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Bachelor of Music Harp

Bachelor of Music - Harp

The Bachelor’s Degree programme in Harp at the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln is defined first and foremost by the specialist teaching offered by Professor Han-An Liu. For students who choose the harp as their main subject, the sessions have a particular focus on the phenomenology of music (see "Special Features" below).

Main subject classes are supported by additional study in a number of areas, such as musicology, music theory and music education. The practical elements of the programme are developed not only through the main subject classes, but also through orchestral courses and chamber music lessons.

Alongside the Bachelor’s Degree programme in Harp, there is also the possibility of completing an early placement degree for young, gifted students or studying the instrument at the University’s PreCollege Cologne..

General Information

  • Academic degree: Bachelor of Music (B.Mus.)
  • Duration of degree program: 8 semesters (4 years)
  • Start of program: Winter semester
  • Degree requirements: 240 ECTS credits
  • Major: harp
  • Graduate program: Master of Music Solo Instrument, Master of Music Interpretation of New Music, Concert Exam

The application takes place online via the muvac platform. You can find all the information about the procedure on our Application page.

Admission Requirements

  • A general certificate of secondary education or other comparable higher education entrance qualification.
  • For non-German-speaking applications, proof of a language certificate at DaF level 3 is also required.
  • Successful completion of the entrance examination.

Entrance examination

 The entrance examination consists of the following three parts:

  1. Practical performance test in the candidate’s main subject (duration: approx. 15 minutes);
  2. Practical performance test in the candidate’s second study (duration: approx. 10 minutes);
  3. Music theory: aural skills (written test, duration approx. 90 minutes); Harmonic composition (written examination, duration approx. 3 hours)

 Detailed information can be found in the Entrance Examination Regulations, particularly in section 5: Content Requirements and Examination Format (§5 Inhaltliche Anforderungen und Durchführung der Prüfung).

For practical courses, we recommend that candidates contact their chosen subject tutor in good time. They will be happy to advise candidates individually.


The degree programme is divided into a foundation stage which consists primarily of compulsory modules (1st and 2nd year), followed a main study stage which includes more tailored courses (3rd and 4th year).

The structural framework of the programme consists of 6 main modules, as well as module 8, in which the students refine their professional profile:

  1. Core module (main subject classes)
  2. Practical performance in context (Orchestra, Chamber music, Secondary subject lessons)
  3. Skills (Aural skills, Music theory, Musicology)
  4. Communication (Teaching methods)
  5. Professionalisation (Medicine for musicians, etc.)
  6. Bachelor thesis/interdisciplinary
  7. profile project; students may choose between orchestral and instrumental education tracks for their profile projects.


  • Prof. Han-An Liu

Phenomenology of Music

As part of the harp programme, Professor Han-An Liu is particularly interested in the phenomenology of music.

She says, “My approach to teaching has been shaped by my intensive exploration of the phenomenology of music. The concept was first developed in the philosophy of Edmund Husserl (1859-1938). Husserl writes, “each individual act in the experience of consciousness is not an isolated event, but instead implies by its very nature an infinite horizon of perpetually moving, interwoven truths”. When we apply this to music, we see that it is only possible to trace a sense of musical context if we ensure that it reflects this synchronicity in spiritual comprehension. Otherwise, the unity is lost; the music loses its central ‘thread’ and dissolves into a series of isolated, unrelated elements.

Accordingly, I attach great importance to perception. I am truly passionate about supporting my students in helping them discover what this feeling is like and uncovering something really rewarding in the process. For me, it is about people in a holistic sense and about helping them realise their potential and grow with joy and a pioneering spirit.”