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  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: August 2019

3 - Establishing the Musical and Educational Ethos

from Part I - Building and Consolidating (1883–1914)


This chapter looks at the musical life at this phase of the RCM, and at its curriculum. It shows that Stanford’s programming of concerts and operas was as adventurous (and sometimes radical) as his approach to teaching composition was confined. The range of repertoire performed at College concerts is discussed, and shows that College students were exposed to a much wider range of musical influence than has been commonly thought. In 1903 the College received a significant capital endowment (called the Patron’s Fund) to help it mount concerts to advance young British composers and performers, and the implications of this Fund for the College and its reputation are discussed. George Grove’s RCM curriculum (and his emphasis on practical training) is discussed in relation to the evidence Grove gave to the Gresham Committee, advising on the reconstitution of London University. Grove's ideas about the sort of education a music college should offer is further indicated in the professional practice represented by the ARCM diploma, and the chapter ends with an analysis of ARCM passes which shows its significance as a qualification.