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Preliminary Examination in Music


  • 1. The subject of the Preliminary Examination in Music shall be the study of the history, criticism, theory, composition, performance, and practice of music.


Each candidate will be required to offer papers 1-4 and two of the options in paper 5.

  • 1. Foundations in the Study of Music (written paper) 
    2. Stylistic Composition, Arranging, and Transcription (SCART, takeaway paper) 

  • 3. Musical Analysis and Critical Listening
  • The paper shall consist of two parts:

    • A. Musical Analysis (written paper)

    • B. Critical Listening (takeaway paper)

  • 4. Topics I (written paper)

  • 5. Options

    Candidates must choose two from the following:

    1. a) A musicological topic (written paper) 

      b) Extended Essay 
      An essay of 4,000-5,000 words on a subject to be chosen in consultation with the candidate's tutor. 
    2. c) Composition
      1. i) Portfolio Submission  
        ii) An Introduction to Contemporary Music (listening exam)  
    3. d) Performance  
      A solo performance, vocal or instrumental, of 10-12 minutes in length (short recital)

      e) Critical Studies in Ethnomusicology (written paper)  

      f) Musical Skills 
      Candidates must answer any two questions from the following:
      1. i) Conducting Skills (practical exam)  
        ii) Keyboard Skills (practical exam)  
        iii) and iv) up to additional SCART submissions (takeaway paper) 

Candidates who fail one, two or three of papers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 above may resit only that paper or papers at a subsequent examination; candidates who fail four, five or six papers will be required to resit all six papers at a subsequent examination.