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CURWEN DIPLOMA REQUIREMENTS, 2020

It is hoped that the candidate’s active involvement in the examination process will help to achieve a well informed musical outcome, and that the examinations themselves will offer a musical experience worth engaging with, one which will broaden the candidate’s creative thinking.

The Fellowship (FCCM) is obtainable by one of four pathways:

i. recital/performance. This should last for 45 minutes, excluding breaks between pieces, so about 60 minutes in total. This can include orchestral or choral conducting (candidate to provide choir/ensemble). To include programme notes (submitted in advance) and spoken introductions to each piece during the recital. The standard to be that of a final-year undergraduate recital.

ii. dissertation of between 9,000 and 10,000 words. The topic is to be approved before registration, with proposed outline, research methods and sources, etc. Original research is not required. The standard is to be that of a final-year undergraduate dissertation.

iii. composition. The content is to be agreed in advance. It may be either an extended work (which may be in several movements) lasting some 30 minutes in performance, or the equivalent in shorter pieces, which need not necessarily be related. The standard to be that of a final-year undergraduate ‘exercise’.

iv. edition. The work to be agreed in advance on a case-by-case basis.

It may be possible, in certain cases, to make a ‘mixed-mode’ submission, e.g., recital + dissertation, or recital + composition. In all cases, a clear link should exist between the two parts, so a recital + composition might include a performance of the candidate’s work. The individual length of the two parts would be less, but the standard the same.

The Associateship (ACCM) is obtainable in the same four ways, but at a lower level:

i. recital. The programme is to be agreed in advance, of 30 minutes excluding breaks between pieces, so about 40 minutes in total. This can include orchestral or choral conducting (candidate to provide choir/ensemble). To include programme notes (submitted in advance) and spoken introductions to each piece. The standard should be that of a first-year undergraduate recital.

ii. dissertation of between 5,000 and 6,000 words. The topic to be approved before registration, with proposed outline, research methods and sources, etc. Original research is not required. The standard to be that of a first-year undergraduate essay.

iii. composition. A portfolio of shorter pieces, to be agreed in advance, demonstrating the ability to write for a variety of media (vocal, instrumental, keyboard etc.).The standard to be that required of a first-year undergraduate. Neither editing nor ‘mixed-mode’ submissions are available at this level.

The Licentiate diploma (LCCM) is currently suspended.

Entrance requirements

These are assessed on a case-by-case basis, but for ACCM, the normal requirement is an A-level (or equivalent) in music, or Grade VIII (or equivalent – Dip ABRSM, ALCM, etc) practical, but basically candidates should be able to demonstrate a firm grasp of theory, history, or technique, depending on which pathway they choose. For FCCM, an ACCM is normally required, or an equivalent diploma (LRSM, ARCO, AGSM/LGSM, LRAM/ARCM, LTCL, etc). Holders of music degrees or certain diplomas are granted direct access.

The minimum age for entry is eighteen for ACCM, and twenty-one for FCCM.

General regulations for both diplomas

A. Performance/recital

  1. It is part of the examination process for recital/performance candidates to draw up a suitable, balanced, programme. Technical difficulty is not the sole criterion on which to choose pieces, but they should be chosen to reflect a variety of styles and periods: for example, an all-Bach programme, or one consisting of works from a single compositional school, will not be acceptable.
  2. A duplicate copy of the music must be provided for the examiners: one copy is sufficient. In the case of organists, a comprehensive stop list must be provided also, and full details of any registration aids.
  3. The examination venue will be agreed between the candidate and the College, but will normally be in London. However, if it takes place elsewhere, particularly in a church, then it is the candidate’s responsibility to ensure that the examination can proceed without interruption, and to provide, if necessary, a door steward. The examiners will require a table and chairs.
  4. Candidates must provide their own page-turners, if required; the examiners will not act in this capacity. In the case of organists, the page-turner may assist with the registration, but this must be brought to the examiners’ attention before the examination starts.
  5. There will usually be one examiner except for on-line and recorded recital examinations for Fellowship for which there will be two consulting examiners.

B. Composition/research/edition

  1. For options ii, iii, and iv, the College can provide supervision if requested, although all candidates are at liberty to find their own tutors.
  2. The work must be submitted within the deadline agreed with the College when application is made. Electronic versions are preferred (usually a document or pdf attached to an e-mail), but if this presents a difficulty, other means can be discussed: please contact the College if so.
  3. Dissertations must be submitted using a serif type-face (Garamond, Times New Roman, etc) and not a sans serif one (such as Arial, etc). This to assist with legibility.
  4. All dissertations, compositions, and editions must include preliminary pages as set out in the Appendix to this document.

C. Results

  1. For performance candidates, the result will communicated to the candidate immediately after the performance, and the examiners will instead give feedback in discussion with the candidate when announcing the result; this is felt to be more useful than a written report on a performance that will have taken place some time previously.
  2. For the other modes, the result will be communicated as soon as possible by post or e-mail. A written report will be issued.
  3. Marks will not be given. For the performance mode, the result will be Pass or Fail. For the dissertation, composition, and editing modes, the result will be Pass, Pass subject to corrections (major or minor), or Fail.
  4. A Pass with Minor Corrections does not need a re-examination, but the diploma will not be awarded until the corrected work has been received. A Pass with Major Corrections or a rewrite will require re-examining, and this will involve a re-examination fee.
  5. In the case of FCCM, candidates who fail to reach the required standard may be offered the option of receiving the ACCM if their performance or work reached that standard.
  6. Outstanding candidates may be awarded the diploma with Distinction.

D. General

  1. Successful candidates will be issued with a diploma, and may use the appropriate post-nominal letters, FCCM or ACCM.
  2. They may also wear the relevant academic robes, which consist of a black gown of London BA pattern, and a hood of Cambridge shape, in light blue. For FCCM it is fully lined and bound for 0.25” with dark pink; for ACCM it is bound on all edges with 2” dark pink. A black square cap (‘mortar-board’) may be worn. These robes are obtainable from Ede & Ravenscroft on production of the relevant form issued by the College.

Appendix: Specific requirements for dissertation and composition submissions for FCCM and ACCM: