Music is at the heart of St Peter’s. As a scholarly discipline it has been taught at Oxford for many centuries, and a link with this long tradition is apparent in the core subjects of Analysis, Techniques of Composition (stylistically-based harmony and counterpoint) and History of Music.
The retention of these subjects at the heart of the first year curriculum ensures that every Oxford graduate acquires a detailed yet comprehensive understanding of Western music. More recently, the study of a broader range of subjects including popular music (Global Hip Hop), Psychology of Music, and Issues in Performance Practice have widened the spectrum of subjects studied in the first year to reflect current developments.
The wide range of options available in the second and third years enables students to specialise in areas of particular interest, e.g. original composition, solo performance, chamber music, analytical techniques, editing, ethnomusicology, or specialist history options. For further details about the course see www.music.ox.ac.uk
The course at St Peter's
St Peter's generally seeks to admit four or five undergraduates per year. This is one of the largest groups of undergraduates reading Music in any college across the University and creates a vibrant and diverse musical community.
Every undergraduate reading Music is provided with an electric piano (clavinova) for his or her own study purposes. The college possesses two Blüthner grand pianos and a single manual harpsichord by Robert Goble, which are available for practice and for performances.
The spacious Chapel, with its generous acoustic, provides a flexible performing space for large- and small-scale concert and operatic performances. The strong tradition of instrumental music in the college is apparent in the number of St Peter’s students who play in the University orchestras. Organ and Choral Scholarships are available together with a number of awards for musical excellence supported through the generosity of old members and given to those who play an outstanding role in the musical life of the college.
There is a strong tradition of graduate study in music at St Peter’s at both Masters and Doctoral level. Research interests of recent, current and incoming graduate students include studies in 13th-century manuscripts, psychology of performance, and Elgar. Graduate students play an important role in the musical life of St Peter’s.