Green for Ordinary Time

Archbishop of Dublin’s Certificate in Church Music Year 3 syllabus

Year 3

Section A


  1. Repertoire

The candidate will be required to play two contrasting pieces, with pedals, from the list provided in the online resources30 marks

  1. Communion Setting

The candidate will be asked to accompany the Cantor in the singing of a Gloria and Sanctus from a Communion setting.See online resources for details.  15 marks

  1. Anglican Chant

Accompany a psalm text (unseen) with a previously prepared double chant.

The chant may be found in the online resources. The psalm text will be provided to the candidate by the examiner and will include a repeat of the second part of the chant, clearly marked.  Candidates will be given 1 minute to view the Psalm text.  10 marks

  1. Hymn playing

The candidate must prepare ten hymns as provided on the list in the online resources. All of these hymns (of the candidate’s choice) must be prepared with pedals.

(a) One of the hymns in bold type will be performed as follows:

A suitable play-over/introduction
The first verse
A middle verse (chosen by the examiner)
The final verse                                                                     30 marks

(b) An improvised extension of between 20 and 30 seconds which must conclude in the tonic key. 10 marks

Candidates should demonstrate musical leadership in choosing suitable tempi and registrations, appropriate for a full congregation, for each verse. Phrasing and articulation appropriate for the text should also be included.

The candidate will be asked to play single verses from a further five hymns as chosen by the examiner. 10 marks


Quick hymn study:

Four weeks before the examination day all candidates will be sent one hymn to be learned in time for the examination. This should be performed with pedals. The examiner will hear one verse.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              10 marks 

Marks awarded for the hymn playing section will reflect the overall examination mark.
For example, to achieve Honours (total marks greater than 120) the main hymn must also have a distinction mark (48 marks or higher).


Section B

  1. Study:

Left hand and pedal study to be prepared and played. This may be found in the online resources.  10 marks

  1. Sight reading:

To play at sight a short passage of organ music written on three staves.    10 marks     (Two minutes preparation time will be given.)                                                   

  1. Transposition

(a) Transposition of two hymns, provided in the online resources, up or down a tone or semitone as directed by the examiner. One of these will be played from an unmarked copy in the original key.    10 marks    (One minute preparation time will be given.) 

  1. Work experience

Work experience alongside an experienced parish organist for four Sundays. A log of each Sunday of work experience completed by the students must be kept, detailing what was played by them and a self-assessment of how it went. The log must be signed by the supervising parish musician.

In the event of a student already holding a church position, an alternative arrangement may be made for work experience.  5 marks


Marking Scheme


Year 3

Section A








Communion setting








Hymn Playing








Verse from 4 hymns




  Quick study hymn




Section B




Study for left hand and pedal




Sight reading








Work Experience








Pass: 100 marks

Honours: 120 marks


End of Year 3 syllabus

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