Department of Music
The Department of Music has educated some of the most prominent and successful Irish musicians of our time. Since Trinity College was founded in 1592, music has played a prominent role in its life, and in 1764 the university established a professorship in music, one of the earliest such appointments in Britain or Ireland.
The Department of Music offers a full range of academic degrees from B.A. to Ph.D, and all undergraduate students may specialise in one of three main areas: composition, musicology and music technology. One of the strengths of the undergraduate programme is its incremental nature: students begin with courses in the basic aspects of music and musicianship, and each successive year builds on the previous ones to create a wide range of possible expertise. The course's in-built flexibility means that composers may also study music technology, musicologists may study composition and so on. Individual initiative is encouraged; and because of the amount of small-group teaching, students experience high levels of individual attention and support. In addition, the department supports a range of student-led performance activities that are supported by specialist teachers, and offer instruction in professional standards and practices in music-making.
The recently established Music Composition Centre is providing a new platform for composers equipped for the emerging music of the 21st century. There we hold regular public events (lectures, recitals, lectures-recitals) to promote contemporary composition in Ireland.
The Single Honor course provides a thorough grounding in the basic skills of musicianship and academic study. The incremental nature of the course means that graduates are highly qualified.
The department thereby offers a dynamic mixture of traditional and innovative courses for all musicians interested in learning about the history of their art, how music functions, how it is related to new technologies, and how to write music. Performers rub shoulders with composers, theorists with technicians. In addition to the undergraduate courses, there are many opportunities for research and composition at postgraduate level.
Because the undergraduate courses require a specific blend of theoretical and practical skills, students can expect, in addition to the traditional lecture, a high level of individual attention via small-group teaching and tutorials. The courses are full-time, and require the complete dedication of one's time. The aim is that students will become rounded musicians, by learning about the history of music, how music functions, how it is related to new technologies, how to write music, and how all these factors can inform the performance of music.
The Music Department houses a large number of up-to-date computer workstations with high-quality software. It also has practice room pianos, and has excellent listening facilities for a large collection of CDs. In addition, there is an archive of historical recordings, some of them over 100 years old. Finally, the Library of Trinity College has the best and most wide-ranging holdings of music in Ireland, and also has a large collection of CDs available to all students.
Although instrumental or vocal studies are not part of the formal curriculum, all students may elect to give a recital for 10% of their degree. Additionally, practical courses in aural training and/or keyboard skills are available in each year. A wide range of musical activities takes place on the campus, and the department supports specific performance projects through the provision of expert guidance from musicians of international standing.
The majority of subjects are based on the traditions and practice of classical (or art) music, from the medieval period to the present day. However, the department regularly presents lectures in other musical traditions, including jazz and popular music, and many students currently in the department come primarily from one of those non-classical traditions.