The current state of music, dance and drama teachings

(Article published in the magazine Arte, Individuo y Sociedad, nº 6. Complutense Ed., Madrid, 1994)


1. INTRODUCTION

Considered in our country, not without a certain reason, "Cinderella of the arts", it would be said that music and the teachings that, in education, are related - Drama and Dance - have not enjoyed good "public relations" with the environment. After a golden period (corresponding to the 16th and 17th centuries) in which our composers and performers could compete with the best of the rest of Europe -it is enough to remember the names of Tomás Luis de Victoria, Juan Bautista Cabanilles, Cristóbal de Morales, Antonio de Cabezón, Luys de Milan or Alonso de Mudarra, to get a quick idea of the height of the national bar at that time-, there is a decline that, parallel to the rise of musical development in Central Europe, progressively submerges, for more than two centuries, to our music in a uniform gray mass in which isolated figures shine from time to time. An unequal 18th century, starring Fr. Antonio Soler and two composers of Italian origin (Scarlatti and Boccherini), followed a gloomy 19th century, in which the premature death of Juan Crisóstomo Arriaga marks the entry into the primacy of the Italianate -opera and zarzuela, mainly, with some dabbling in chamber music-, at a time when Europe was witnessing nothing less than the birth and development of the great symphonic forms.
In addition to being then impossible a quick and convenient access to the nerve centers of musical development -such as the one provided today by the media and the record industries-, the geographical situation left our country outside the usual European circuits of cultural diffusion, which led to the most important aesthetic trends, as well as the works of their most representative authors, being known in our country with a more than considerable delay, with serious and difficult consequences for the foreign projection of Spain, both in musical activity, properly speaking, as in everything related to its pedagogy.


2. 1830: CREATION OF THE “MARÍA CRISTINA” CONSERVATORY OF MUSIC (1)

In 1830, the first Spanish Conservatory of Music and Declamation was created in Madrid, due to the special interest of Queen María Cristina, a Neapolitan woman and a great fan of music. The aforementioned environment determines the gestation and subsequent development of the new musical teachings, whose management is entrusted to the Italian tenor Francesco Piermarini, who is in charge of imbuing the center with the Italian spirit in vogue through a mediocre management, despite the choice of a prestigious teaching staff (Ramón Carnicer, Pedro Albéniz and Baltasar Saldoni, among others). The new center did not take long to become an important nucleus of Madrid's musical life, promoting the flourishing of chamber music and zarzuela.
During the remaining years of the 19th century, the music conservatories of Barcelona (Liceo, in 1838, and Municipal, in 1886), Valencia (1879), Zaragoza (1890), Málaga (1870) and Seville (1889) were created, to which were added throughout the 20th century those which constitute the current network of regulated music teaching centers, distributed among the different educational administrations.
It would be unfair not to bring up in this quick review of the Spanish 19th century the important musical work carried out by the Institución Libre de Enseñanza (Free Institution of Education), then only continued in the activities of the Instituto Escuela (School Institute). And as a significant fact of the attitude of our intellectuals to the anachronism of the different teachings, it will be good to quote the words with which Francisco Giner de los Ríos criticized the speech delivered by D. Emilio Arrieta, director of the Madrid Conservatory -then National School de Música- during the opening ceremony of the 1878-1879 academic year, in an article published in El pueblo español: "Perhaps Mr. Arrieta, underestimating the value of this kind of study -he refers to the accompaniment, the sight-reading, and those of a historical and stylistic nature, which, apparently were conspicuous by their absence in the table of teachings-, could you believe that there is nothing so natural as a musician not knowing theoretically and practically the history of his art, the series of his great works, the character and style of the various eras...?". Quite an allegation that surprises for its topicality, when more than a hundred years later, lacking in musical education a solid humanistic training, an in-depth reform based on similar arguments has been undertaken.


3. THE ROYAL DECREE OF AUGUST 30, 1917

The Royal Order of June 15, 1830, by which the "María Cristina" Conservatory of Music was created, was supplemented throughout the century with different prescripts relating to the organization of the various teachings, in a rather circumstantial way, which was not completed until August 30, 1917, the date on which the Royal Decree approving the regulations for the government and regime of the Royal Conservatory of Music and Declamation was published in the Madrid Gazette. In Title I of this Royal Decree ("On the teachings") the general objectives of the institution are determined, as well as the different specialties -instruments, composition, singing and declamation-, and the distribution of the teachings, subjects and courses that make up the corresponding study plans for each of them, setting the number of weekly classes, as well as the number of students per class according to their characteristics. In the successive Titles, the constitution and obligations of the conservatory staff are determined, as well as the obligations and rights of the official and non-official students.


4. THE DECREE OF JUNE 15, 1942

While the Royal Decree of August 30, 1917 only regulated the operation of the Royal Conservatory of Music and Declamation of Madrid, in the following years, under the Royal Decree of June 16, 1905, took place the creation of new institutions of different type, without a specific curriculum. The need to unify his teachings, in order for them to be valid throughout the national territory, led to the promulgation of a new Decree (June 15, 1942) by which the reorganization of all Spanish conservatories was carried out, ratifying the one in Madrid as a superior center and expanding, modifying or suppressing, where appropriate, some teachings that were taught there.
By means of this Decree a group of higher teachings was created in the Madrid Conservatory, on a permanent basis -whose future significance we will be able to verify when analyzing the Decree of 1966-, constituted by virtuosity in piano and violin for concert players, orchestral conducting. and the studies of musicology, of Gregorian chant and of rhythmic and palaeography, and in Declamation, theater direction, realization and presentation. The Decree also determines the division of the three classes of conservatories: Superior, Professional and Elementary, belonging to the first only the Royal Conservatory of Madrid. Regarding the degrees, it contemplates the existence of a Professional Title for the different specialties, qualifying only the Royal Conservatory of Madrid, as higher center, for the issuance of the Professor's Title.
The studies in accordance with this Decree (called the "Plan of 1942") lacked a precise definition, both in terms of their extension reflected in the form of the number of courses (which resulted in the duration of the same teaching varying, depending on sometimes considerably, from one center to another), as in the requirements for the different degrees, and even in the name of the same. This has been evident in view of the fact that the title of Professor, originally conceived -as can be deduced from the reading of the preamble- for students who will take the higher education established therein, has been issued jointly with the Professional title of the same specialty, at the end of middle degree, without requiring the student to take the section called "virtuosity". In another vein, it has not yet been possible to elucidate whether in the legislator's intention the teachings of Musicology, Gregorian Chant, and Rhythmic and Paleography, configured a single specialty (as occurs in current "Musicology") or it was three different specialties leading, therefore, to three different degrees. To make the situation more complex, this specialty -or specialties- did not begin to be taught at the Madrid Conservatory until well into the 1970s, the 1966 Decree already in force, which will be studied in the next chapter, but mostly studied by students belonging to the "Plan of 1942", which has given rise to truly Kafkaesque situations in some cases of students belonging to one plan, who have been required to take subjects from another plan to gain access to a degree that, in principle, they had the right, but whose lack of definition and absence in the teaching chart made it impossible to access it.


5. SEPARATION OF MUSIC FROM DECLAMATION TEACHINGS

With regard to the teachings of Dramatic Art and Dance, it is easy to verify that their presence occurs "in the shadow" of that of Music, at whose service they seem to be in the prescripts discussed so far. This is a consequence of the predominant Italian taste at the time of its origin, within which declamation and dance found their place in operatic performances and in the cult of bel canto. Their evolution in the educational aspect is more the result of the growth of the sector in which they operate and of its professionalization, than of the development of teaching. As has already been said, the regulations are very partial: the first regulation is constituted by the aforementioned Decrees of 1917 and 1942; the first establishes the Declamation curriculum, which the second continues, also including the specialties of classical choreography and Spanish folklore. On March 11, 1952, a Decree establishes the separation of Music studies from Declamation and Dance studies, constituting the Dramatic Art Schools, which, according to the category of the respective Conservatories which the Sections of Declamation depended on, they could be Superior, Professional or Elemental. That of Madrid, therefore, had a superior character, becoming known as the Royal School of Dramatic Art, integrating the studies of Declamation and Dance. This was the first step towards the standardization of this type of study, in accordance with its increasingly consolidated profile. This normalization did not take place, however, until the entry into force of the Organic Law of General Organization of the Educational System (LOGSE), in 1990, created the figure of Dance Conservatories, separating this discipline from that of Dramatic Art.
It was not until the 1970s that the organization of these teachings was again influenced, and only in regard to dramatic art. Thus, Decree 2607/1974, of August 9, establishes the study plan of the Royal School of Dramatic Art and Dance of Madrid in its Dramatic Art section, whose validity lasts until it is replaced by the experimental plan of 1985.
As can be deduced from the aforementioned, the regulation of these teachings is insufficient, since in Dramatic Art there is only a recognized curriculum for a center, there being none that regulates Dance studies, except for experimental plans approved by an educational Administration. All this, regardless of whether the centers have developed their study plans, adapting to the needs and demands of the sector in which they operated, but while in the case of Dramatic Art there was a normative reference (the Madrid School plan) In Dance, this possibility has even been lacking, which has caused that not even the duration of the studies has a unified treatment in the different centers.


6. DECREE 2618/1966, ON GENERAL REGULATIONS OF MUSIC CONSERVATORIES

With the intention of correcting all the deficiencies derived from the lack of determination of the existing regulations, a new Decree was promulgated (2618/1966, of September 10), whose main purpose was to regulate the Conservatories, whose number, at that time, was beginning to be considerable, given the interest towards music on the part of Spanish society, and that its knowledge was not included in the curricula corresponding to general education, in a true display of the most stubborn obstinacy in the contempt towards this artistic manifestation, inherited from the one that in its day the most prestigious intellectuals of the country displayed, from 1898 onwards.
The main innovation of Decree 2618/1966 was that it undertook, for the first time, a thorough planning of the different teachings, distributing them in specific courses and grouping them into the three known degrees: elementary, middle and superior, of which the latter received considerable support by extending, to all specialties, the same spirit that in the arrangement of the "Plan of 1942" inspired the structure of the instrumental specialties of piano and violin (the so-called "virtuosity"), as well as Conducting and Musicology, Gregorian Chant, Rhythm and Paleography mentioned above. Organized these higher studies in two courses, the 1966 plan extended them, as a regulated higher degree, to the rest of the instrumental, theoretical and theoretical-practical specialties. However, the short space of two courses, common to practically all the specialties, for the development of said degree, forced most of professional music education to focus on a medium degree whose duration varied enormously from some teachings to others, ranging from three courses, in specialties such as Guitar and Wind Instruments, among others, to nine, for the specialties of Composition and Orchestral Conducting. As a consequence of this, medium-level studies began to bear an excessive weight in terms of the contents of the different specialties, as the bar corresponding to the level of difficulty of said degree was placed well above what is reasonable for medium-level studies.
With respect to the 1942 plan, one could speak of two types of instrumental specialties: the aristocratic (piano and violin), deserving of advanced courses, and the plebeians or "of the heap", which would be all the others, and for which the established courses seemed to suffice, since neither the repertoire nor the technical difficulties seemed to advise further advanced studies.
The 1966 plan partially remedied the defects of this double consideration, establishing that all instrumental specialties end with a higher degree, for which the number of two years was set in general (the model was undoubtedly the two courses of virtuosity already established for piano and violin). However, he maintained a clear differentiation in the duration of the careers, maintaining a "long", of ten years, those of violin and piano, to which the cello was added, and another "short", of eight years, for the most of the remaining specialties (for the very specific ones, such as harpsichord, organ or percussion, the durations varied). But, on the other hand, the aristocratic-plebeian distinction was still maintained in the 1966 plan: thus, the higher degree of Chamber Music was reserved for ten-year specialties, being forbidden for eight-year specialties, with the consequent problems of practical nature that this has been raising in the centers when it comes to assembling a large part of the superior chamber repertoire, for which it was necessary to have eight-year-old instruments (such as the viola, in the case of string quartets).
The aforementioned courses in "virtuosity", constituting the higher degree of the 1942 plan in the instrumental specialties of piano and violin, as well as those in Orchestral Conducting and Musicology -as noted above, it is still not entirely clear today whether the Gregorian chant, Rhythm and Paleography were independent specialties of Musicology, given the ambiguity of their formulation- recall, due to their approach, the concept of postgraduate courses, so frequent today in all types of studies. On the other hand, these higher educations were limited, in practice, to the teaching of a single subject per course: the one that simultaneously constituted its spine and its covering (the 9th and 10th courses of said instruments, the courses of Orchestral conducting and Musicology, respectively), not completing the curriculum of the different specialties with other types of training subjects. They were, therefore, postgraduate courses that lacked a previous higher degree, properly speaking. The approach to the higher degree in the 1966 plan is not very different, since for practically all the specialties, the curriculum relies very mainly on the subject-axis of the specialty, being completed with some -very few- subjects more than , in general, little they came to add to the integral, musical and humanistic training of the students.
Unfortunately, the original healthy intention of correcting the deficiencies and filling the deficiencies of the "1942 Plan" did not have the desired effect, because instead of developing and organizing something practically non-existent, it proceeded to the creation of a chaotic tangle of subjects and courses authentically impregnable, and difficult to decipher even for those in charge of their implementation and compliance: the administration and the centers themselves. In an effort to leave everything "tied and well tied", typical of the times, Decree 2618/1966 established as a requirement for obtaining the different degrees having previously taken a series of subjects, for which in turn it was an essential requirement to have taken other courses which, in turn, required to have taken others which in turn ... As proof of this, just one sample is enough: today, in 1994, twenty-eight years after the Decree was promulgated, no one yet knows which ones are exactly the subjects that a student who requests the title of Superior Professor of Harmony, Counterpoint and Fugue, Composition and Instrumentation has had to study. Neither have the competent bodies of the Administration pronounced themselves in this regard, and there is the paradox that, within the same educational Administration, the demands vary from one center to another, in a true hermeneutical delusion. In addition, nothing prevented the student from simultaneously studying various specialties –since what they were studying were subjects, don't forget–, and even different degrees of them, greatly complicating the academic and administrative management of the Conservatories.


7. CREATION OF THE HIGH SCHOOL OF SINGING

To finish complicating the academic-administrative situation, by means of Decree 313/1970, of January 29, the Escuela Superior de Canto of Madrid, is created with the objective –as stated in the explanatory memorandum of this regulation- of teaching singing lessons specifically aimed at opera, unlike those existing in Conservatories of Music. To enter the School, a minimum age of eighteen years is required for students and fourteen for female students, the certificate of primary studies and the passing of an aptitude test.
The Diplomas issued to students who finish their studies at the Singing School (Diploma of Choral Ensemble Singer, Diploma of Opera Singer and Higher Specialization Diploma) have not, to date, been equated with those issued by the Conservatories, so they lack academic validity. This fact has produced frequent irregular situations of double enrollment in the School-Conservatory, and it is to be expected that the normative development of the higher degree of music education within the LOGSE framework will normalize this situation.


8. THE REFORM OF MUSIC TEACHINGS WITHIN LOGSE FRAMEWORK

Added to this chaotic state of affairs with regard to professional music education was the neglect of general education regarding the musical training of school-age children. Thus, in obligatory education studies music has had no place whatsoever, its presence being relegated to a single course, within the Baccalaureate studies. This was clearly insufficient to guarantee general knowledge (not technical, of course) of the subject, as schoolchildren may have it of drawing, so the social demand derived from its diffusion in recent times did not take long to lead to a high enrollment in the first courses of the elementary degree, which quickly overflowed the conservatories, orienting them towards hybrid educational demands, excessive for amateurs and clearly insufficient for professionals, and uncontrollably massifying them towards the most "popular" specialties: piano and guitar, which grew in a disproportionate proportion, creating a need for teachers that, in part, hypotecates any subsequent restructuring aimed at a rationalization of the offer of the centers based on real professional needs.
The entry into force of the LOGSE supposed, as far as music is concerned, an immense possibility of rational development of this teaching, centering it in its correct professional place, and opening the way for its diffusion to different non-professional levels, creating for this the appropriate legal channels, which we will examine below. But before going on to an exposition of what the LOGSE represents –as a reform in progress- for professional music teaching, it is necessary to make a timely reference to its presence in general education within the new legal framework.
Regarding Primary Education (6-12 years), Music is, as is logical, encompassed within the area of Artistic Education, together with plastic and dramatic education, given the close connections between the different modes of artistic expression and representation (2). Its greater presence in our current society demands musical training as an indispensable element in basic education. Their teaching and learning in this educational section will have to be carried out through three different means: voice and song, instruments, and movement and dance.
Regarding Compulsory Secondary Education, the area of Music becomes obligatory at this stage throughout the two cycles, of two years each, of which it consists, being optional in the last year of the second cycle. Obligatory Secondary Education (12-16 years) takes place at the ideal time to model the tastes and hobbies that students have developed in their daily lives, providing them, through purification and enrichment, appropriate criteria for their assessment, also creating attitudes open and respectful towards the musical fact, and providing judgments based on a knowledge of it.
To achieve this goal, during this stage music education focuses on a triple approach: a) music as language; b) music in its aesthetic dimension; and c) music as a means of communication in a language that, to a certain extent, is universal in nature and that, on the other hand, is based on culturally established codes in each society. Through a musical education thus focused, it is intended to promote the development of perceptual and expressive capacities. For both, a certain mastery of the language of music is required, on which, in turn, the acquisition of a musical culture depends.

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The specific teachings of music, dance and drama find their starting point in the development within the educational reform in the Second Title of the LOGSE (“On the teachings of special regime”), under which the Royal Decrees have been drawn up, as well as the Decrees and Orders of the different educational Administrations already in force that develop the pertinent regulations for said teachings, which will be discussed briefly below, and is currently working on the development of the rest of the legal regulations that complete, of which a list is given at the end of this article.
1) The first step for the implementation of the new educational system was the promulgation of its application calendar, through Royal Decree 986/1991, of June 14 (BOE of June 25), modified by Royal Decree 535/1993, of April 12 (BOE of May 4). It regulates the progressive implementation date of the new teachings and, what is almost as important, the progressive extinction of the teachings corresponding to the previous study plans. This aspect is worth highlighting, since it implies progress in the face of the academic disaster resulting from the Administration not undertaking the extinction, at a reasonable date, of the 1942 music curriculum. As a consequence, both plans, 1942 and 1966, coexisted no less than until 1984, when the former finally came to an end. Until then, the centers were forced to accommodate students from both plans, with the consequent difficulties in adapting the teachings to the different requirements of both ordinances, and the resulting comparative grievances.
In addition, the Royal Decree that regulates the calendar of application of the new organization of the educational system establishes, in its annexes, the equivalences, for academic purposes, of the years studied according to the curricula that are extinguished. Based on the prescripts of this Royal Decree, the first three courses of the new elementary degree in music and dance, and of the new higher studies in drama, have been implemented up to now. The average degree of dance will begin in the 1996-97 academic year; regarding the teaching of music, the intermediate degree will begin in the 1995-96 academic year, and the higher in 1997-98, according to the latest modification of the calendar made public by the Ministry for Education and Science, not yet published in the BOE at the time of writing these lines. The Royal Calendar Decree also contemplates the possibility of early implementation of the different degrees and courses thereof.
The prescript of this Royal Decree are, of course, applicable to the entire State. Despite this, not all the Autonomous Communities with competencies in education have adjusted to the start date of the implementation of the new system set out in it, which will cause many problems in the future, derived from the mobility of students throughout the national territory, and of the transfers from some Communities to others with respect to those that are out of date in the implementation of the new teachings. that were extinguished, with those corresponding to the new law.
2) If the previous prescript was important in the aforementioned sense, Royal Decree 389/1992, of April 15 (BOE of April 28), which establishes the minimum requirements of the centers of artistic teachings. For the first time in these teachings, a rule determines the specific spaces and surfaces that the centers must dispose of to teach each of the different artistic teachings, also setting objective proportions between the number of students and the number of teachers (the so-called “ratio "), due to the different teachings and the type of classes within each one of them. In order to make this possible, the Royal Decree undertakes a clarification and definition of the different models of centers, in relation to the minimum specialties that must be taught in each of them, as well as the applicable legal regime in each case according to the academic validity of the teachings given. In the case of music and dance, and as a result, a distinction was made between the three types of regulated education centers -elementary, professional (or middle) and higher-, whose teachings are aimed at a specific training of professionals, and the new model of Music or Dance Schools, in which the cultural character prevails over the professional, and whose regulation is entrusted to each educational Administration.
Therefore, this Royal Decree guarantees the centers that teach higher artistic education an infrastructural level in accordance with the other higher educational centers in our country. Finally, it also establishes the minimum requirements to be met by the integrated centers established in article 41.1 of the LOGSE, in which the general and special regime teachings will be taught jointly.
3) The legal framework opened by the Royal Decree of minimum requirements allows the transformation of most of the current elementary Conservatories, as well as the recognized and authorized centers that, until now, had been teaching regulated teachings under conditions that are under what is required in the norm, in Music and Dance Schools, following the model so brilliantly experienced in most European countries, and especially Central Europe.
This environment is more than enough proof of the valuable social, educational and cultural function of this type of institutions, and of their versatility to adapt to the different cultural, educational and administrative traditions of the respective countries, always with the common denominator giving preferential attention to children from a very early age, as well as training eminently based on practicality (instruments, dance, ensemble practices -orchestras, choirs, dance groups...-). The Music Schools seek the integral formation of each person, fostering their relationship with others through an unprejudiced teaching of academicism, insofar as it is not conducive to any qualification, and raised more towards the enhancement of the communicative dimension of music and dance. The model, which at all times is conceived as something open and alive, serves as the nucleus of development both for the different groups of fans and for future professionals.
It is necessary to highlight the responsibility derived from the important role that both the Local Corporations (especially the City Councils) and the private promoters play in the correct development of this type of centers whose creation and operation, in terms of the territorial scope of management of the Ministry for Education and Science is concerned, has been regulated by the Order of July 30, 1992 (BOE of August 22).
4) Also as a consequence of Royal Decree 389/1992, of April 15, of minimum requirements, Royal Decree 1220/1992, of October 2 (BOE of October 22) was promulgated, which proceeded to the separation of degrees that were attributed by the Royal Superior Conservatory of Music of Madrid and the Superior Conservatory of Music of Salamanca, to which the teaching of the superior degree is reserved, from the moment of its entry into force, dissociating itself from the elementary and middle degrees, whose academic and organizational structure will be assumed by three new Professional Conservatories in Madrid, and a new Professional Conservatory in Salamanca.
This is intended to have administrative structures with the capacity to organize and manage education corresponding to different levels and, therefore, objectives, in addition to supposing the definitive extinction of the so-called "extension classrooms" of the Real Conservatorio Superior de Música de Madrid, in which, in little less than third world conditions, elementary level teachings were being taught whose demand could not be covered by the institution's headquarters.
In this context, the Professional Conservatories will be able to direct their action towards the general musical training of future musicians, providing the Superiors with the necessary deepening in the respective specializations that guarantees full professional qualification, also serving as a channel for the establishment of the third university cycle leading to the Doctorate degree, according to the prescription of article 42.4 of the Organic Law of General Organization of the Educational System.
5) On June 26, Royal Decree 756/1992 (BOE of August 27) was approved, which established the basic aspects of the curriculum for elementary and middle levels of music education, in compliance with art. 39.4 of the LOGSE, which prescripts that for the establishment of the curriculum of the teachings corresponding to the different degrees, the provisions of article 4 will be followed, which, in turn, defines it as the set of objectives, contents, pedagogical methods and evaluation criteria of the cycles and degrees in which educational practice is organized. According to said article, it is the responsibility of the Government and the competent educational Administrations to establish it, of which said minimum education will form part, in any case.
Royal Decree 756/1992 structures the elementary and middle levels of music education, extending the duration of this formative section with respect to the previous study plan. The set of instrumental specialties and subjects that are established in each level seeks a balance between theoretical knowledge, the development of instrumental skills and the apprehension of the aesthetic principles that determine the artistic-musical phenomenon, increasing the group activities (Chamber music, Orchestra and Choir).
The approach of the Royal Decree on basic aspects intends that the different curricula that the educational Administrations elaborate under its protection are wide, open and flexible, so that teachers can develop projects and schedules that adapt to the characteristics of the students and the educational reality of each center. Its primary objective is to guarantee a musical training that provides the level of artistic expression typical of specialized studies, whose goal is professional practice, so the educational approach of these two degrees is structured around the study of an instrumental specialty whose purpose is to serve as basic training to access specialized studies in the higher degree, within the chosen option, or to serve as a basis for opening towards other itineraries.
In the same sense, the ordering and systematization of the contents corresponds to the projects and programs that the teachers and the centers develop, taking into account that the essential contents in the training of a musician are present, almost in their entirety, from the same beginning of the studies, its development consisting in a continuous deepening of the same, rather than in the mere acquisition of new elements. For its part, the same flexibility must be applied in the evaluation criteria with which it is intended to measure the degree of acquisition of objectives and content, taking into account the educational cycle in which each student is. Open to the possibility of applying corrective mechanisms for the shortcomings noted, the evaluation criteria become a fundamental reference for the entire interactive teaching and learning process.
The new arrangement of musical education places special emphasis on the knowledge of those aspects inherent to musical events as a historical-cultural, aesthetic and psychological phenomenon, in addition to the merely technical ones referring to the specialty itself. For that reason, it is desired that certain subjects acquire a special relevance, in benefit of the humanistic character that is desired for the integral formation of the musician.
In its articles, this Royal Decree establishes, in addition to the basic objectives of the elementary and middle levels of music education, the list of specialties of both levels, the subjects of obligatory inclusion, the minimum teaching times for them, authorizing the educational Administrations to establish criteria and access tests. It also establishes the limits of permanence in the centers and, in its third additional prescript, foresees the creation of integrated centers in which students could take music and general education. Likewise, it creates the legal status of the Baccalaureate in Music, made up of the subjects of the third cycle of medium level in the corresponding specialty and, in addition, the common subjects of the Baccalaureate.
In its annex Ia), Royal Decree 756/1992 establishes the minimum education corresponding to the elementary level of music, of four years of duration: Musical language and Instruments. The same happens in annex Ib) for the middle level, of three cycles of two years each: Harmony, Choir, Musical Language, Chamber Music, Orchestra and Instruments, developing for each of them its objectives, contents and specific evaluation criteria.
6) The full development of Royal Decree 756/1992 has been reflected in the Decrees and Orders of the different educational Administrations that establish the curriculum for the elementary and middle grades of music. The one corresponding to the Ministry for Education and Science was approved by Order of August 28, 1992 (BOE of September 9), and it regulates the curriculum in force for said levels in all elementary and professional Conservatories in their field territorial management, in addition to the criteria for the access exams to said levels.
In the annexes of this Order, the courses (and cycles, in the case of the intermediate level), subjects and teaching times of the different specialties are detailed, establishing the objectives, contents and specific evaluation criteria for each of them, as well as the methodological criteria that must be taken into account throughout this broad formative stage. It is worth highlighting the presence, in the second cycle of middle level, of the teaching of Harmony, compulsory for all students, which opens the door in the third cycle to a double option: the teaching of Analysis, conceived for students whose priority interest is instrumental, and the Fundamentals of Composition, for those who are directed in the higher level towards those specialties for which composition is basic (Composition proper, Conducting and Musicology).
7) With respect to the teaching of Dance, the minimum teachings are defined in Royal Decree 755/1992, of June 26, which establishes the basic aspects of the elementary level of Dance. It is not necessary to go into details about the spirit of this Royal Decree, since all the observations made above to the Royal Decree on basic aspects of the elementary and middle levels of Music can be extended to it, in relation to the elementary level only. The most important novelty is that, regarding the chaotic planning of the previous system, the teaching of Dance is structured for the first time in three levels, like that of Music, and that this supposes, for the elementary one, an important novelty with with respect to the previous system, in which, as has already been said, there was no definition of these studies. This new approach has a great significance, by giving this first level its own entity, and promoting an express treatment of its contents and objectives, consistent with its importance in the educational path of the students, which is carried out due to its common nature, made up of two basic subjects: Classical Dance and Music, around which the student will be able to develop their abilities in relation to dance.
Classical Dance aims to act as the backbone that provides the necessary training for further specialization in any of the options chosen; as far as Music is concerned, its presence as a basic discipline from the beginning of the studies will allow the student to perceive the close interplay between both artistic languages.
Through these two basic teachings, the elementary degree of dance will have to revert to the future dancer as the basic preparation cell capable of placing him in a position to face more complex and specific knowledge of the different branches of dance and ballet. Due to its antiquity and degree of didactic maturity, academic ballet allows the student to be imprinted with the basic technique that enables the subsequent opening to other expressions. The formative foundation of the future dancer passes, necessarily, through the progressive initiation that is established in this elementary level, which justifies its common character as the basis of subsequent specialization.
The articles of this Royal Decree, for its part, collect points identical to those established for the elementary grade of Music teaching.
8) This Royal Decree on basic aspects of the elementary level of Dance is completed, for the area of territorial management of the MEC, with the Order of August 1, 1992 (BOE of August 24), which establishes the curriculum of the Elementary Dance Level. In it, Spanish Dance is added to the minimum teachings established in it, understood as part of the global training of the future dancer, which contributes in the elementary level to the development of the capacities included in the objectives of this one in a decisive way, promoting the musicality, intensifying the sense of rhythm, flexibility and choreographic perception. The contradiction between the knowledge provided by academic ballet and that of Spanish dance is only apparent: both seek to complement each other, because a more refined quality of movements and a greater expressive enrichment derive from their interrelation.
9) Finally, the basic aspects of Drama teachings are regulated by Royal Decree 754/1992, of June 26 (BOE of July 25). It is intended to harmonize the higher level of these studies with their structure, reflecting the diversity of sectors that within dramatic art require a high professional qualification, and establishing for this, as a specialty, the three major areas in that said art can be expressed: Stage Direction and Dramaturgy, Scenography and Interpretation, which in turn give rise to different modalities of specialization.
Thus, the specialty of Stage Direction and Dramaturgy consists of two options, oriented respectively to the formation of stage directors and of specialists in dramaturgy and in theory of the theatrical fact; Interpretation, for its part, consists of three training options, in which priority is given to the textual, the corporal or the manipulation of objects, respectively. The articles, in addition to defining these options, establish a duration of four academic years for a single higher level, defines the objectives of each specialty and, as in the case of music and dance, indicates the criteria for promotion and permanence in the centers, and authorizes the educational Administrations to establish an access exam to these studies. The annex establishes the minimum subjects of the curriculum for the different specialties, as well as the minimum teaching time for each of them.
10 The Order of August 1, 1992 complements the previous Royal Decree, by approving the curriculum for drama education. The basic aspects included in the Royal Decree are complemented in this Order by adding one more option to the Interpretation specialty, referring to the training of interpreters, deepening those areas in which song, dance and music are fundamental expressive elements. On the other hand, the provisions of Royal Decree 754/1992 are developed in relation to the access tests to these studies in the two cases contemplated in the LOGSE, the first referring to those applicants who are in possession of the Baccalaureate degree, who must demonstrate, in addition to the maturity and knowledge of the educational levels studied, specific aptitudes to carry out the corresponding specialty of dramatic art. The second, of an exceptional nature, for those who access without fulfilling the aforementioned academic requirement, who must demonstrate not only aptitudes but also possession of the specific skills of the requested specialty.

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In summary: we are currently in a transitional situation from the old to the new system which, in accordance with the terms set forth in the aforementioned Royal Decree on the Application Calendar, will culminate in the 1999-2000 academic year. It is not hidden from anyone that the situation is delicate, given that the reform undertaken by the Administration requires a total change in the current educational approaches of the teaching staff, as well as a significant investment in relation to the adaptation of the infrastructure available to them. the new demands derived from the reform itself, at a time of economic crisis that makes things extremely difficult.
As for the regulations, there is still much that remains to be developed for the LOGSE to acquire its full dimension, hoping that its simple statement will suffice to give an idea of the task in which the Ministry for Education and Science as well as the different educational Administrations with full competences will have to work so hard in the coming months:

- Royal Decree of basic aspects of the curriculum of the higher level of Music.
- Decrees or Orders (according to the educational Administrations) of establishment of the curriculum of the higher level of Music.
- Royal Decree on basic aspects of the curriculum for the middle and higher levels of Dance.
- Decrees or Orders for the establishment of the curriculum for the middle and higher levels of Dance.
- Royal Decree by which equivalences are established between the titles previous to the LOGSE and those established therein.
- Royal Decree establishing the new specialties of the Professorate of Music and Performing Arts.
- Royal Decree regulating the contracting regime for specialist teachers.
- Order by which the basic elements of the evaluation reports are established.
- Royal Decree establishing the organic regulations for music, dance and drama teaching centers.


(1) For more information on this matter, the volume corresponding to the 19th century of the History of Spanish Music (Alianza Música), written by Carlos Gómez Amat, can be consulted.
(2) The texts in italics reproduce the literality of the legal provisions from which they come.


Madrid, 1994