September 10, 2012
A quick reminder for my students and other readers about the written requirements for the three respective diplomas here:
Programme Notes (DipABRSM and LRSM)
You must present two identical copies of your Programme Notes to the examiners at the start of the exam. (If your Programme Notes are in a language other than English, one copy of the original should be submitted together with two copies of an independently verified translation into English.) The Notes should discuss and illuminate in your own words the works you have chosen to perform in your Recital, and they must be authenticated as your own work by a declaration form (see p. 24). Remember that you should be prepared to discuss your Programme Notes in your Viva Voce.
DipABRSM 1,100 words (+ 10%)
LRSM 1,800 words (+ 10%)
If your Programme Notes fall outside these limits, you will be penalized.
Your Programme Notes must be typed or printed in black, and the title page must contain the following information:
the full title of the diploma and your instrument
the date of the exam
the word count (excluding title page)
the works in your programme in the order in which you are to perform them (excepting orchestral excerpts, if offered as a specialist option at LRSM level)
In addition, all the pages must be consecutively numbered. Please remember that you must not identify your name anywhere on or inside your Programme Notes.
PREPARATION GUIDANCE FOR PROGRAMME NOTES
At both DipABRSM and LRSM levels, your Programme Notes should illuminate the content of your Recital programme in an interesting and relevant way.
At DipABRSM level, you should write your Programme Notes as if for a general concert audience – that is, an audience of non-musicians who are interested in music and are relatively knowledgeable. If your programme contains standard repertoire works, the generalist audience will probably already know something about them and may have heard either live or recorded performances of them before. Writing about very well-known pieces may initially seem a daunting task (what more can there be left to say about Bach’s Cello Suites or Beethoven’s ‘Moonlight’ Sonata?). But the audience will still appreciate being reminded, or told for the first time, of the background to the pieces, the composers’ intentions, and other relevant information about the works and what makes them popular. Some technical but universally common language may be helpful and necessary, but its meaning should always be clear.
Written Submission (FRSM)
You must send three identical copies of your Written Submission with your entry. (If your Written Submission is in a language other than English, one copy of the original should be submitted together with three copies of an independently verified translation into English.) The Written Submission should address idiomatic features and performance issues connected with your Recital, and it must be authenticated as your own work by a declaration form (see p. 24). Remember that you should be prepared to discuss your Written Submission in your Viva Voce.
4,500 words (+ 10%)
Format [for ALL SUBMISSIONS]
Your Written Submission must be in the following format:
typed or printed in black on good-quality white paper of international A4 (297mm x
210mm) or US Legal size
the margins should be of the following minimum widths:
inside margin: 30mm
top and outside margins: 15mm
bottom margin: 20mm
only one side of each sheet should be used
each copy must be securely bound, with all pages consecutively numbered
the title page must contain the following information:
the full title of the diploma and your instrument; the Submission’s title; the date of submission; the word count (excluding title page, endnotes/footnotes, bibliography/discography)
the title page must be followed by an outline or précis of your Submission of about 150–250 words and a contents page
references to either endnotes or footnotes, if used, must be clearly inserted in the text
the Submission must be consistent in its presentation and approach to the citation of sources
a bibliography and, where appropriate a discography, must be included, citing all works used in the preparation of the Submission.
Please remember that you must not identify your name anywhere on or inside your Written Submission.
(This is an excerpt from the official “Music Performance diploma syllabus from 2005” published by the ABRSM Examination Board