hanselandpetal
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Hello all,
I was wondering if anybody could give me a small insight into the content and workload of the music course at oxford?

I’m interested in applying for 2019 entry and hope to eventually specialise in composition (although I can never make up my mind!), but I was curious to see if it’s predominantly essay based in first year, or if there were different practical activities and assessment methods used.

I’d also love to hear about anybody’s interview experiences, or if you’ve got any general advice that would be fantastic! Thanks
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04MR17
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The_Lonely_Goatherd
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hanselandpetal
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Thanks
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The_Lonely_Goatherd
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(Original post by hanselandpetal)
Hello all,
I was wondering if anybody could give me a small insight into the content and workload of the music course at oxford?

I’m interested in applying for 2019 entry and hope to eventually specialise in composition (although I can never make up my mind!), but I was curious to see if it’s predominantly essay based in first year, or if there were different practical activities and assessment methods used.

I’d also love to hear about anybody’s interview experiences, or if you’ve got any general advice that would be fantastic! Thanks
Hellooooooooooooooooooooooooo :hi:

Sorry I'm so late in replying, been out all day without laptop and am not good with the new app :ninja:

The workload is immense and intense. Essay writing is the main bulk of the Oxford music degree, throughout the entire degree. Composition counts for a maximum of 1/6 papers in first year (4/6 of them are essay-based if I remember right) and 1/8 papers in third year (no exams in second year). Your entire degree classification rests on your third year exams and portfolio submissions. There are advantages and disadvantages to this...

What would you like to know about interview experiences?

FWIW, before you set your heart on studying with Robert Saxton, he'll have almost certainly retired before you potentially start in 2019 :fyi:
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hanselandpetal
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(Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
Hellooooooooooooooooooooooooo :hi:

Sorry I'm so late in replying, been out all day without laptop and am not good with the new app :ninja:

The workload is immense and intense. Essay writing is the main bulk of the Oxford music degree, throughout the entire degree. Composition counts for a maximum of 1/6 papers in first year (4/6 of them are essay-based if I remember right) and 1/8 papers in third year (no exams in second year). Your entire degree classification rests on your third year exams and portfolio submissions. There are advantages and disadvantages to this...

What would you like to know about interview experiences?

FWIW, before you set your heart on studying with Robert Saxton, he'll have almost certainly retired before you potentially start in 2019 :fyi:
Thanks so much! Regarding interviews I was just interested as to what tasks you could be asked to complete, as there’s no written entrance test. Is it more conversational or like an exam? ☺️
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The_Lonely_Goatherd
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(Original post by hanselandpetal)
Thanks so much! Regarding interviews I was just interested as to what tasks you could be asked to complete, as there’s no written entrance test. Is it more conversational or like an exam? ☺️
It's mostly a very deep/thought-provoking conversation, but there are usually at least two tasks:

1. Analysing an extract of a piece of music (most tutors use some kinda sonata form, though I've heard of extracts of Wagner, and operatic arias being used by some)

2. Analysing an extract of a musicological text

For the first thing I mentioned, typical questions are: what key signature is this in and does it change/modulate at any point? What is the structure and form? Who do you think composed this/what musical time period do you think it's from, and why?

For the second, they'll ask you to summarise the argument within the extract and usually expect you to offer some kind of opinion on it. Good preparation for the musicology section of the interviews, is to try reading Nicholas Cook's Music: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford: Oxford University Press. 1998). The book costs about £8 and can be bought in most bookshops that sell VSIs (Very Short Introductions) or online, e.g. Amazon.

Don't worry if you don't understand this book when you try to read it - it took me three goes to get my teeth into it But it's worth a try.

It's worth noting that if you interview at Worcester in Dec 2018 and Robert Saxton is still there, he tends to run additional keyboard harmony tests. These are not a formal part of the interview and have no bearing on whether you are offered a place or not: it's just Robert being whimsical Tests included harmonising a 4-part Bach chorale at the piano, improvising over a given ground bass, and improvising on a hexachord :yes:
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