A Dictionary of Music and Musicians/London (University)

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LONDON. The University of London has [1]recently determined to grant the degrees of Mus. Bac. and Mus. Doc. under the following regulations. Candidates for the Mus. Bac. degree must have passed the Matriculation Examination ten months before. For the degree itself there are two examinations. The first, which is held in December, comprises the following subjects:—the relation between vibrations and the pitch of sounds; the nature of harmonics, and the simpler phenomena of stretched strings and compound sounds; the theory of musical intervals, of the scales, and of consonance and dissonance; the history of music so far as it relates to the growth of musical forms and rules. The second Mus. Bac. examination, held later in the same month, comprises the following subjects:—practical harmony; counterpoint in five parts with canon and fugue; form in musical composition; instrumentation; arranging for the piano from an instrumental score; a critical knowledge of the scores of certain standard works. Before admittance to this examination the candidate must have submitted to the examiners a vocal composition by himself, containing real five-part vocal counterpoint, with accompaniment for a quintet string band. Technical skill in performance is not part of the qualification for this degree: but a mark of merit is offered to candidates for playing at sight from a five-part vocal score, or playing an accompaniment from a figured bass.

For the Mus. Doc. there are also two examinations, both in December. The subjects of the first are the following:—the phenomena of sound and sound-waves, and generally the higher branches of acoustics; temperament; the scales of all nations; Greek and Church Modes; history of measured music; consonance and dissonance; theory of progressions; history and theory of harmony and counterpoint. The subjects of the second Mus. Doc. examination comprise practical harmony of the more advanced character; counterpoint in eight real parts, with canon, fugue, etc.; treatment of voices in composition; instrumentation for full orchestra; general acquaintance with the works and character of the greatest composers, and a critical acquaintance with certain specified works. Before being admitted to this examination the candidate must send in a vocal composition such as would occupy about 40 minutes in performance, containing eight-part vocal harmony and fugal counterpoint, a portion for one or more solo voices, and an overture in the form of the first movement of a classical symphony. The above list of subjects is abbreviated from the much longer official list, to which reference for more exact details is recommended. The fee for each examination is £5—i.e. £10 in all for each degree. [App. p.705 "for additions … see Degrees in Appendix."]

[ C. A. F. ]

  1. The regulations were determined on in Dec. 1877. and first acted upon in Dec. 1878.