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Music at Corpus Fact File

Typical offer: A*AA (or equivalent)

Required subjects: Music (ABRSM Grade 8 Theory at Merit and above may be accepted as a substitute)

Typical number of Music undergraduates admitted per year: 2-3

Submitted written work requirements: see our Written Work webpage

Admissions assessment: none (applicants may be asked to complete some interview preparatory work)  

Music at Cambridge

The Music course at Cambridge is designed to introduce students 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 needed for university-level music studies, with 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 a student progresses through the course there is increasing freedom to take specialised courses in different kinds of music, or approaches to it. Though the course has a strong academic component, students can choose to study performance and composition in all three years, and can choose to spend most of their final year working with individual staff members on their own analytical, historical or compositional projects. 

One of the most outstanding features of Cambridge is the richness and diversity of its music-making at all levels and in a wide variety of contexts. Musical performance happens in the Faculty, throughout the Collegiate University, and there is a broad range of opportunities to study and/or perform alongside your core studies in music. The Centre for Music Performance (CMP) was created to expand the visibility, scale, ambition and reach of music performance in Cambridge. It offers an unprecedented array of initiatives and programmes that teach, mentor and support students in their music-making from the complete beginner to the very highest levels of excellence. For further information about the CMP please visit Centre for Music Performance.

For more information about the Music course at Cambridge, visit the Unversity website.

Why study Music at Corpus?

The musical scene in Corpus is very lively and well-supported. The College Music Society, the Bene’t Club, organises a number of Chamber concerts, organ recitals, solo instrumental series and usually two orchestral concerts a year. In conjunction with the JCR Entz Officer, the society also organises open mic nights in the Pelican Bar for undergraduates and postgraduates to perform in.   

The choir is conducted and accompanied by the Organ Scholars under the supervision of the Director of Music, and leads worship in the Chapel at two services on Sundays, at Evensong on Wednesdays, and on special occasions throughout the year.  It is made up of undergraduates who hold choral awards boosted by some trialled volunteers, with open auditions held after Freshers' Week.  All members are encouraged to take singing lessons, for which some financial assistance is available from the College.

All music students have upright pianos provided, free of charge, in their rooms and Organ Scholars have Steinway pianos in theirs. The Chapel piano, a first class Steinway grand, a Yamaha grand in the McCrum Theatre, and a Waldstein upright, are available for our undergraduates.

Lastly, we participate fully in the Organ, Choral and Instrumental Awards Schemes. There are usually two organ scholars and several choral and instrumental award holders amongst our students.  Further details can be found on the Music Awards page of the University website.

What do we look for in applicants?

Whilst we of course expect applicants to perform at high technical level of musicianship, we also want students who are excited to learn about the history of music, as well as the role it plays in cultural and social development. We look for applicants who have begun to explore their musical academic interests, and who can discuss with enthusiasm their ideas about, and approaches to, the study of Music. In keeping with the Music course itself, we do not prioritise any particular musical genre or style, and we want to encourage applicants to discover what they are interested in, not what they think we might be interested in.  

Super-curricular resources