Format and Presentation of
Programme Notes in Diploma Exams
If you have not read the part about Content and Research for Diploma Programme Notes, that is a good place to start. You may return here after.
Trinity Presentation Format
A neatly folded A4 (A5) programme is recommended, printed clearly and
on good paper. The first page should show the titles and timings of the
pieces, with following pages giving the notes for each piece.
that programme notes, your dressing and performance presentation is
given a ten mark weightage in the exam. Always be as professional as
possible. Try to reach the standard of presentation you would expect
from a professional concert.
ABRSM Presentation Format
1. Type or print your notes in black.
2. Include the following on your title page:
- full title of diploma, including instrument for performance diplomas
- date of exam
- word count (exclude title page)
- works in the order of performance
3. Number pages consecutively.
4. Do not include a bibliography.
5. Do not include your name anywhere on the notes.
6. Include your declaration form with your notes.
4. Presentation Pointers for Writing
It is quite a list below but following all the guidelines is necessary for top marks. In any doubt, refer to any well-written programme notes to follow the presentation conventions in writing for music.
- Use good grammar.
- Be clear and direct. Avoid long, contorted sentences.
- Use your own words. Avoid plagiarism.
a thorough understanding of what you write especially if you are
preparing for Viva Voce. Be prepared to discuss points raised in your
programme notes as well as sources of information.
- Be interesting.
- Have a look at some professional concert programmes for reference for content and presentation.
- Spellcheck and proofread your notes.
- Constantly check the word count and adapt your notes accordingly.
Titles of works and composers
- Include the full name of the work, key and catalogue number in the title.
the first name of a living composer or if more than one composer bears
the same surname. The composer's years of birth and death if applicable
- List each movement of the work.
Use capital letters for:
- Musical periods
- Specific titles e.g. Second Piano Concerto
- Titles of movements e.g. Allegretto
Use italics for:
- Titles of books and musical works
- Foreign terms
Use single quotation marks for:
- Nicknames to compositions e.g. 'London' Symphony
- Short commentary by composers or critics (less than 2 lines)
Use indent without inverted commas for:
- Longer commentary (more than 2 lines)