Organ improvisation (M. Mus.)

1. Overview of the degree program

Standard period of study 4 semesters (2 years) 
Overall scope

120 credit points;

20 semester hours in the compulsory modules,

8 semester hours in the elective compulsory module

Admission requirements

University entrance qualification as per Art. 65 Sec. 1 of the University Act (HochSchG): General higher education entrance qualification or a discipline-specific admission qualification

A Bachelor's degree (For details see examination regulations)

Successful completion of a qualifying examination

Proficiency in English

Entrance into the program only possible in the winter semester, application deadline: May 1
Degree Master of Music (M. Mus.)
Program objective

Graduates of the Master's degree program in Organ Improvisation have the ability to design the organ section of church services (irrespective of confession) and provide it with outstanding artistic quality. The training program is targeted at establishing masterful playing technique and on the development of interpretation skills suitable for this style. This includes the stylistically confident performance of suitable works for organ. The aim is to instill the broadest possible spectrum of stylistics, diversity of form, and improvisational techniques.

Knowledge of tonality, harmonization, and composition as well as liturgical integration is essential. The artistic fundamentals of improvisation will also be developed and improved. In addition, participants will be expected to undertake the creative and artistic presentation of improvised organ music in a concert framework but, as a rule, in combination with written organ works. They will also develop their own particular (and contemporary) musical language.

Course structure and contents

The degree program encompasses seven compulsory modules and one elective compulsory module (interdisciplinary study/context study)

For more information see the module handbook


  1. Module-by-module exams during the course of studies
  2. Final performance examination (For details see the examination regulations)


2. Requirements for the qualifying examination


Requirements  On registering for the qualifying examination, a list of styles and forms mastered prior to entering the program must be submitted
Subjects for the examination
  • 8-day tasks: Assignment of topics with reference to the submitted list of forms and styles
  • A free improvisation on a provided topic
  • Ad hoc tasks: Themes and/or songs based on styles and forms in the submitted list (at least two different areas should be covered). Improvised intonations, cantus firmus handling in various self-selected forms; song accompaniment based on a single-voice pattern, including highlighted cantus firmus and transposition. Where applicable, also improvisation on free forms (duration: approx. 20 minutes)