|Since they are included, the teacher must treat them as
essential matters of study, and not leave them to luck. Any examiner knows
only too well the type of candidate whose actual performance is first-rate,
and yet the total of marks is spoilt by heavy losses on Sight-reading, &c.
In all examinations, whether Local or Diploma, the Viva Voce is a most
frequent weakness, weakness which shows in even the most elementary and
fundamental matters. It is quite a common experience to find a candidate who
can give a reasonably satisfactory rendering of, say, one of the easier
Beethoven Sonatas, and yet who cannot distinguish between a minim and a
Questions on Form are frequently productive of the most extraordinary
answers, showing that the teacher knows but little more than the pupil.
There is really no excuse for this sort of thing. Text-books on Form are
abundant, and if the teacher finds them incomprehensible, he should take
lessons on the subject with somebody competent. Besides which, there are the
" Answers to Correspondents " pages in the various musical periodicals. It
should also be understood that questions on this subject are not necessarily
to be confined absolutely to the pieces presented : some general knowledge
of Form is expected. If the candidate tells the examiner that a piece is in,
say, Binary form, the examiner is quite within his rights in asking what is
meant by the term " Binary." Detailed knowledge is not expected, but
candidates should have some clear perception of the subject in outline.
In Diploma examinations the Viva Voce assumes, of course, much greater
importance, and the way in which it is tackled may make all the difference
between success and failure. The reader is referred to the remarks on this
matter on p. 9.
Finally let it be again stressed that examinations must be treated as a
means to an end, and nothing more.