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How do I write a Repertoire List?

soviolinsoviolin Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
edited February 2011 in Music Major
Please help! I am looking for advice on exactly how to formate my Repertoire List that I will send to the music colleges with my application. I am a violinist applying for the Fall of 2010 and my applications are due in the next month. I really don't know how to format a repertoir list since I've never had to write one before: how far back in my music studies should I go, what order do i list the pieces in, etc.
Post edited by soviolin on

Replies to: How do I write a Repertoire List?

  • Mezzo'sMamaMezzo'sMama Registered User Posts: 3,399 Senior Member
    Also, ask your instructor for advice!
  • stradmomstradmom Registered User Posts: 4,671 Senior Member
    Composer, Title of Piece, Movement

    is what D did, in alphabetical order

    Some places wanted a * to indicate pieces performed in public
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 63,889 Senior Member
    When my kid did his repertoire list, he also listed the part he played (e.g. principal trumpet when it was). The reality is your repertoire for a piece is different if you play first chair than if you play another seating on some instruments.
  • fiddlestixfiddlestix Registered User Posts: 218 Junior Member
    soviolin, violinist here! You can relax - there is really no set formula (unless the school has indicated one). You may use different formats depending on how extensive your list is - just for clarity. For violin (unlike trumpet like thumper suggests) orchestra repertoire may not be necessary - unless you publicly played the concert master solos on a work like Capriccio Espagnol. If in doubt and you think that including orchestra rep helps you, then do list.

    Examples, all which I've seen used:

    1) exaclty what Stradmom recommended - especially good if the list of concertos/sonatas/solo works is not extensive. If you are including orchestral works, I would not mix those in with violin literature - I'd set up a separate category.

    2) if the list is longer, you can set up categories-

    Other Solo works
    Orchestral literature (as appropriate)
    and list all the works under the appropriate category. Indicate those performed publicly.

    3. Also, indicate those memorized and performed with piano - especially if that shows you off better! Some teachers have every work learned played with piano accompaniment as part of the process- if that's the case with you , be sure to indicate that.

    4. Not knowing how extensive your repertoire is or where you are applying, it's hard to say what to include. I would not worry about listing "student" concertos - Accolay, Viotti, etc - if you have moved on to more difficult literature and are applying to conservatories and more select schools. For some players/schools, however, that higher student level of literature is what is expected - so use your own judgment. A rule of thumb might be to include those works that you studied in high school and any others that came earlier if they were performed and are above a "student" level work.

    5. Keep a copy for your own use. At most schools, teachers aren't going to see the repertoire list included on your application and will ask you for one at one of your first lessons.

    6. DO ask you teacher for advice!!!!! Always the best approach as Mezzo's Mamma suggests!

    Good luck - you can be creative if there aren't specific guidelines. Make yourself look good!
  • slovesviolaslovesviola Registered User Posts: 146 Junior Member
    S found the Interlochen examples very helpful. There are several examples and give a visual of what it should look like. I don't know how to post a link (I need a lesson in this by now) but in post #2 above by violadad, if you read the 3rd thread that he listed, Resume and repertoire help, it is there. (Oops, they changed the website!! if you go to that link and search resume or repertoire list you will be able to find it. Not sure of the rules about posting a link to an outside source, I will paste it here but not sure if it will get removed: Samples and Examples: Resume - Repetoire List - Artists Statements | Interlochen Arts Academy High School.

    I would suggest keeping your repertoire list to 2 pages. Same with your resume. There are some schools that want you to upload it as a file on their online application or copy and paste it in to a box and there is a limit to the length that is accepted. For his orchestral repertoire, which was many pages in itself, S chose the top 15 most advanced or significant pieces that he had played, including a variety of styles and composers. He noted that this was a representative sample from 100+ pieces that he has played (High school, YO, camp, All State)

    In order, this was his format, alphabetical by composer: Study and scale books, Solo repertoire, chamber repertoire, orchestral repertoire.

    For all musicians it is a good idea to start keeping a list of repertoire starting in 9th grade, especially if you participate in a variety of orchestras and chamber programs. I always keep copies of concert programs to refer back to. When you have to put all of info together, it will all be there. S got many requests from school friends for a copy of his list.
  • violadadvioladad Registered User Posts: 6,645 Senior Member
    slovesviola, the posting to outside link policy is fairly liberal at least as I've seen it enforced on this subforum.

    The exceptions per the site's TOS exclude links to personal pages, youtube, myspace type links.

    My observation is that the mods tend not to have a huge presence in this forum, and historically there is a predisposition to self policing, which has been pretty effective.

    The link should not pose any issues.
  • shennieshennie Registered User Posts: 2,467 Senior Member
    When my son (cellist) applied for both undergrad and grad, he has limited his repertoire list to those pieces that he either actually performed in a concert, recital or competition or those pieces that were performance ready. For undergrad, he only listed those pieces that met the criteria in his 4 years of high school, and for grad school, those pieces that met that criteria during his 4 years of undergrad. He did seperate lists for solo pieces and chamber works. He never listed orchestral works.
  • Mezzo'sMamaMezzo'sMama Registered User Posts: 3,399 Senior Member
    Agreeing with shennie's statement- it works the same for voice majors.
  • OperaDadOperaDad Registered User Posts: 2,476 Senior Member
    If you have an extensive list, I would suggest some type of annotation to indicate which ones are currently performance ready. When my son handed out the Repertoire List at meetings with potential professors, it avoided an awkward scene of "can you sing me a few lines from <name of song>" when he hadn't sung the song for a year or more.
  • soviolinsoviolin Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
    Thank you for your input, I have decided to go with the format stradmom suggested of:
    Composer, Title of Piece, Movement

    Now I am wondering how to show that I plaed a cadenza with a concerto. I am also curious if listing the KV number of a piece is necessary. Since Opus numbers are always listed and they are similar to KV numbers I am unsure whether or not to list it.
    Would this be accpetable?:

    W.A.Mozart, Concerto No. 3 in G Major KV. 216, I with cadenza

    Also, if I am listing a piece in a minor key do I capitalize the key indicaiton or not? Is it alright if i notate the movements with roman numerals and only commas seperating them?

    Max Bruch, Concerto No. 1 in g minor, I, II, III

    I am currently studying two etudes which I will actually be performing as pieces because they are so amazing. (Fiorillo Etude No. 28 for violin and Wieniawski Etude Op. 18 No. 4)
    First of all, do I type the number of the etude first or the opus number?
    Secondly, on a few of the online conservatory applications they ask you to seperate pices into Etudes and Methods Studied, and Solo Repertoire. Which category should I put these etudes under? Also, does it make me look bad if I put them under Repertoire and then don't have anything in the Etudes and Methods category?

    One more question: My repertoire list is only 7 pieces long. These are the only pieces I think are high enough level and make me look the best. I have two of these pieces performance ready and another 3 nearly at that point. Do I signify which pieces I have performance ready for sure? I probably would not want them to ask me to play a part of one of the 3 almost ready pieces so I am hesitant to note those as ready. At the same time does it make me look lame if I only have two pieces performance ready?

    Thank you again!!!!!!!!
  • violindadviolindad Registered User Posts: 933 Member
    1. With Mozart violin concertos the KV number is rarely listed. There are only five Mozart violin concertos, so identifying the concerto number and key is plenty. Mozart piano concertos are a different matter where it is traditional to list the KV number. However, I don't think there would be anything wrong with listing the KV number with the violin concertos.

    2. In regards to showing that you played a cadenza with a concerto: Normally if you list a concerto as part of your repertoire, it is assumed that you played any cadenzas that are part of it. While there may be several different cadenzas written for a movement (including ones you have written yourself), it is not generally necessary to identify whose cadenza you have played. The people reading the repertoire list are very busy and will be reading many lists, so they are unlikely to care about which particular cadenza you played. Just to reiterate: if you haven't learned a cadenza in a concerto which has one, then you haven't learned the concerto!

    3. As for minor keys, it is traditional when they are part of a title to capitalize the single letter (although both major and minor are often left in lower case). I catch myself wanting to keep the minor key name in lower case: too much music theory teaching!

    4. With etudes, I think that either order would be acceptable, but I have a slight preference for putting the number prior to the opus in this case. Both clearly identify the etude.

    5. I would incline towards listing etudes, studies, and capricci under the "etudes and methods" category rather than the solo repertoire if the application specifies two separate categories. If only one category is specified (usually just "repertoire" or "solo repertoire," then I would list any etudes or capricci that are of musical worth here. I realize that your difficulty arises from the fact that some etudes or capricci have more inherent musical worth than many non-etudes. I still think that an etude should go in the etude list, if they want an etude list. I would possibly be somewhat concerned if there were nothing at all in your "etudes and methods" list.

    6. List everything that you have studied seriously in the past three or four years (unless they specify a particular time frame). My understanding is that the panel is not going to use your rep list as a springboard for requests: that is, I believe they will only ask you to play "audition repertoire" which is a much smaller list than your entire rep list. Your audition repertoire does need to be totally ready to play, but I assume by "repertoire list" you are not referring to the small list of things that you bring to perform at the audition.

    Normally an audition is only 12 to 20 minutes long, so the committee is unlikely to even get to hear all of your "audition repertoire." For example, at Juilliard, the violin audition repertoire includes 2 Bach movements, 2 concerto movements, a caprice, and a piece composed after 1939, which in many cases will have a total playing time (with orchestral cuts already made) of more than 40 minutes.

    After the "hi, welcome," tuning, etc. there is no way the committee will be able to hear even half the repertoire on your "audition list" (unless someone is playing the Seitz concerto and a couple of miniscule Bach dance movements), so they aren't going to be asking for stuff beyond this. A "repertoire list" for a classical instrument is a list of works studied seriously (and usually performed), but it is not expected that everything on the list be performance ready at the audition. Wise posters who have multiple children who have done multiple auditions, please correct me if I am wrong about this or anything else here.

    7. Don't sweat the small stuff. It is great that you are clearly attentive to the details, but ultimately how you play determines your admission and merit aid. If your playing is stupendous, then no one will care (even if anyone actually noticed) that you left a minor key name in lower case. Prepare well and you will play well.
  • stradmomstradmom Registered User Posts: 4,671 Senior Member
    Phew! We thought we were being oh-so-sophisticated by putting the minor keys in lower case. Oh well...
  • violindadviolindad Registered User Posts: 933 Member
    In my attention to the details, I missed a couple of biggies:

    1. Your violin teacher should be able to assist you with these questions. It would be advisable to take your list to your teacher prior to submitting it. They will catch any egregious errors or faux pas. If you teacher is unable to assist you, then it might be advisable to get some lessons prior to auditions with a teacher that can assist you.

    2. I think that anyone examining a repertoire list looks for both breadth and depth. Don't omit rep from the list just because it is easier than the other stuff on the list. There is nothing wrong with working on some repertoire which is technically easier. Ultimately, it is how well you play, not what stuff or how much stuff you play. (Now don't take that too far: I would not list repertoire from Suzuki books 1 to 3 nor would I take such rep to a college audition to play. That isn't saying that it is not worthy music; one can tell that Nadien is an incredible violinist from his recordings of the Suzuki repertoire. Most auditioning violinists are not Nadien, though, and therefore must demonstrate their skills with tougher repertoire).

    Many world-class violinists list things like the Handel sonatas and the Bach partitas on their repertoire lists. Some movements from those (in fact, most movements from the Handel) are often played by very young violinists because they are quite approachable with minimal technique.

    3. What you list may be partially determined by what school the list is going to. Things like deBeriot, Haydn G major, and the Dvorak Sonatina are probably on the border-line for some schools, possibly beneath the border line for the best schools, but perfectly fine for other schools.

    There is certainly a judgement call involved when assembling a list. Again don't sweat it too much. If you wish, PM me with more details regarding the easy rep and the schools and I will offer one person's opinion (to be taken with proverbial salt grains)!
  • violindadviolindad Registered User Posts: 933 Member
    stradmom: Yeah, I think I've put titles down on far too many competition entry forms with the minor keys in lower case. I just went and checked a few volumes of repertoire by different publishers from different eras and all of them use upper case for the key letter (although often lower case for "minor").
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