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My research interest lies in the interaction of music and literature. Wagner’s concern with holistic art in which neither music or literature is privileged, what he termed the ‘gesamtkunstwerk’, as well as the various poems and novellas which Britten, and others, used as the basis for song-cycles and full operas, make the nineteenth century particularly fruitful for this type of research. The course at York, unlike Oxford – the only other place I considered as it has both good music and English faculties, entitles itself ‘literature and culture’, and the focus is inherently interdisciplinary. Having contacted members of both the York music and English faculties in advance of applying, this impression was born out.
With regards to the course itself I’ve most enjoyed the amount of time and space there is to complete essays. As an undergrad I found it frustrating not having the time to really go into any kind of depth with an essay. Having, for example, six moths to complete the dissertation gives enough time to follow up leads and develop a research area before having to commit words to the page. Next year I will take up a place at the Royal College of Music as a singer on a two year MPerf course, for which I have a fully funded place. This year I was self-funded.