the bachelor's program:

  • Master their instrument and be able to present themselves professionally
  • Be free and independent in their artistic work
  • Critically deal with artistic and scientific questions
  • Be able to play professionally in an orchestra/ensemble
  • Be able to contribute to the work in a chamber music formation or ensemble in an artistically constructive way with team spirit
  • have acquired comprehensive knowledge of various playing techniques
  • Have acquired comprehensive knowledge of orchestral literature and mastery of relevant orchestral parts and solo and chamber music literature of different eras
  • Have basic knowledge of stylistics and repertoire
  • Have gained insight into the literature and performance practice of early and contemporary music
  • Have acquired comprehensive knowledge of music theory and musicology and are able to apply this knowledge in practice
  • Have mastered the fundamentals of scientific work and are able to analyze and
  • Analyze, interpret, and elaborate artistic content in writing
  • Be able to use audiovisual media for self-presentations (such as competition submissions, demo recordings, Internet appearances, etc.)
  • Have gained insights into the areas of physical and mental health maintenance, self-management and optimizing performance
  • Have further developed their individual interests in the sense of lifelong learning beyond their own subject area through targeted in-depth study within the framework of the (free) elective subjects

The eight-semester bachelor's degree program in harpsichord has a modular structure. A module is the combination of teaching and learning content into thematically and didactically meaningful units of study. The names and content descriptions (study objectives) of the individual modules as well as the number of ECTS credits to be achieved for each module and the type of performance assessment are specified in the curriculum. The module descriptions refer to the corresponding learning outcomes and competencies. The Bachelor's program is a face-to-face program and cannot be offered - not even in parts - as a distance learning program.

The courses from the Central Artistic Subject (ZKF) as well as the other Individual Artistic Instruction (KE) are designed to build on each other. Prerequisite for enrollment in courses from the ZKF or KE in each semester - with the exception of the first - is a positive evaluation of the previous semester.

Link to the semester schedule

The prerequisite for admission to a bachelor's degree program (BA) is passing the admission examination. For this, an online application is first required.

ATTENTION: You can only apply for studies for which you have not yet obtained a degree!

Admission Examination

Within the admission examination, the following partial examinations must be completed:

A - Instrumental audition to determine artistic aptitude

The program presented must include representative pieces from several styles or eras for the respective instrument, taking into account technical and stylistic diversity. Playing by heart is not required.
The following works are to be prepared:

  • a diminution in the Italian style (e.g. by Ortiz, Rognoni, Dalla Casa, Bonizzi or Bassano)
  • five movements from a French suite (Prelude, Allemande, Courante, Sarabande, Gigue) or three Pièces de Cractère by Saint Colombe, Marais, Caix d'Hervelois, Forqueray, Dollé, Cappus
  • from the sonatas by J.S. Bach for viola da gamba and harpsichord: at least two movements (slow/fast) from BWV 1027, 1028 or 1029
  • one division by Christopher Simpson
  • prima vista playing of an easy work

B - Music theory & Aural training

Examination of the basic knowledge of general music theory (written and oral) including an aural test.

Requirements in the written part of the exam (approx. 60 minutes):

  • Notation of melodies from memory
  • Continuation of given melodies
  • Finding a melody to a given text
  • Notation of monophonic and easy two-part melodic
  • dictations as well as rhythm dictations Formation of all triads and seventh chords including inversions (especially subdominant-quintess chord and dominant seventh chord)
  • Recognition and writing down of simple figured bass notations as well as harmony functions and harmony levels in a musical context

Requirements in the oral part of the examination (5-10 minutes):

  • Sight-singing
  • Listening to and naming intervals and simple chord progressions
  • Re-singing triads (in inversions) and dominant seventh chords (in root position only)
  • Listening to harmonic steps and dissonant secondary notes
  • Extended cadence in major and minor in two different keys (on piano or guitar)

You can find an exam example and further help for preparation HERE

C - Examination of elementary piano or harpsichord playing.

Audition of about 10 minutes duration. The program has to consist of two pieces of different style in the degree of difficulty from:


  • J.S. Bach: Notebook for Anna Magdalena

or piano:

  • J.S. Bach: little book of notes for Anna Magdalena
  • J. Haydn: Sonatas in C major, G major or F major (HOB: XVI: 7, 8 and 9)
  • R. Schumann: Album for the Youth, Op. 68

D - German language proficiency

  • Language skills required level: at least A2 (Common European Framework of Reference GER 2001)
  • Information on the German exam as well as the recognized proofs can be found HERE

After passing subtest A you will be admitted to subtest B-D (possibly in a different order).

The repetition of the partial examinations A-C in case of failure is not permitted. Repeating the admission examination is only possible in its entirety and only again in the next academic year. The admission examination can be repeated an unlimited number of times.

Dates & time schedule

The dates of the entrance exam as well as important deadlines can be found in the current schedule

  • Registration for the examination during the application period online via the registration portal for applicants 
    (ATTENTION: Registration only possible if documents are complete!)
  • if documents are positively checked: Invitation to the admission examination on site
  • Participation in the admission examination on site in May/June
  • if admission examination is passed: Invitation to enroll in the study program
  • Enrollment during the general admission period

Deviating examination method

Please note that the University Mozarteum Salzburg offers various support options for the admission examination and during the study program if you have a disability or a chronic illness.

If this applies to you and you would like to take advantage of counseling, please contact Claudia Haitzmann: or +43 676 88122 337.

Students of the Bachelor's program are recommended to complete a semester abroad. Semesters 5 and 6 of the degree program are particularly suitable for this. In addition to the subject-specific competencies, the following qualifications can be acquired through a study period abroad:

  • Acquisition and deepening of subject-specific foreign language skills
  • Acquisition and deepening of general language skills (language comprehension, conversation, etc.)
  • Acquisition and deepening of organizational skills through independent planning of everyday study in international administrative and university structures
  • Getting to know and studying in international study systems as well as broadening one's own subject perspective
  • Acquisition and deepening of intercultural skills

Recognition of examinations completed during study abroad as a compulsory subject, elective subject or free elective subject is carried out by the* Director of Studies. The documents required for the assessment are to be submitted by the applicant immediately after the stay abroad.

Details can be found at International.

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