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09/07/2020

New ABRSM Piano Syllabus 2021 2022 - What has changed?

The New ABRSM Piano Syllabus is out today and here I want to just point out some of the major differences between the old and the new.

First of all the list structure is different. Rather than being based on the old style of List A being usually baroque / classical, List B invariably Romantic and List C the more modern pieces, now

  • List A pieces are generally faster moving and require technical agility
  • List B pieces are more lyrical and invite expressive playing
  • List C pieces reflect a wide variety of musical traditions, styles and characters.
At Grades Initial–3, there are opportunities to play duets. 

The biggest changes however are in the scales as I have outlined below

Grade 1
SCALES (SIMILAR MOTION)
C major 1 oct. hands together
G, F majors 2 oct. hands separately
A, D minors (natural or harmonic or melodic, at candidate’s
choice)

C major contrary motion

ARPEGGIOS
C major / A minor 1 oct. hands separately

Main differences: broken chords have gone and have been replaced with a one octave arpeggio.

New one octave hands together scale of C major has been added

D major has disappeared


Grade 2

SCALES (SIMILAR MOTION)
G, F majors / A, D minors 2 oct. hands together
D, A, majors / E and G minors 2 oct. hands separately
Note : minor scales can be natural or harmonic or melodic, at candidate’s choice.

CONTRARY-MOTION SCALE

C major 2 oct. hands beginning on the tonic in unison

CHROMATIC SCALE
beginning on D 1 oct. hands separately

ARPEGGIOS
D, A, majors / E and G minors 2 oct. hands separately

Main differences: again no broken chords and only some of the easier scales are hands together

Grade 3

SCALES (SIMILAR MOTION)
D, A, majors / E, G minors 2 oct. hands together
Bb, Eb majors / B, C minors 2 oct. hands separately
(minors - harmonic or melodic, at candidate’s choice)

CONTRARY-MOTION SCALES
E major 2 oct. hands beginning on the tonic in unison

CHROMATIC SCALE (SIMILAR MOTION)
beginning on Ab 2 oct. hands separately

CHROMATIC CONTRARY-MOTION SCALE
beginning on D 1 oct.

ARPEGGIOS
D, A, majors / E, G minors 2 oct. hands together
Bb, Eb majors / B, C minors 2 oct. hands separately

Main differences: As before the easier scales, i.e. those that were the harder ones in grade 2 and hands separately are hands together, and the new harder scales for this grade are hands separately. 

The E major contrary motion that was Grade 2 is now Grade 3, and the contrary motion chromatic that was Grade 5 has now moved to this Grade

Grade 4
SCALES (SIMILAR MOTION) LEGATO
Bb, Eb majors / B, C minors 2 oct. hands together.
B, F#, Ab majors / F#, F minors 2 oct. hands separately
(Minors - harmonic or melodic, at candidate’s choice)

STACCATO SCALE (SIMILAR MOTION)
C major 2 oct staccato, hands separately

CHROMATIC SCALES (SIMILAR MOTION)
beginning on F# 2 oct. hands together

CONTRARY-MOTION SCALES
Eb major / C minor 2 oct.

ARPEGGIOS
Bb, Eb majors / B, C minors 2 oct. hands together.
B, F#, Ab majors / F#, F minors 2 oct. hands separately

DOMINANT SEVENTH (resolving on tonic - See video below)

Main differences: The principle of the harder separate hands scales from the previous grade becoming the easier hands together scales in this grade continues but also now extends to the arpeggios. Also Db major has been replaced with F sharp major, a grade earlier than the old syllabus.

Grade 5
SCALES (SIMILAR MOTION) - LEGATO
A, E, B, F#, Db majors / F#, C#, G#, Eb, Bb minors
2 oct. hands together (Minors - harmonic or melodic, at candidate’s choice)

STACCATO SCALES (SIMILAR MOTION)
Ab majors / F minors 2 oct staccato, hands separately

CONTRARY-MOTION SCALES
Db major / C# harmonic minors 2 oct.

CHROMATIC CONTRARY-MOTION SCALE
beginning on F# LH and A# RH: 2 oct.

ARPEGGIOS
A, E, B, F#, Db majors / F#, C#, G#, Eb, Bb minors

DIMINISHED SEVENTH
beginning on B: 2 oct. hands separately

Main differences: You no longer need to prepare the complete cycle of fifths major and minor, there are only five majors and five minors. Staccato scales are introduced a grade earlier than currently as is a diminished 7th and all scales are now 2 octaves instead of the three in the old syllabus
Grade 6
SCALES (SIMILAR MOTION) LEGATO or STACCATO
D, F, Ab, B majors / D, F, G#, B minors 4 oct. hands together
(Minors now need to be harmonic and melodic)

CONTRARY-MOTION SCALES
D, F, Ab, B majors / D, F, G#, B minors 2 oct. legato

CHROMATIC SCALES (SIMILAR MOTION) LEGATO or STACCATO
beginning on G#, B, 4 oct. hands together

ARPEGGIOS
D, F, Ab, B majors / D, F, G#, B minors 4 oct. hands together

DOMINANT SEVENTHS (resolving on tonic)
in the keys of D, F, Ab, B 4 oct. hands together

DIMINISHED SEVENTHS
beginning on G#, B 4 oct. hands separately

Main differences: all similar motion scales major / minor and chromatic now can be legato or staccato. Dominant 7ths resolving on the tonic
Grade 7
SCALES (SIMILAR MOTION) - Legato or staccato
Db, E, G, Bb majors C#, E, G, Bb minors
(harmonic and melodic)
4 oct. hands together

SCALES A 3RD APART - Legato or staccato
Db, E, G, Bb majors C#, E, G, Bb minors
4 oct. legato

CONTRARY-MOTION SCALES - Legato or staccatoDb, E, G, Bb majors C#, E, G, Bb minors

LEGATO SCALE IN 3RDS
G major 2 oct legato, hands separately

CHROMATIC CONTRARY-MOTION SCALES
beginning on C# (LH) and E (RH) 2 oct. legato

ARPEGGIOS
Db, E, G, Bb majors C#, E, G, Bb minors
4 oct. legato, hands together 1st inversion only

DOMINANT SEVENTHS (resolving on tonic)
Db, E, G, Bb majors C#, E, G, Bb minors
4 oct. legato, hands together

DIMINISHED SEVENTHS
beginning on Bb, E 4 oct. legato, hands together

Main differences: There are a lot less keys involved, there is a new single hand legato scale in 3rds and all arpeggios are 1st inversion only
Grade 8
SCALES (SIMILAR MOTION)
C, E, F#, A majors and minors
4 oct. legato and staccato; hands together and separately
(Minors - harmonic and melodic)

SCALES A 6TH APART
C, E, F#, A majors and minors
4 oct. legato and staccato

CONTRARY-MOTION SCALE
C, E, F#, A majors and minors
2 oct. legato and staccato

LEGATO SCALES IN 3RDS
Eb majors 2 oct legato, hands separately

STACCATO SCALES IN 6THS
C major

CHROMATIC SCALES A MAJOR 6TH APART
Beginning on Eb (LH) and C (RH) legato and staccato

WHOLE-TONE SCALES
beginning on Eb and C
4 oct. legato or staccato, hands together

ARPEGGIOS
C, E, F#, A majors and minors 4 oct. legato, hands together 2nd inversion only.

DOMINANT SEVENTHS (resolving on tonic)
in the keys of C, E, F#, A 4 oct. legato, hands together

DIMINISHED SEVENTHS
beginning on Eb and C 4 oct. legato, hands together

Main differences: Again a lot less keys involved, a new chromatic scale in 6ths an extra whole tone scale and the arpeggios are in 2nd inversion only

07/07/2020

NEW ABRSM Syllabus OUT TOMORROW

Pre-Order your copies now:


      
      


Grade 1 Piano Exam Pieces 2021 - 2022 book - change to publication date

The new Piano syllabus 2021 & 2022 will be available on Thursday 9 July. However there is a delay with the book – Piano Exam Pieces Grade 1 (both with and without CD).the estimated delivery date is 23 July. (Which will mess up Alan Chan's plan to publish the whole syllabus at low quality in one day)

01/07/2020

ABRSM PERFORMANCE EXAMS – what’s involved

HOW TO BOOK

  • Exams are booked through the ABRSM online booking service. If you haven’t used it before, you’ll need to register and create an account before booking an exam. The person making the booking (the applicant) must be aged 18 or over.  
  • Before booking, you will need to have the following candidate information ready:
    • Contact ID (if known), name and date of birth
    • Grade and subject
    • Any access arrangements or reasonable adjustments
    • Email address for the candidate or parent/carer (compulsory for remotely-assessed exams)


SELECTING A DATE

  • When you book you can log in to select an ‘exam date’ from a list of available options. This ‘exam date’ is the final day on which you can submit the video recording through our online exam booking service.
  • While you must upload the recording by the time given on the ‘exam date’, you do not have to record the exam on that day. The candidate/applicant can choose when to record their exam performance.


EXAM LOCATION & TIME

  • The candidate/applicant chooses when and where to record the exam. This can be on any date, as long as the recording is ready to submit by the ‘exam date’ deadline.
  • The exam can take place in any suitable location with enough space and the necessary instruments available, including a piano for any accompaniments.

THE RESPONSIBLE ADULT

  • For candidates under 18, a responsible adult oversees the recording of the exam performance to make sure it takes place according to our Exam Regulations.
  • The responsible adult must be aged 18 or over. They could be the applicant (who booked the exam), teacher, parent/carer or the accompanist.
  • The responsible adult can help the candidate with the video-recording device and, if the candidate wishes, help with showing the programme form and own-choice repertoire to the camera and announcing the pieces/songs.


PHOTO ID

  • They should show their photo ID to the camera at the beginning of the recording (before they begin their performance).


PROGRAM FORM AND ANNOUNCEMENT

The candidate completes a programme form listing the pieces/songs they are performing which they show to the camera at the start of the recording.  They also show the opening of their own-choice repertoire. 
  • Details of what candidates need to include on the programme form, as well as downloadable forms to print and complete, will be available well in advance of the first booking period.
  • The candidate also announces the following information before their performance: their name, exam subject (instrument), grade, and the title, composer and syllabus details (where applicable) for each piece/song in the order they are going to perform them.


ACCOMPANIMENTS

Unless social distancing restrictions or other government guidelines are in place due to COVID-19, the standard accompaniment requirements apply. This means that for all pieces/songs published with an accompaniment, candidates must perform with a live accompaniment. Recorded accompaniments of any kind are NOT ALLOWED.

THE RECORDING

  • The exam should be recorded as an audio-visual file in one continuous ‘take’.
  • The recording must not be edited in any way after the exam.
  • Most smartphones, tablets and laptops will be suitable for recording the exam.
  • You should set the camera resolution at 720p – a lower resolution (e.g. 480p) may produce an unclear, grainy picture and higher resolutions are likely to result in files that are too large to upload.
  • You can record in landscape or portrait view.
  • Recordings must be in one of the following formats: MP4, WMV, MOV or MPG.
  • The file size must not be more than 2GB. If the resolution of the video is too high, the file may be too large or may be slow to upload. In these circumstances, you will need to compress the file to make sure it uploads successfully.
  • The camera should be static, with candidate and instruments clearly in view.
  • For accompanied exams, the accompanist should also be in view, although the candidate should be the main focus.
  • To submit an exam recording, the candidate or applicant uploads it via the ABRSM online exam booking service. They must do this by the published time on the ‘exam date’.
  • As part of the upload process, the candidate (if 18 or over) or the responsible adult (present at the time of the recording) completes a declaration to confirm that the recording was made in accordance with our regulations.
  • If the responsible adult is not also the applicant who made the booking, they must be present when the recording is uploaded so that they can complete the declaration.