Performance Diplomas in Liturgical Accompaniment

The NMSM provides a Liturgical Organ Accompaniment assessment. The performance assessment must take place in a liturgical setting ( a church service) with a choir (SATB or similar), and/or congregation present. The instrument of accompaniment must be a pipe or electronic organ or a piano. It must be conducted over a live video link with good sound quality with a view of the choir/congregation and accompanist.

The performance must include at least three hymns, an introductory and concluding voluntary, and at least 60 seconds of improvisation at the conclusion of a hymn based upon the tune of that hymn (at the candidates choice). Pedals must be used and a modulation to a related key must be included and must end in the tonic key. One verse of at least one hymn should have an alternative harmonisation.

The accompaniment of some of the liturgical elements of the service; a pointed psalm; canticle; plainsong; short anthem or other element, appropriate to the denomination, church or churchmanship should also be included ( one or more of these at the candidate choice).

The examiner will consider particularly the following elements: notational accuracy; phrasing and articulation; rhythmic quality; imaginative use of the organ or piano i.e. appropriate registration, dynamics piano bass doubling; accurate rhythmic pulse between verses; giving a good rhythmic lead to choir and congregation.

NMSM LitOrg Assessments

Assessment Level DipLitOrg NMSM
Duration Dependant on the length of service being assessed
Works See detailed specification
Viva No
Perform from memory N/A
Improvisation N/A
Public recital N/A
Address audience N/A
Programme notes No
Written element & aural tests No