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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 (in-person written exam)
  • 2. Stylistic Composition, Arranging, and Transcription (coursework submission)
  • 3. Musical Analysis and Critical Listening
  • The paper shall consist of two parts:

    • a) Musical Analysis (online written exam)

    • b) Critical Listening (coursework submission)

  • 4. Topics I (in-person written exam)

  • 5. Options

    Candidates must choose two from the following:

    • a) A musicological topic (in-person written exam)
    • b) Extended Essay (coursework submission)
    • An essay of 4,000-5,000 words on a subject to be chosen in consultation with the candidate's tutor. 
    • c) Composition
      • i) Portfolio Submission
      • ii) An Introduction to Contemporary Music (listening exam)
    • d) Performance 
    • A solo performance, vocal or instrumental, of 10-12 minutes in length (short recital)
    • e) Critical Studies in Ethnomusicology (online written exam)  
    • f) Musical Skills
    • Candidates must answer any two questions from the following:
      • i) Conducting Skills (practical exam)
      • ii) Keyboard Skills (practical exam)
      • iii) and iv) up to two additional SCART papers (coursework submission) 

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.