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14 December 2018

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MusicOnline UK Teaching Notes - ABRSM Piano 2019/20 Grade 3 - C1

Dance - No.8 from "For Children", Vol 2

Bela Bartok.

Grade 3 ABRSM Piano 2019/2020 C1.

Teaching Notes.

The main thing an examiner will be looking out for with this piece is your articulation. Very often there is a different marking in each hand. For example, in bar 5, the RH is marked "tenuto" above the staccato LH notes. Then also notice the slurred pair in the next bar, also above a staccato LH. It should be remembered that the last note of a slurred group should be lifted, so in effect, the last quaver of this bar would release both hands together. All these details are completely wrong in the video that ranks No.1 in YouTube search for this piece - so be careful what you learn from:
(ABRSM Piano 2019-2020 Grade 3 C:1 C1 Bartok Dance (For Children Vol.2 No.8) Sheet Music - Alan Chan 
See an update on this HERE

Then also notice the accents. These of course must be in the context of a generally quiet dynamic. The piece never goes above a "mezzo-piano", however a little extra weight is needed on this notes to enable the movement to "dance" along. 

At the end of bar 21 there is a comma, indicating to make a small break after the "rall" before continuing "a tempo". Be careful that you adopt the same tempo as at the beginning in bar 22. The same is true in bar 31. Beginner students are often tempted to play quieter passages slower and the "pp" marking here might incorrectly have this effect on your performance. 

Also notice the articulation of the last three chords - staccato dots with lines. Make these notes noticeably longer than the preceding ones, with a more stroking touch than a bouncing one.

Finally - watch the rest in bar 30. Many candidates here will forget to release the LH, the moment you play the first RH note of this bar


  1. You mention the comma (which is a good spot because I would of completely missed it!) however in your performance video I don't notice much of a break? Would that be the expected amount?

    1. That is a matter of personal interpretation and slightly longer pause at this point would also be quite acceptable.


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