Thursday, 27 July 2017


A matter of degree


It is not too early to start wondering about what might happen about conductor-education/training in Budapest under its new auspices. No doubt those directly involved are having to do more than ust wonder. They have to act. This merger was imposed top-down upon the Senates of the two institutions earlier this year, as an apparently urgent solution to problems at the PAF. Within these, questions arising specifically over the professional preparation of conductors alone would ideally take longer than that to resolve.

Still, needs must when the devil drives.

What might one expect? Who knows? It seems unlikely that complete change have been achieved at a stroke ready for implementation on D-Day 1 August, ready for the start of the new academic year soon afterwards. It seems likely that evolution to suit a new environment will thereafter be the order of the day for quite some time to come.

Here are a few points that just might prove relevant

  • Semmelweis is a modern medical university in the tradition of contemporary natural sciences, and an established range of possibly relevant disciplinary centres are already well established there
  • one of these is the Department of Physiotherapy / Division of Physical Education
  • medical universities award science degrees (e.g. BS and MS) rather than degrees in the humanities such as BA and MA
  • this distinction represents much more than just a matter of letters and words – it reflects a different ethos
  • education/training in physiotherapy and physical education at Semmelweis are acknowledged with BS and MS degrees
  • conductor education/training may find itself falling in line – in which case the question is when, with the new intake starting this September, or following a longer transition period
  • the actual content of the courses in their new institutional and cultural context
  • arrangements for students already part way through their courses
  • possible implications of such a change, positive or negative, for future employment of conductors in countries around the world
  • ...etc., etc.

One of matter for public and political concern over the PAF lay in validating its qualifications. How this might have been resolved has not entered the public domain. Incorporation into Semmelweis, whatever its other effects, might deal with this matter once and for al.

And what about the Library and its Archive? Semmelweis has a very long established scholarly Archive and Library, and Department of the History of Medicine. It will be hardly surprising of the opportunities of the merger do not emancipate some serious attention to the written record. This may free up scholarly access to the conductive system and its knowledge base, but how might what emerges sit with the current world-famous Creation Myth?

It is worth noting by the way that the Semmelweis will not be the first medical university to host conductor education/training leading to BS degrees to mark conductor qualification, ADU (Adventist University of Health Sciences in Orlando, Florida) being now half-way through its first intake.

Two other departments mentioned here

A little more on Semmelweis's library system

The mission of the Central Library is to support education, research and healing work of Semmelweis University and to provide special literature of proper quality and quantity for the university staff, students and other professionals. Comprehensive collection, processing and providing literature in a fast, precise, up-to-date and cost-effective manner by expert cooperation from the librarians. The library and its services belong to the essential functions of the university...

The total holdings of departmental libraries: 250,000 volumes. Number of current periodicals: 484 titles.

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