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Shaped by the past, creating the future

MUSIC: THE UNDERGRADUATE DEGREE


Durham University’s Music Department


MUSIC | THE UNDERGRADUATE DEGREE

I absolutely loved my time at Durham, and I look back on those years as the best period of my life so far

Andrew MacFarlane, Music student (graduated 2011)

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WELCOME TO DURHAM! This is an ideal place to study music and here are some of the reasons why...


MUSIC | THE UNDERGRADUATE DEGREE

Our programme is well-balanced, covering a huge range of styles, forms, historical periods and cultures. There are lots of distinctive features too: composition modules centred on workshopping with professional ensembles; a performance module built around recording your own CD; modules in advanced harmony and counterpoint and music analysis; practice-based modules in orchestration, conducting, arts management, and more…

In the 2014 REF assessment, our Music Department was ranked 2nd in the UK for the quality of its research (staff members’ publications, compositions and performances) [Times Higher Education research intensity ranking, 1-7 Jan 2015]. Our goal is to guide students towards developing (and getting satisfaction from) their own critical and creative skills. After all, learning to formulate and express coherent ideas in convincing and persuasive ways is a real key to success, employability and personal well-being.

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There’s an amazing variety of music-making going on here: 4 orchestras, an unrivalled range of choral singing opportunities and theatrical productions, new music ensembles, gamelan, jazz bands, rock bands, and much more. Durham flourishes on a strong DIY ethic with everything happening in and around Durham’s thriving College scenes.It’s a creative environment that is truly unique in UK higher education. There are also plenty of opportunities to learn from world-class musicians, via workshops, concerts, and masterclasses and our strong connections with the Sage Gateshead and Royal Northern Sinfonia.

The Durham experience leads to employability – with strong guidance, not just from staff and careers service, but crucially from alumni who’ve really made it and who retain good connections with the department, returning to share their wisdom at in-house careers fairs.

The Department is located at the heart of a UNESCO world heritage site – an extraordinarily beautiful place. But it is the juxtaposition of ancient and cutting-edge that makes Durham so unusual and inspiring; within the old buildings, we strive to forge fresh interpretations and create exciting new music, using state-of-the-art technology. At the same time, our department isn’t large, and we enjoy learning and working within a close-knit friendly community.

“THE DEPARTMENT IS LOCATED AT THE HEART OF A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE – AN EXTRAORDINARILY BEAUTIFUL PLACE. BUT IT IS THE JUXTAPOSITION OF ANCIENT AND CUTTING-EDGE THAT MAKES DURHAM SO UNUSUAL AND INSPIRING”


PATHWAYS Our music degree is distinctive in being organised around six pathways, encompassing diverse interests, specialisms and methods. These pathways are introduced in the 1st year through six compulsory modules and, after that, it’s up to you to decide which pathways to explore as you pick from a broad menu.


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MUSIC HISTORY Unlike many other music departments, we think it’s essential to develop a rounded knowledge about music cultures of the past – who created what, when, and why. Only then can you properly understand current music-making (even if you choose to abandon earlier models in your own creative work). In the first two years, we provide a comprehensive introduction to Western music from the 17th to 20th centuries, and 2nd- and 3rd-year modules cover subjects as diverse as Russian and Soviet Music, Popular Music, and Music Theology.

ANALYSIS As your skills at apprehending and representing music’s patterns and structures develop, your appreciation of music’s wonderful complexity grows, as does your ability to bring out patterns effectively in your own performance, and your aptitude for creating satisfying structures in your own composition. So we think it is essential that students learn how to apply diverse analytical methods to diverse musics and, accordingly, we offer analysis modules across all three years.

LEFT: Prof. Jeremy Dibble, Musicologist MAIN PIC: Studying a score in the Music Technology lab


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THE UNDERGRADUATE DEGREE | MUSIC

MUSICAL TECHNIQUES

ETHNOMUSICOLOGY

Having strong skills at analysing and reproducing different styles of functional harmony is extremely useful in diverse lines of musical work, including arranging and composition. This is why we offer two years of modules that develop working knowledge of tonal music’s “nuts and bolts” – skills that are too seldom promoted in higher education and which ideally complement the other analytical modules. We use various innovative approaches, including group singing (which is fun!)

Too many people are unaware of the rich diversity of musical styles, practices and instruments that exist on our planet and, worse, are quick to judge before they even know what to listen for or what the music signifies for cultural “insiders”. Seeking to open students’ ears and minds (and stimulate fresh creativity), we offer ethnomusicology modules across all three years that consider a wealth of unfamiliar musical cultures, analysing fascinating musical patterns and exploring how they express identities, relationships, emotions and values, and bind communities.

“AS YOUR SKILLS AT APPREHENDING AND REPRESENTING MUSIC’S PATTERNS AND STRUCTURES DEVELOP, YOUR APPRECIATION OF MUSIC’S WONDERFUL COMPLEXITY GROWS…”


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FAR LEFT: A tabla workshop with a visiting Indian master FAR RIGHT: Reading a score during a performance workshop OPPOSITE: A composition tutorial in progress

PERFORMANCE

COMPOSITION

Our performance lecturers’ expertise is unusual in spanning over 500 years of musical performance history, tackling early Renaissance lute music, present-day avant-garde piano music, and much in-between! Spread across all 3 years, the performance modules assess all aspects of performance, including the interpretation of period scores, choice of programme, writing programme notes, on-stage behaviour, reading and responding to venue and audience, visual representation (on album covers), and much more.

Most 1st year students begin with very little knowledge of 20th and 21st century repertoire and, consequently, have little awareness of the fantastic range of compositional techniques and the near-infinite pool of sound-structuring ideas that they can draw from and build upon in their own creativity. In response, our composition modules begin by surveying contrasting compositional methods and philosophies, before moving on to explore their actual application.

Another highly distinctive feature is our ever-popular recordingproject module, which culminates in the production of a CD. Complementing these modules, we offer financial support for performance tuition across the degree, and help arrange lessons with a specialist teacher from our approved list.

Another very special feature of our composition programme is the fact that students have ample opportunities to compose for professional musicians, who visit each term to take part in composition workshops. We also offer several modules in electro-acoustic and computer composition, led by internationally renowned experts, using cutting-edge equipment, and fostering all-round studio proficiency.


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THE UNDERGRADUATE DEGREE | MUSIC

The menu of modules also includes exciting specialist modules such as Psychology of Music, Time and Rhythm, Words and Music, Music and Science, Conducting, Orchestration, and Arts Management (run in conjunction with the amazing Sage Gateshead concert venue). If you wish, you can also take 1 or 2 modules in other departments – and even take a year abroad in between the 2nd and 3rd years at one of our prestigious partner institutions. For more details about specific modules, including means of tuition and assessment, please visit: www.durham.ac.uk/ music/undergraduate/courses/

LEFT: Participating in a ‘Time and Rhythm’ lecture RIGHT: Discussing a score during a joint tutorial

SOME BRILLIANT 3RD YEAR DISSERTATIONS ‘In Search of its Source’: Berio’s Sinfonia and the Crisis of Modernism - by William Drummond How are musicians’ bodily movements related to the rhythmic and metric structure of the music they are performing? Viewing rhythm and metre as embodied phenomena - by Josephine Miles Darius Milhaud and the Development of the Symphony in France - by Jonathan Penny Avoiding the ‘J-word’? How Esbjörn Svensson Trio revitalised instrumental jazz in the 21st Century - by David Tshulak “’Country’ as music is inseparable from ‘country’ as identity”: A Study of the Country Music Scenes in the North of England - by Victoria Taylor


A performance lecture in progress


MEET OUR STAFF


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RICHARD RIJNVOS COMPOSER

MARTIN CLAYTON ETHNOMUSICOLOGIST

“I’m a composer of mainly instrumental and vocal music. In the last ten years I’ve been focusing predominantly on orchestral music, having worked with distinguished companies such as the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Brussels Philharmonic, Deutsches SymphonieOrchester Berlin, and many others. During the 2010/2011 concert season I was Composer in Residence at MCO, the Netherlands Broadcasting Music Center, and I’m currently enjoying a long-term residency with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam. I was awarded the Matthijs Vermeulen Prize twice, in the years 2000 and 2011 – the most prestigious award for composers from the Netherlands.”

“Most of my work concerns music in India, although I’ve also worked in Indonesia and Brazil, and written and taught on topics closer to home. Music tells us so much about the diverse ways there are to be human, to express ourselves and to interact with other people: to deepen our understanding we have to keep asking new questions, and finding new ways to answer them. I hope my teaching conveys the excitement of exploration, the endless variety and richness of music in the world, and the need for both rigour and respect in our attempts to understand that diversity.”


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JOHN SNIJDERS PERFORMER

JULIAN HORTON ANALYST

“There are two big passions in performing for me. One is looking at how performing music has changed over time, especially from the early 19th century to the present day, with a special focus on keyboard performance and concert programming, and the other is working on new music, in collaboration with composers, and finding the perfect way of getting their visions across to an audience. Also I aim to get more people enthusiastic about playing contemporary music, both in solo repertoire and in chamber music, and here my experience as artistic director and pianist of the Ives Ensemble is invaluable.”

“From an early age, I’ve been fascinated by nineteenthcentury music, and particularly by the symphonic tradition from Beethoven to Mahler. Attempts to think freshly about this music have been a major concern of my research, especially Bruckner’s Symphonies: Analysis, Reception and Cultural Politics (Cambridge University Press, 2004) and The Cambridge Companion to the Symphony (Cambridge University Press, 2013). I’m equally passionate about music theory and analysis, which are at the core of my teaching and my research. In 2014, I was elected President of the Society for Music Analysis, the national society for my discipline. I’m also a composer and keen amateur jazz guitarist.”


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“MY MAIN AREAS OF SPECIALISM ARE RUSSIAN AND SOVIET MUSIC, TWENTIETHCENTURY BRITISH AND IRISH MUSIC, MUSICAL MODERNISM, AND THE PSYCHOLOGY OF MUSICAL CREATIVITY.”

TUOMAS EEROLA PSYCHOLOGY OF MUSIC SPECIALIST

PATRICK ZUK MUSICOLOGIST

“As a scholar, I’m curious about how we comprehend music that we hear, how music manages to arouse profound emotional reactions in us, and how both processes are embedded into patterns of movement and into our culture. I explore these topics with empirical experiments within the discipline of music psychology. I’m currently working on the paradoxical enjoyment of sad music (funded by Academy of Finland), the acoustic and musical aspects of emotional expression in music, the structure of emotions induced by music, and the way listeners use emotion tags in online services to find suitable music (funded by ESRC).”

“Historical musicologists study the life and work of individual composers, the history of styles and genres, and how music and musical life is shaped by its social, cultural, and political context. As students at Durham discover, the horizons of historical musicology extend into many other domains of intellectual enquiry, making it an especially rich and exciting field. My main areas of specialism are Russian and Soviet music, twentieth-century British and Irish music, musical modernism, and the psychology of musical creativity. My current research projects focus on the Soviet composer Nikolay Myaskovsky and the ways in which psychoanalytic theories of trauma illuminate modernist musical creativity.”


MAKING MUSIC


MUSIC | THE UNDERGRADUATE DEGREE

Durham is alive with music! Perhaps no other university has such a vibrant musical scene – so much going on and new groups being set-up all the time. Some groups belong to the umbrella organisation called DUMS (Durham University Music Society): DUOS (Durham University Orchestral Society), DULOG (Durham University Light Opera Group), DOE (Durham Opera Ensemble), Palatinate Orchestra, Big Band, Brass Band, Choral Society, Chamber Choir, Chamber Orchestra, A Cappella Northern Lights, African Drumming, Alternative Music, Concert Band, Gospel Choir, Hill Orchestra, Recorder Group, Rock Alliance, Durham University Voices and the Gamelan Society.

LEFT: The Chamber Orchestra in Durham Cathedral

TOP RIGHT: The Gamelan Society at the Gong Festival, Gateshead

ABOVE: ‘Bat Boy: The Musical’ at the Edinburgh Fringe (DULOG)

BOTTOM RIGHT: The Chamber Choir, on tour in Wroklaw, Poland

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THE UNDERGRADUATE DEGREE | MUSIC

Every year, DUMS organises a fantastic series of masterclasses, inviting top conductors and musicians to work with the university’s ensembles. Recent visitors include (left to right): Sir Thomas Allen (our Chancellor!), Ralph Allwood (a Durham graduate!), Martin Roscoe, Nigel Allcoat, Richard Dickins, and Ben Cottrell. Visit: durhamunimusic.blogspot.co.uk/p/whats-dums.html to find out more about DUMS

… And then there are over 60(!) ensembles that are based in specific colleges (although membership is open to all): the chapel choirs of Chad’s, Cuth’s, Grey, Hatfield, Hild Bede, John’s, Mary’s, and University and an amazing array of other ensembles: Aidan’s Funk Band, Butler a Cappella, Castle Big Band, Castle Ukelele Soc, Chad’s String Ensemble, Collingwood Guitar Ensemble, Grey Ceilidh Band, Hatfield Flute Choir, Kinky Jeff Jazz Band, Hild Bede Big Band, Infinity Musical Theatre, John’s Barbershop, John’s Barbieshop, Mary’s Mixed Voices, Basement Jazz, Mildert Big Band, Trevs Flute Choir, Ustinov Folk Band, Ustinov Jazz Band, and many more……….


Party in Hild Bede College!


FACILITES We’re fortunate to have excellent facilities for studying and making music.


MUSIC | THE UNDERGRADUATE DEGREE

“ALL OF OUR SPACES ARE EQUIPPED WITH THE MOST UP-TO-DATE MUSIC TECHNOLOGY”

LEFT: The Concert Hall, used for concerts and larger lectures (Here, the New Art Music Ensemble is doing a last-minute dress rehearsal) ABOVE: The Common Room – a general hang-out space

TOP RIGHT: The Lecture Room, where all the smaller classes and seminars take place BOTTOM RIGHT: Studio 1 – the department’s original studio. We now have 3 more!

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THE UNDERGRADUATE DEGREE | MUSIC

TOP LEFT: The Music Technology Lab (located nextdoor to the main building), with 9 work-stations running a wide variety of audio recording synthesis and video software BOTTOM LEFT: Our newest studio, with adjoined live recording room (which became operational in 2013, when our 3rd building opened)

ABOVE: Practice rooms (also situated in our newly-equipped 3rd building). Additional practice rooms are located in the Colleges RIGHT: The Technicians’ lab – supplying all the students’ and staff’s technical needs (Here, Martin is fixing a guitar) For more precise details, visit: www.durham.ac.uk/music/ about/facilities/


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THE UNDERGRADUATE DEGREE | MUSIC

WHAT IT’S LIKE STUDYING IN DURHAM… REFLECTIONS BY 3RD YEAR STUDENTS We’ve studied some of the pieces I’ve played in lectures, and also had the opportunity to practice in performance seminars. Getting advice from John [Snijders] and from the other students has been helpful, allowing me to test things out in a semi-public setting, learn how to relax and bring out the best. Now I’m doing Performance 3 [Recital]. It’s really difficult to find an interesting programme – pieces that are different but linked in some way – but I’ve decided to do a Sonata by the Belgian composer Lekeu, which I first found on YouTube, and now I’ve found a perfect piece to round off: entertaining, virtuosic variations on Yankee Doodle, by Henri Vieuxtemps, who is also a Belgian composer (So that’s one of the linking themes).

LUCY TWINE “I think I’ve been really lucky. At home it was hard to progress beyond my diploma – but then I came here and I was able to lead the Chamber Orchestra and do so much. One high point was performing the Saint-Saëns violin concerto with DUOS in Berlin when we went on tour, in the amazing Kaiser Wilhelm church – entirely blue stained glass all around. Fantastic – maybe once in a lifetime? – but also challenging and scary, with deadlines, practising, other commitments, and overcoming stage fright.

This year, I wanted to try out something new so I joined NAME [New Art Music Ensemble]. It’s more relaxed, fun, and interesting because it’s so different from what I already knew. Doing composition and performance modules opened me up to this; I didn’t even like modern music much before! I’ve also been in my college chamber orchestra [Trevelyan], which was set up earlier this year, and have liked doing things outside Uni too – especially teaching piano and violin up here. It’s so nice getting to know your pupils (and the money helps a lot, of course!) I just got a job in accountancy – though music will always be with me of course. I think I was able to sell my skills because of what I’ve learnt through being a performer.”


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DAVID LEWIS “Within the department, my assignments have been for a variety of different instrumentations and styles. Particularly memorable was writing an experimental piece for untrained percussionists with non-standard instruments: some people wrote pieces to be played using sweet wrappers, glass bottles, plastic cups, books, doors, sinks and even the walls of the music department! As well as imaginative assignments like the non-standard percussion or writing music for wind-up music box, there are excellent opportunities to work with leading ensembles, such as the Brodksy String Quartet, vocal sextet The Clerks, and chamber group Ensemble 7Bridges – I really enjoyed getting the chance to hear my music played by some of the best professionals around, but appreciated even more their positive feedback, knowing it was coming from people who really know about their art. From my point of view, one of Durham’s greatest strengths is the number of opportunities to get engaged in really great music-making outside the actual course, and especially for writing music. I’ve been a member of NAME for three years and have written contemporary pieces for the group, including music to accompany a silent film, as well as writing incidental music for a student theatre piece that went to the Edinburgh Fringe. In the completely different surroundings of choral music, I’ve written and arranged pieces for some of Durham’s chapel choirs, including being given the amazing opportunity to hear my pieces performed in Durham Cathedral. Other university ensembles are known for commissioning

new student works, such as the Choral Society and the Orchestral Society, and theatre groups have been known to perform new musicals written by students too. I’ve found the wide variety of music available in all different styles and contexts incredibly stimulating and it has helped me discover my own style, as well as sometimes surprising me with music I never thought I’d have chance to hear, such as Javanese Gamelan or Korean Percussion.”


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THE UNDERGRADUATE DEGREE | MUSIC

archives in London (including at the LSO) to find details not in the published books. I guess there’s an ethnomusicological angle to my work too, using first-person stories and even some fieldwork to explore how music fits into a broader context. Alasdair [Jamieson] is my supervisor; I see him around the department all the time and we chat about how it’s going. The lectures go into lots of depth – so in the 20th Century music module, we got an overarching view of what modernism has meant for different composers, exposing distinctly personal approaches and philosophies. But in your assignments, you have so much freedom to explore whatever is the most pertinent to you. Reading around, you find some stupidly interesting fact that instantly broadens your understanding of the subject and starts you off down a particular path. I also developed my interest in music, politics and finance when I studied in Switzerland last year: a fantastic opportunity, doing interesting modules on music, money and diplomacy, and having trumpet lessons with a pro jazz trumpeter.

Charles Price “I like the sense of community here. It’s a small close-knit department and centrally located – a rewarding place to study – and our year has become really close. With the college and all the music groups, the social life is great. For my dissertation, I’m evaluating how symphony orchestras played a role in post-war reconstruction in the UK. Reading orchestral biographies and contemporary accounts of British society is interesting: people really thought that classical music was a regenerative force. In the holidays, I’m visiting several

Studying music isn’t just about sitting in the library. The reading, the essay writing, the listening – for me, it’s all geared towards getting the most out of the performance experience. Music-making keeps it fresh and I’ve done a ridiculous amount, especially in the first year – DUOS, DUPO, Hatfield chapel choir, University Big Band (I’m president this year), a few DULOG shows (doing pit work). Since coming to Durham, I’ve also done some work experience weeks in the summer – things I figured out myself to do with youth music projects. Going into the future, I want to continue in that direction while carrying on with study, combining music research, admin and education. I’d find that very rewarding.”


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Florence Brown “I’ve done lots of ethnomusicology-related modules here. This term, I’ve been doing ‘Music in India’ and we’ve covered so much ground! Laura [Leante] plays lots of her own recordings of interviews and performances and includes lots of anecdotes – so you get an idea of what Indian music culture is like from the inside. It’s great learning from an expert, and it’s all tied to wonderful concerts they’ve organised. The kinds of people they get to play are absolutely top level: you wouldn’t get those opportunities to see such performers up close, authentic and intimate even in London. The other ethnomusicology modules have connected well with my various interests. In ‘Advanced Ethnomusicology’, I did a study on the Jewish Shofar horn, for which I could draw on my knowledge of ancient Semitic languages and the Talmud (which I’ve done modules about outside of the music department) and I also contacted rabbis to ask them about the instrument’s meaning. And then, in another module, I was able to research Irish folk music – revisiting all the music that I already know and thinking about it again, assessing how old repertoire is re-interpreted and marketed for new audiences. I’ve really liked the lack of restriction regarding what I can study – and also the practical workshops, which help you understand what music-making could be like from the performers’ perspective. I’ve done gamelan, Korean drumming, samba, sitar and tabla, and it gives you such a good insight into the music.

My dissertation looks at how film composers have re-created or sometimes imagined ancient music to conjure up ancient times and far off-places in epic films, so this follows on from my previous essays which were also exploring representation. I’m now watching films in detail, comparing the scores to current academic understandings of what ancient music was actually like, and analysing interviews with influential composers like Miklos Roza. I’m also arranging to speak to current film composers first hand… Meanwhile, I’ve been playing lots of music. I’m band manager of Folk Society Ceilidh band, playing whistle and bodhran for private events and gigs in colleges. There’s a fantastic folk scene in Durham with lots of pub sessions and I’m really enjoying it.”


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THE UNDERGRADUATE DEGREE | MUSIC

A WEEK IN THE LIFE OF A DURHAM MUSIC STUDENT – BY LAURA EREL (3RD YEAR)

MONDAY, 8TH DECEMBER – LAST WEEK OF TERM BEFORE CHRISTMAS HOLIDAYS! Today’s been tons of practising – piano for Wednesday’s solo recital (Beethoven’s ‘Appassionata’ and Brahms’s Handel Variations) and organ for the evening’s Hatfield College Christmas Carol service, which went well with just a few hiccups. Pleased! Repeat performance tomorrow, except for finishing with the Final from Vierne’s Symphony No. 1. After all these Christmassy things, I must return to the Austro-Germanic musical world; my “Studies in Symphonic Analysis” essay calls (on Schumann’s Symphony No. 4 and Liszt’s Les Prèludes). Hello, thematic transformation and two-dimensional form!

TUESDAY Last Hatfield carol service done. I was half expecting to feel melancholic but maybe the pressure of the weighty voluntary kept my mind from wandering to Sentimentaland. Christmas

formal afterwards was a lovely treat! Trotted out at half 8 and did some ‘real’ work: finalised my introduction for tomorrow’s recital (took ages rehearsing in front of the mirror!) and wrote up 400 words for the analysis essay – not too shabby. Early bed: must be fresh for tomorrow.

WEDNESDAY So pleased with the recital earlier! The few inevitable slips didn’t affect the drive and fire of the music. Lovely to see so many in the audience: all my friends, five lecturers, and some faces I didn’t recognise – quite flattering! No respite afterwards though, as Cindy and I had to fly to Newcastle to do a ‘soundcheck’ of the piano at the Lit and Phil Society; we’re both doing exams there very soon (Cindy doing her DipABRSM and me doing my FRSM). It was quite a productive session, followed by a trip to Sainsbury’s to get some nibbles before catching the train home. Got home absolutely shattered. Contemplated finishing the Schumann/Liszt formal tables but, oh well, oops…


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LEFT ONE: Practising piano before my performance LEFT TWO: Me at the Organ in Hatfield College RIGHT ONE: Looking for the patterns… RIGHT TWO: My lunch!

THURSDAY Having slacked yesterday on the Analysis front, did a productive hour until my computer decided to update itself and I headed off to my Performance 3 lecture. John Snijders picked apart the first movement of the ‘Appassionata’ and offered tons of feedback (based on yesterday’s recital) which was hugely helpful. Then I slotted in an hour of relaxation in town, browsing for birthday presents with Ishanee. One gets really good at procrastinating and I paid for that later in the evening. Drawing up two-dimensional form tables is so complicated, especially because my score of Les Préludes has no bar numbers in.

FRIDAY Got up extra early to finish beautifying the Analysis essay, print and submit it before 9 o’clock’s Symphonic Analysis lecture with Julian [Horton] which, as ever, proved to be a treat. We’ve started looking at Brahms’s First, formally entering

what Carl Dahlhaus terms the ‘Second Age’ of the symphony. Listening to it casually just doesn’t do it justice. I had no idea it was so intricately designed: who would have thought that you could create a double invertible counterpoint by inverting the chromatic three-note theme in the bass and combining it with the first half of the main melody?! A mock viva with John [Snijders] followed at 11. He seemed pleased with my dissertation, which was a relief! I just hope the examiners like it, too… Did a little practice before meeting Julian at 5 for a brief feedback on my recital. He brought up issues which don’t necessarily occur if you approach the pieces purely as a performer; I’ve found that an analytical approach makes a performance that much more meaningful and coherent. To end Michaelmas term: cheese and biscuit night with my friends! Great chat.


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LIFE AFTER DURHAM

In the 2015 Complete University Guide, we were given a score of 76 (out of 100) for graduate employability, ranking us 6th in the UK amongst university music departments. It’s clear that our graduates find themselves well-prepared for life after Durham, particularly because: •

Our music degree encourages the development of diverse transferable skills: analysis, critical thinking, innovative thinking, team-work, presentation skills, editing (text, sound and image), working with diverse sources, and much more. Employers often consider music graduates to be versatile and creative individuals with much to offer in the work-place. Our students are deeply involved in musical activities and leave with impressive CVs, demonstrating extensive experience in admin, production, performance, arranging, composing and more.

Students have ready access to specialist careers advice, not only from staff but also from the department’s own careers advisor (who has over 30 years of experience in music) and from successful alumni. Every year, we hold careers fairs – informal events when alumni return to share their knowledge and wisdom about pursuing job opportunities.

Durham music graduates pursue diverse professions, with particularly large numbers going into arts admin, broadcasting, teaching, business, and further study. Some of our students go on to become prominent figures in the music world: James MacMillan (composer and conductor), Sarah Alexander (NYO director), David Gorton (composer), Rumon Gamba (conductor), Stuart MacRae (composer), Ralph Allwood (conductor)…


ADMISSIONS

Standard offer: AAB grades at A-level or equivalent (for example in BTEC or IB), in any subjects except for Critical Thinking and General Studies. We have no bias against any particular school leaving qualification types.

Music A-level (or equivalent) is required. We do accept Grade 8 Theory in lieu of Music A-level, recognising that there are sometimes obstacles to studying music at secondary school.

Grade 7 or 8 in first instrument is advisable but by no means essential. While some of our students have already achieved diploma before arrival, others haven’t been guided towards taking music grades by their teachers, and still others have been focusing their energies more on other areas of musical creativity – such as composition or studio work. Keyboard skills are advisable (but not absolutely essential), since they aid score reading and analysis.

We consider each application holistically: if there is an area of concern (for example, a lower predicted grade in a nonmusic subject) but it is compensated for in another area (for example, practical accomplishment), we might well consider making an offer.

We accept applications for deferred entry

Please visit www.dur.ac.uk/music/undergraduate/requirements/ to confirm these details before applying.

Like most universities, we don’t conduct interviews, so it’s crucial that you clearly outline your musical interests, activities, skills and aspirations in your personal statement. Once we’ve considered everything in your UCAS form, if it seems that you are deeply into music (- any kind of music), you express yourself skilfully, and you’re getting the grades in your chosen exams – we’d very much like you to join our vibrant community.


For general enquiries: Department of Music Durham University Palace Green Durham DH1 3RL Tel: +44(0)191 33 43140 For undergraduate enquiries: music.ugadmissions@durham.ac.uk Visit us at: www.facebook.com/DurhamMusic and @MusicDurhamUni ALPH/03/15/116

Music: The Undergraduate Degree  

Durham University Music department brochure. Details about the undergraduate Music programme and what it’s like to study Music at Durham.

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