Somerville is a lively College at which to pursue this subject, with a thriving Chapel Choir directed by a professional conductor and by the Organ Scholars, an active music society, fine facilities, and abundant opportunities for solo and ensemble performance and conducting.
Music students are encouraged to have a range of interests which include historical musicology, composition, analysis and performance. Applicants with a wide range of musical tastes and abilities are welcomed. Somerville supports its Music students very well with an excellently stocked music section of the library, its own music collection which contains scores and some highly-prized recordings, a number of practice and recital pianos (a Bechstein, Blüthner, and Estonia) and the provision of digital pianos in student rooms to aid their studying. There is a music study room equipped with the Sibelius music-publishing system.
Besides the activities of the Chapel Choir, the Somerville Music Society encourages and organises music-making within College, while Somerville musicians play a full role in the wider musical life of the University. The College provides funding towards instrumental/vocal lessons for all music students taking performance options as part of their course. In addition, the Margaret Irene Seymour Awarda substantial scholarship for instrumental or vocal lessons is offered each year. Smaller grants can also be made for such purposes. The College also offers Organ Scholarships. Organ Scholars are provided with funding towards organ and/or conducting lessons.
A-level music is desirable, but not absolutely essential, provided that candidates can produce evidence of sufficient background in harmony and counterpoint and the history of music to cope with the requirements of the course. Those taking Music A-level should be aware that we would normally expect them to be predicted to receive (or to have already received) an A grade. All candidates are expected to have a good ear and, if their main instrument is not the piano or organ, at least basic keyboard ability.
It goes without saying that any successful applicant will be expected to demonstrate a genuine intellectual curiosity and commitment to all areas of the academic study of music.
Somerville usually admits two or three undergraduates each year to read Music.