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Picture of Aural and the University Music Undergraduate

Aural and the University Music Undergraduate

Author(s): Colin R. Wright
Contributors: Colin Wright;
Subject: Music

Book Description

Research indicates that aural skills are vital in developing musical expertise, yet the precise nature of those skills and the emphasis placed upon them in educational contexts merit closer attention and exploration. This book assesses the relevance of aural in a university music degree and as a preparation for the professional career of a classical musician. By way of the discussion of four empirical studies, two main areas are investigated: firstly, the relationship between university music students’ aural ability and their overall success on a music degree programme, and, secondly, the views of music students and professional musicians about aural and its relevance to their career are analysed.

The subject is investigated particularly in the light of the current socio-educational background of the past fifty years, which has greatly influenced the participation of music and the study and development of musicianship. Many related issues are touched upon as part of the research for this project, and these emerge as relevant topics in the discussion of aural. Apart from students’ and musicians’ views on training and singing, aspects considered include the role of improvisation, memorisation and notation, examinations, absolute pitch and the affinity with language, all of which have a part to play in the debate about the importance of aural.


ISBN-13: 978-1-4438-9799-0
ISBN-10: 1-4438-9799-X
Date of Publication: 01/11/2016
Pages / Size: 445 / A5
Price: £63.99


Dr Colin R. Wright is a freelance musician, teacher and examiner having taken retirement in 2009 from the Music staff at the University of Hull, UK. He was appointed a Fellow of the University in 2010, and received his doctorate for a thesis on aural skills in 2016. He is Musical Director of the East Riding County Choir and President of the local organists’ association. He previously served as Organ Scholar of St Catharine’s College, Cambridge, where his studies of organ and choral practice led to the award of Fellowship of the Royal College of Organists. With a well-established reputation as an active practising musician, Colin was Assistant Organist at Beverley Minster from 1996 until 2010, and has held an appointment on the Music Panel of Examiners of Trinity College London since 1999, undertaking examining tours in the UK and Europe as well as New Zealand, Australia and South Africa.