Music

  • UCAS Code: W300 BA/M
  • Campus Code: 4
  • Duration: 3 years
  • Places per year: 1-3

Music is a major subject within the arts disciplines studied at Cambridge, with a large teaching faculty and over 250 undergraduate and postgraduate students. The Faculty of Music also acts as a focus for the extremely active musical life of the University, and is situated about half a mile from Trinity Hall. There is a wide range of choices available to Music undergraduates throughout their degree in addition to a number of set areas they have to cover.

Course Overview

The Music course at Cambridge is designed to introduce you not just to a range of music, but to a wide variety of ways of thinking about and understanding music.

At first the focus is on the skills you need for university-level music studies, giving you a solid grounding in the techniques and history of the Western musical tradition, as well as an understanding of the many roles music plays in today’s world. As you progress through your studies, you have increasing freedom to take specialised courses in different kinds of music, or approaches to it.

Though the course has a strong academic component, you can choose to study performance and composition in all three years, and you can choose to spend most of your final year working with individual staff members on your own analytical, historical or compositional projects.

How You Learn

What makes the Cambridge system so special is the complementary relationship between Faculty and College teaching. Faculty teaching takes the form of lectures and seminars. Lectures provide you with the basis upon which you can build your own self-directed study and are for all students from all colleges. Seminars are less formal; they rely heavily on student participation and you will be required to contribute to discussions.

Supervisions are organised by colleges and students often regard them as the most rewarding and beneficial part of the Cambridge experience. They typically involve just two or three students, take place weekly, and last around an hour. You normally prepare an essay or another piece of work for a supervision, but you are not formally assessed on it: this means that you can try things out, take risks, explore new approaches and clarify aspects of the topic about which you are unsure.

Typical Offer Conditions

A-Level:

A*AA

IB

41-42 points, with 776 at Higher Level

Other:

See the University’s Entrance Requirements page

Subject Requirements 

Essential:

Music A-Level (or equivalent)  OR  ABRSM Grade 8 Theory at Merit and above

Desirable:
None

 

Written Work

Two school essays in Music plus two harmony exercises. For further information on submitting written work, please read our How to Apply page.

Admissions Assessment

All applicants for Music at Trinity Hall are required to take a written assessment if shortlisted for interview. The assessment is one hour in duration and includes written exercises in music such as harmonisation of a chorale melody, recognition of musical forms and/or styles and some chord analysis. The College will register you automatically for this assessment.

Before the interview itself, you may be given something to read which will be discussed in the interview.

General Comments

Candidates should also be acquainted with the standard musical repertory and have experience of writing about music in clear English. You should have a good musical ear, a reasonable facility at the keyboard (roughly equivalent to Grade 5 ABRSM or above) and some basic knowledge of harmony and counterpoint.