Teaching and resources for English, Art History and Music

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Mediant Studies


All material for the 2019-20 and 2021-2022 examinations is available.
Click here for a summary of changes made to the paper in 2017.

Module 1:  Advanced Theory

This module is closely related to the knowledge and skills required by the present (2017-) syllabus.  There is considerable reference to the works set for 2017-2020, with a view to helping students to develop the knowledge and skills needed to understand them and answer questions about them.  However the module should prove helpful for questions in Section A of the paper too.  For example, the general analyses should be particularly helpful in dating the extracts in question 2a, while the section on scoring should be helpful for the arrangements for string quartet (question 1) and orchestration (question 2b). Files about rhythmic and melodic transformation will be helpful for candidates writing the piano variations (question 2c). 

LMusTCL requires some knowledge and skills which are not necessary for answering AMusTCL questions – such as recognising or commenting on types of sequence and fugal writing.  Students will learn how to comment in the sort of detail expected by LMusTCL examiners on topics such as how chromaticism or a particular instrument or a particular motif is used.  The module is essential for students who have not passed an examination at AMusTCL level. 

The material is available now as electronic files, which are emailed to students. 

Click here for more information about Advanced Theory.

If you need help with writing essays, you should begin Module 6,
and work through it while you do modules 2 and 3.

Module 2:  Musical Styles

"I passed my LMusTCL!  Hooray!  …. I will be forever indebted to you for your patient and thorough teaching.  I will always recommend your teaching to people and will remember with fondness your humour and diligence in your replies to my frequent emails!" (15 January 2011), Weston-Super-Mare, United Kingdom


"All of the materials are marvellous!"  (15 May 2015)  County Antrim, Northern Ireland.

This module focuses particularly on question 2a of section A of the paper, although it provides background knowledge and skills that all LMusTCL students will need to answer questions on the set work. The aim is to familiarise students with the various forms western music has taken over the last thousand years. There are booklets and assignments on each of the following.  Click the title of each section to see a sample of the material.  Material is usually sent as electronic files, although some files are still available as booklets.  (There is a postage charge for sending booklets, as indicated in the application form.)  All sections have passages from Section A question 2a in past papers, with answers.  It is important that students can hear the effect of the musical styles they study, so in The Development of Musical Style there is a list of works featuring different styles and composers which students can access on the internet.

A set of model answers to question 2a in the LMusTCL 2017 sample paper is now available at $NZ5.  Please contact us to order it.  The paper itself can be downloaded from the Trinity College website.


Click here for more information about The Musical Detective.

Module 3. Instrumental Arrangements

This module is geared to section A of the paper. Resources and exercises for the String Quartet (question 1), Piano Variations (question 2B), and Modern Orchestration (question 2C) are available now.

If you are not already familiar with writing and harmonising melodies and writing in four parts (e.g. in a Lutheran Chorale) for question 1,and writing for piano solo for question 2b, you would be advised to order the appropriate sections in Module 3 of the AMusTCL course, depending on which question(s) you intend to answer in the examination. If you want to be prepared to answer the orchestration question (2c in Section A), but are not familiar with the instruments of the orchestra and how to read and write music for them, you may need to order Instruments of the Orchestra and Reading Music for Voices and Instruments from the Intermediate Course and/or the Orchestration section in Module 3 of the AMusTCL course. These resources are available now. 

If you would like to be informed of fuirther developments, follow the Mediant Studies page on Facebook.

Module 4. Genre

jasonweinberger:Legendary Dutch conductor William Mengelberg’s score of the Fourth Symphony by Gustav Mahler, with both his and the composer’s notes. One of the annotations – in Mahler’s hand at the bottom of the page – indicates that the introduction of the famous, lilting first theme should be played like a Viennese waltz. This and other tempo markings, corrections and musical indications have proven to be critical to our understanding of this piece [not to mention to the modern performing edition].

Mengelberg was one of Mahler’s foremost advocates and invited him to Amsterdam numerous times to present his work at Concertgebouw. One of those visits, in 1904, was the occasion for a special double performance of the Fourth from which this score dates. Here are Mahler and Mengelberg two years later, with conductor and composer Alphonse Diepenbrock on the right:

In 1939 Mengeberg recorded the Fourth Symphony with Concertgebouw, a performance which remains one of the most intriguing Mahler readings I’ve heard. Download it [zip, 105mb].

This module is geared to section B of the paper.  In the exam, you will have a choice between two genres.  There is also a choice of question on whichever genre you choose. 

n 2019-22 the following will be covered:

The course fees for module 4 include the following:

(Module 5. Set work)

Modules 1 and 2 will help you to develop a wide range of knowledge and skills, so that you will be able to do your own analysis of extracts in question 2a of Section A.  The same skills can be used to analyse the set work.  As a result, the Set Work module has been discontinued.

You must be able to listen to the work, and follow it in the score.  You can take the score into the exam room as long as there are no markings on it (except for bar numbers).

Module 6. Essay-writing

I received the result of my AMusTCL exam and I've passed!!!!!!!!!! Thank you very much for your help! Your notes are very useful, thank you very much!!!!

I'm now studying hard on your notes of LMusTCL,

Hong Kong, July 2015

This module shows how to write essays for British examinations.  It includes exercises to practise the skills needed. 

The answers to question ii of Section A should be paragraphs.  (You need to write only a few lines - less than half a page.)   In Section B, you have to write two essays.  There are assignments in Modules 4 and 5 which involve writing essays in the style expected in the examination.  Either before you start these modules, or when you start them, you should also begin the Essay-Writing Module, so that you have done most of it before you have to write any essays, unless

EITHER you are confident in your ability to write essays at the standard expected in the third year of a university degree course in the United Kingdom

OR you have experience in answering essay questions in examinations set in Western countries – such as Western Europe (including the United Kingdom), the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand

OR you have already taken the “Processing Information” section of the Musical Knowledge in the AMusTCL course.

There are choices so you can relate your exercises to the topics you are studying.  There is also a model essay, showing what an examination essay should look like.

Materials are available only as electronic files.  These are available now.  They have been adapted to refer to the works set in 2017-20.

Click here to see extracts from the Essay-writing module.

I appreciated the effort and all the energy you have put in my assignements. It is much more than I got from most teachers in my former education.

Mannheim, Germany
July 2015

The paper is set at the level of the final year of a bachelor's degree in a British university, so examiners expect a high standard.  Trinity College will not accept applications from students who have not passed Trinity Grade 8 theory or an equivalent.  If you have not passed Trinity Grade 8 theory but have passed an exam at similar level (e.g. ABRSM - Royal Schools - Grade 8 theory), it would be wise, before you begin the course, to check with Trinity whether they will accept your qualification as a prerequisite.  You will have to provide the certificate of the equivalent exam when you post your entry for LMusTCL.

The course has been created on the understanding that students have reached AMusTCL level.  If you have not passed a theory exam at that level (first-year university) or higher recently, you should be familiar with all the theory topics listed as knowledge required for AMusTCL, as well as a basic outline of music history and orchestral instruments and how they are played and the following elements of harmony. 

  • Passing 6/3 (viişb) chords (as in I - viişb - Ib and the reverse)

  • Second inversion (6/4) chords in the "Cadential 6/4" - the Ic-V (6/4-5/3) progression at a cadence.

  • Passing 6/4 progressions (e.g. I - Vc - Ib and the reverse); and passing dominant seventh progressions (e.g. Ic - V7d - Ib and Ib - V7c - Ia)

  • Diminished chords - in root position and first inversion (e.g. ii°b in a minor key) - and augmented chords.

  • All secondary seventh chords (e.g. vi7), and their inversions (e.g. ii7b)

  • Chromatic chords, including diminished sevenths, Neapolitan and augmented sixths, secondary (chromatic) dominants, and secondary (chromatic) dominant sevenths.

These elements of theory are covered only briefly.  Full explanations and examples are in the AMusTCL course:

  • Tonality (diatonic and chromatic), atonality, bitonality and polytonality

  • Scalic and triadic melodies

  • Mixolydian, Dorian and Aeolian modes.

  • Techniques of writing for parts (e.g. SATB) - particularly chord voicing (how chords should be spaced vertically) and voice-leading (how parts should move horizontally).

If you want to enrol for the course but are not familiar with any of these topics, you should contact us to discuss whether you need to do any further study.  Alternatively, you can order worksheets on any or all of these topics, work through them on your own, and, if you wish, email themfor comment.  Details of the various modules of the AMusTCL course can be accessed from the AMusTCL outline page, and particular files can be ordered from the AMusTCL Resources page.

Newcastle, England
January 2016

If you are not sure whether you should sit AMusTCL or LMusTCL, you can download sample papers of both from the Trinity College London website.  If you want to prepare to sit LMusTCL, but either you do not feel able to pass the AMusTCL paper, or it is a long time since you sat an examination at AMusTCL level, you may have to either order some of the AMusTCL files or take part of the AMusTCL course before you take the LMusTCL course.


Thank you for solving my doubts and comments on both assignments. I am now sending my next two assignments. Also, quite surprisingly, in the 12th one, I was able to guess the composer's name accurately! The files have been very helpful, and if it weren't for the musical detective files, I would surely have not known the composer's name.
Mumbai, India
October 2019

There are surveys on the webpages about both Advanced Theory and Musical Knowledge which you can do to check whether you need to take those modules of the AMusTCL course.

Your material is already very detailed and  extensive, covering most of the important composers.

Hyderabad, India
April 2016

If the last paper you passed was ABRSM (Royal Schools) grade 8, you will need to study history, structure, and style (which are not covered either in ABRSM Grade workbooks or in The AB Guide to Music Theory)You are advised to order History, Structure and Style and Detailed notes about history, structure and style in the Musical Knowledge module of the AMusTCL course.   You should also ensure that you are familiar with secondary (chromatic) dominants;  chromatic sevenths;  ninth and thirteenth chords; and chords borrowed from the tonic minor that are used in a major key; these are not covered in the Royal Schools grade 8 syllabus.  You are advised to order Harmony in the  Score Analysis module of the AMusTCL course.

Thank You Bruce!  I have received all files and am already studying from it for the exam. They are extremely invaluable and helpful.

Pune, India
April 2016

Please ask for advice if you are not sure what to do. 

You may take the modules separately, but it is best to do them in numerical order.  (For example, Module 1, Advanced Theory, will help you read and analyse the musical extracts in Module 2.  It is not wise to prepare for your chosen set work unless either you have taken these modules or you have considerable knowledge and skills in those fields.) 
An exception to this is Module 5, Essay-Writing; if you need to take this module, you should plan to complete it before you have to write any essays.  It would be a good idea to get to know the set work - by listening to it and following the score - before you begin it

I now realize how good this course is and how valuable the information you provide can be.

Mannheim, Germany
August 2015

Thank you very much for all your tuition over the last 18 months. It has been a great pleasure to work with you.

Dr Richard Martin
London, England
November 2015

Most students need to study an hour a day to finish the course in one year.

You may need more time if you have not passed a senior theory exam recently.

I just got my result. I cleared the LMusTCL with 71%. I had just over 3 weeks and I had only analysed the Brahms quintet so far. Then your notes came and they were extremely helpful. It gave me plentiful resources to study from and most importantly it gave me a direction. I really appreciate your hard work to put it all together.
Thank you.  Your work is awesome!
Your guidance has been invaluable to me.

Tuhin Rao
June 2016
Pune, India

Decide which option suits your budget:

Thanks, Bruce, for a detailed email & appreciate the support you provide for your students, that too with passion.

Hyderabad, India,
November 2015

If you do not have the files for Section A of the paper, but would like to see what examiners are looking for, you can order a set of model answers to the 2017 LMusTCL sample paper.  Click here for details.

I am gratefull for all the detail in this e-mail (as always) and I am gratefull for your words of encouragment and fair and constructive criticism. You have traced a good diagnosis and a good strategy to tackle the exam.

Please contact us if you need any more information.