A Dictionary of Music and Musicians/Degrees, Musical

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DEGREE. For the degrees in music at the English Universities see Bachelor and Doctor. Since Bachelor was printed an addition has been made to the Oxford examination by requiring candidates to pass previously either Responsions or a local examination in English, Mathematics, Latin, and one of four modern languages—Greek, French, German, or Italian. Additions of a similar nature have also been made by Cambridge and Dublin, and the London University has adopted a report to the same effect. Thus the degree will henceforward be evidence of a certain general education as well as of musical attainments.

[App. p.609–10 "DEGREES, MUSICAL. Since the publication of the early part of the Dictionary the regulations as to Musical Degrees at Oxford, Cambridge and Dublin have undergone alterations, and these Degrees have been instituted at the University of London. The following rules are now in force:—

At Cambridge no candidate can be admitted to the examination for the Mus. Bac. degree unless he (a) have passed Parts I and II of the University 'Previous Examination'; or (b) have passed one of the Senior Local Examinations in certain specified subjects; or (c) have passed one of the 'Higher Local Examinations' of the University; or (d) produce the certificate of the 'Oxford and Cambridge Schools Examination Board.' These conditions are not, however, required of persons holding degrees of any British University other than those in music. The musical examination itself remains as before.

At Oxford, no candidate can be admitted to the degree for Mus. Bac. unless he produce either his Testamur for Responsions (or the 'Previous' Examination at Cambridge); or a higher certificate from the Delegates for the Examination of Schools; or a certificate that as a candidate in the Senior Local Examinations he has shown sufficient merit to be excused from Responsions; or that he has satisfied the Examiners of Senior Candidates in English, Mathematics, Latin, and in one of these four languages Greek, German, French, Italian. The musical examination remains as before.

At Dublin a similar literary or general examination is imposed upon candidates for musical degrees.

London. The candidate for B. Mus. must have passed the intermediate examination in music at least one year previously. He has to send in an exercise, with five-part vocal counterpoint, canon and fugue, and quintet string accompaniment. If this is approved, he will be tested by a further examination in practical harmony and thorough bass, counterpoint, canon, fugue, form, instrumentation and a critical knowledge of some selected classical composition. The candidate may, if he chooses, offer to be examined in playing at sight from a five-part vocal score, arid playing an accompaniment from a figured bass.

Every candidate for D. Mus. must have obtained the degree of B. Mus. and pass two subsequent examinations, of which the first is called the Intermediate D. Mus. examination. This includes the phenomena of sound in general, and the nature of aerial sound-waves, the special characteristics of musical sounds, and the more elaborate phenomena of compound sounds, musical scales of various nations, temperament, Greek and church modes, history of measured music, principles of melodial progression, history of harmony and counterpoint, theory of chords and discords and progression in harmony, the general distinction between physical and aesthetical principles, as bearing on musical forms and rules.

The final D. Mus. examination must be preceded by composition of an exercise with eight-part harmony with solo and fugue, and accompaniment for full orchestra. The examination comprises practical harmony of more advanced character, counterpoint, form, instrumentation, general acquaintance with the greatest composers, and critical knowledge of specified works. Candidates may offer playing at sight from full orchestral score and extempore composition on a given subject."]

[ C. A. F. ]