Musicianship training

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1 Musicianship training The emphasis in Maoin Cheoil is firmly set upon the provision of a complete musical education for all students. The separate but vital skills of Aural Training and Theoretical knowledge are provided free of charge to every student in the school. While not mandatory, attendance at these classes is strongly advised. The courses provided will be those developed by the ABRSM. They are the most detailed and carefully laid out courses currently available with a wealth of supporting material. The objectives of each are laid out below. This guide will enable each student to make an informed choice as to which level they wish to enter the stream of study at. It should also be noted that a number of exam boards require that theory at Grade 5 level must be passed before the student is allowed to progress further with instrumental exams. Grade 5 ABRSM is an internationally recognised standard and is recognised by all other boards in this respect. THEORY OF MUSIC a Assessment objectives: Theory of Music examinations aim to give students opportunities to acquire a knowledge of the notation of western music (including the signs and terminology commonly employed), skill in constructing balanced rhythm patterns or completing given melodic or harmonic structures, and an understanding of the fundamental elements of western music, including the nature of intervals, keys, scales and chords. Candidates are assessed on their ability to identify, use and manipulate conventional music symbols, to complete musical extracts and to answer questions relating to the elements of music within the parameters detailed below. b Copies of the question papers set in the Theory examinations for each of the preceding five years are available via music dealers or, in case of difficulty, Model answers for papers for 2006 (Grades 1 5 only) and from 2007 for all grades are also available. Theory GRADE 1 1 Note values of semibreve, minim, crotchet, quaver and semiquaver, and their equivalent rests (candidates may use the terms whole note, half note, etc.). Tied notes. Single-dotted notes and rests. 2 Simple time signatures of bar-lines and the grouping of the notes listed above within these times. Composition of a two-bar rhythm in answer to a given rhythm starting on the first beat of a bar.

2 3 The stave. Treble (G) and bass (F) clefs. Names of notes on the stave, including middle C in both clefs. Sharp, flat and natural signs, and their cancellation. 4 Construction of the major scale, including the position of the tones and semitones. Scales and key signatures of the major keys of C, G, D and F in both clefs, with their tonic triads (root position), degrees (number only), and intervals above the tonic (by number only). 5 Some frequently used terms and signs concerning tempo, dynamics, performance directions and articulation marks. Simple questions will be asked about a melody written in either treble or bass clef. Theory GRADE 2 As in Grade 1, with the addition of: 1 Simple time signatures of and the grouping of notes and rests within these times. Triplets, and triplet note groups with rests. Questions will include the composition of simple four-bar rhythms starting on the first beat of the bar and using a given opening. 2 Extension of the stave to include two ledger lines below and above each stave. 3 Construction of the minor scale (harmonic or melodic at candidate s choice, but candidates will be expected to know which form they are using). Scales and key signatures of the major keys of A, Bb and Eb, and the minor keys of A, E and D, with their tonic triads (root position), degrees (number only), and intervals above the tonic (by number only). 4 More terms and signs in common use. Theory GRADE 3 As in preceding grades, with the addition of: 1 Compound time signatures of and the grouping of notes and rests within these times. The demisemiquaver (32nd note) and its equivalent rest. Questions will include the composition of a simple four-bar rhythm which may start on an up-beat. 2 Extension of the stave beyond two ledger lines. The transposition of a simple melody from the treble clef to the bass clef, or vice versa, at the octave. 3 Scales and key signatures of all major and minor keys up to and including four sharps and flats, including both harmonic and melodic forms of minor scales, with their tonic triads (root position), degrees (number only), and intervals above the tonic (number and type). 4 More terms and signs. The simple questions about a melody may include one on its phrase structure.

3 Theory GRADE 4 As in preceding grades, with the addition of: 1 All simple and compound duple, triple and quadruple time signatures, and the grouping of notes and rests within these times. The breve and its equivalent rest. Double-dotted notes and rests. Duplets. Questions will include the composition of a four-bar rhythm or (at candidate s choice) the composition of a rhythm to given words. 2 Alto clef (C clef centred on 3rd line). The identification of notes in the alto clef in any of the keys set for this grade, and the transcription at the unison of a simple melody from the treble or the bass clef to the alto clef, and vice versa. Double sharp and double flat signs, and their cancellation. Enharmonic equivalents. 3 Scales and key signatures of all major and minor keys up to and including five sharps and flats, with both forms of minor scales. Technical names for the notes of the diatonic scale (tonic, supertonic, etc.). Construction of the chromatic scale. All intervals, not exceeding an octave, between any two diatonic notes in any of the keys set for this grade. 4 The identification and writing of triads (root position) on the tonic, subdominant and dominant notes in any of the keys set for this grade. The recognition of 5 3(root position) chords on the tonic, subdominant and dominant notes in any of the keys set for this grade (the harmonic form of the scale will be used in minor keys). 5 More terms and signs, including the recognition and naming (but not writing out) of the trill, turn, upper and lower mordent, acciaccatura and appoggiatura. Questions about a passage of music will include simple related questions about standard orchestral instruments. Theory GRADE 5 As in preceding grades, with the addition of: 1 Irregular time signatures of and the grouping of notes and rests within these times. Irregular divisions of simple time values. 2 Tenor clef (C clef centred on 4th line). The identification of notes in the four clefs in any of the keys set for this grade, and the transposition at the octave of a simple melody from any clef to another. The writing at concert pitch of a melody notated for an instrument in Bb, A or F, and vice versa (the interval of transposition up or down will be given). The writing in open score, using treble and bass clefs, of a passage for SATB written on two staves, and vice versa. 3 Scales and key signatures of all major and minor keys up to and including six sharps and flats. All simple and compound intervals from any note. 4 The identification of the

4 forms of the tonic, supertonic, subdominant and dominant chords in any of the keys set for this grade. The identification of the progression (Ic-V) on the dominant note in any of the keys set for this grade. The choice of suitable chords, using any recognized method of notation, at cadential points of a simple melody in the major key of C, G, D or F. 5 The composition of a simple melody of not more than eight bars, using a given opening and writing for a specific instrument (some choice will be given) or (at candidate s choice) the composition of a melody to given words. Appropriate performing directions relating to tempo, dynamics and articulation will be required. 6 More terms and signs. The recognition of ornaments, including the replacement of written-out ornamentation with the appropriate signs, but not vice versa. Questions about a passage of music written for voices or instruments appropriate to the grade will include questions on the types of voice and names of instruments, the clefs they use, instrument family groups and the basic way by which they produce sound, as well as points of general musical observation designed to test the candidate s ability to apply theoretical knowledge to actual music. Theory GRADE 6 As in preceding grades. The harmonic vocabulary expected will include: the use of 5 6 and chords on any degree of the major or minor (harmonic and melodic) scale; the recognition of the dominant seventh chord in root position, first, second and third inversions, and the supertonic seventh chord in root position and first inversion, in any major or minor key; and the figuring for all these chords. An understanding of the principles of modulation and a knowledge of cadences, ornamentation and melodic decoration (which might include passing notes, auxiliary notes, appoggiaturas, changing notes and notes of anticipation) will also be expected. Questions will cover: 1 Writing specified chords for voices in four parts or for keyboard (at the candidate s choice) above a given bass part of about four bars. 2 The indication of suitable chords for the accompaniment of a diatonic melody of about eight bars in any key, using any recognized method of notation, or (at the candidate s choice) the provision of a bass to a given melody, adding figures to indicate the intended harmonies. 3 Composition of a melody for a specified instrument (a choice will be given), using a given opening. Modulation to the dominant, subdominant, relative major or relative minor may be required. 4 Questions on short extracts of music written for piano or in open score for voices or for any combination of instruments and/or voices, designed to test the candidate s knowledge of the elements and notation of music, including the realization of ornaments, the identification and notation of underlying harmonic structure, phrase structure, style, performance, and on the voices and instruments for which the works

5 were written. Theory GRADE 7 As in preceding grades, with the addition of recognition of all diatonic secondary seventh chords and their inversions, the Neapolitan sixth and the diminished seventh chords, and of all figures commonly used by composers during the period c to indicate harmonies above a bass part. Questions will cover: 1 The indication of chords and movement of the inner parts by figuring the bass in a passage in which both the melody and bass are given. 2 Rewriting a given passage to include appropriate suspensions and notes of melodic decoration. 3 Continuation of a given opening for solo instrument with keyboard accompaniment, which will be given in full throughout the passage, by completing the solo part, or (at the candidate s choice) composition of a melody for a specified instrument (a choice will be given) based on a given progression of chords or melodic figure. 4 Questions on short extracts of music written for piano or in open score for voices or for any combination of instruments and/or voices, designed to test the candidate s knowledge of the elements and notation of music, including the realization of ornaments, the identification and notation of underlying harmonic structure, phrase structure, style, performance, and on the voices and instruments for which the works were written. Theory GRADE 8 As in preceding grades. The harmonic vocabulary expected will include all standard diatonic and chromatic chords. Questions will cover: 1 Continuation of a given opening of a passage from a Baroque trio sonata for two treble instruments and basso continuo. The basso continuo part will be given throughout and fully figured (but a realization for keyboard will not be required). 2 Completion of an outline of a short passage for keyboard. Some knowledge of the styles practised by composers from the time of Haydn onwards will be assumed. 3 Continuation of a given opening of a melody for a specified instrument (a choice will be given). 4 Questions on short extracts of music written for piano or in open score for voices or for any combination of instruments and/or voices, designed to test the candidate s knowledge of the elements and notation of music, including the realization of ornaments, the identification and notation of underlying harmonic structure, phrase structure, style, performance, and on the voices and instruments for which the works were written.

6 AURAL TESTS: included in the Practical exams for all subjects Listening lies at the heart of all good music-making. Developing aural awareness is fundamental to musical training because having a musical ear impacts on all aspects of musicianship. Singing, both silently in the head and out loud, is one of the best ways to develop the musical ear. It connects the internal imagining of sound, the inner ear, with the external creation of it, without the necessity of mechanically having to find the note on an instrument (important though that connection is). By integrating aural activities in imaginative ways in the lesson, preparation for the aural tests within an exam will be a natural extension of what is already an essential part of the learning experience. In the exam Aural tests are an integral part of all Practical graded exams. The examiner will be ready to prompt, if necessary, where there is hesitation. For any test that requires a sung response, pitch rather than vocal quality is the object. The examiner will be happy to adapt to the vocal range of the candidate, whose responses may be sung to any vowel (or consonant followed by a vowel), hummed or whistled (and at a different octave, if appropriate). Marking scheme Information on how the aural tests are assessed can be found in the guide for candidates, teachers and parents, These Music Exams, available to download from Specimen tests Examples of the tests are given in Specimen Aural Tests and Aural Training in Practice, available for purchase from music retailers and from Deaf or hearing-impaired candidates Deaf or hearing-impaired candidates may opt to respond to alternative tests in place of the standard tests, if requested at the time of entry. The syllabus for these tests is available free on request from ABRSM (E Examples of the alternative tests are available for purchase from Allegro Music (T +44 (0) ; E Minor modifications (2011) There will be minor modifications to some aural tests, taking effect worldwide from 1 January Full details will be available in July 2010 at Revised editions of Specimen Aural Tests and Aural Training in Practice will also be issued in mid-2010.

7 Aural Tests Grade 1 A To tap the pulse of a passage of music in 2 or 3 time played by the examiner. The examiner will commence playing the passage, and the candidate will be expected to join in as soon as possible by tapping the beat, stressing where the strong beat falls. The candidate will then be asked to state whether it is in 2 or 3 time. B To sing, as an echo, three short phrases limited to a range of three notes in a major key played by the examiner. The echoes should follow each phrase in strict time without an intervening pause. The key-chord and tonic will first be sounded and the pulse indicated. C To recognize a rhythmic change to a two-bar phrase played twice by the examiner, with the change being made in the second playing. Candidates will be required to recognize and tap or describe the change. The pulse will first be indicated. The examiner will be prepared to play both versions of the phrase a second time if necessary. D To identify certain features of a piece played by the examiner. The features will be confined to contrasted dynamics ( p/f ), gradation of tone (crescendo/diminuendo), and articulation (staccato/ legato), of which the examiner will select one or two and advise the candidate accordingly before playing the piece. Questions on the selected features will then follow. Candidates are encouraged to use Italian terms in their answers where appropriate. Aural Tests Grade 2 A To tap the pulse of a passage of music in 2 (including 6 8 ) or 3 time played by the examiner. The examiner will commence playing the passage, and the candidate will be expected to join in as soon as possible by tapping the beat, stressing where the strong beat falls. The candidate will then be asked to state whether it is in 2 or 3 time. B To sing, as an echo, three short phrases limited to a range of five notes in a major key played by the examiner. The echoes should follow each phrase in strict time without an intervening pause. The key-chord and tonic will first be sounded and the pulse indicated. C To recognize a rhythmic or melodic change to a two-bar phrase in a major key played twice by the examiner, with the change being made in the second playing. Candidates will be required to recognize and tap, sing or describe the change. The key-chord and tonic will first be sounded and the pulse indicated. The examiner will be prepared to play both versions of the phrase a second time if necessary. D To identify certain features of a piece played by the examiner. The features will be confined to contrasted dynamics ( p/f ), gradation of tone (crescendo/diminuendo), articulation (staccato/ legato), and recognition of tempo changes (rallentando/accelerando, etc.), of which the examiner will select one or two and advise the candidate accordingly before playing the piece. Questions on the selected features will then follow. Candidates are encouraged to use Italian terms in their

8 answers where appropriate.aural Aural Tests Grade 3 A To tap the pulse of a passage of music in 2 (including 6/8), 3 (including 9/8) or 4 time played by the examiner. The examiner will commence playing the passage, and the candidate will be expected to join in as soon as possible by tapping the beat, stressing where the strong beat falls. The candidate will then be asked to state whether it is in 2, 3 or 4 time. B To sing, as an echo, three short phrases limited to a range of one octave in a major or minor key played by the examiner. The echoes should follow each phrase in strict time without an intervening pause. The key-chord and tonic will first be sounded and the pulse indicated. C To recognize a rhythmic or melodic change to a four-bar phrase in a major or minor key played twice by the examiner, with the change being made in the second playing. Candidates will be required to recognize and tap, sing or describe the change. The key-chord and tonic will first be sounded and the pulse indicated. The examiner will be prepared to play both versions of the phrase a second time if necessary. D To identify certain features of a piece played by the examiner. The features will be confined to contrasted dynamics ( p/f ), gradation of tone (crescendo/diminuendo), articulation (staccato/ legato), recognition of tempo changes (rallentando/accelerando, etc.), and recognition of major and minor tonality, of which the examiner will select one or two and advise the candidate accordingly before playing the piece. Questions on the selected features will then follow. Candidates are encouraged to use Italian terms in their answers where appropriate. Aural Tests Grade 4 A To sing or play from memory a four-bar melody played twice by the examiner. The key-chord and starting note will first be sounded and named, and the pulse indicated. A second attempt will be allowed if necessary. B To sing five notes from score in free time within the range of a third above and below the tonic in the key of C, F or G major. The test will begin and end on the tonic and will not contain any intervals greater than a third. The examiner will play and name the key-chord and tonic, and, if necessary, play each note after it has been attempted. Candidates may choose to sing the test from the treble or bass clef. C1 To identify certain features of a piece played by the examiner. The features will be confined to contrasted dynamics ( p/f ), gradation of tone (crescendo/diminuendo), articulation (staccato/ legato), recognition of tempo changes (rallentando/accelerando, etc.), recognition of major and minor tonality, and general perception of the character of the piece, of which the examiner will select one or two and advise the candidate accordingly before playing the piece. Questions on the selected features will then follow. Candidates are encouraged to use Italian terms in their answers where appropriate.

9 C2 To clap the rhythm of a short extract played twice by the examiner from the above piece and state whether it is in 2, 3 or 4 time. Aural Tests Grade 5 A To sing or play from memory a short melody played twice by the examiner. The key-chord and starting note will first be sounded and named, and the pulse indicated. A second attempt will be allowed if necessary. B To sing six notes from score in free time within the range of a fifth above and a fourth below the tonic in any major key up to two sharps or flats. The test will begin and end on the tonic and will not contain any intervals greater than a third, except for the rising fourth from dominant to tonic. The examiner will play and name the key-chord and tonic, and, if necessary, play each note after it has been attempted. Candidates may choose to sing the test from the treble or bass clef. C1 To identify certain features of a piece played by the examiner. The features will be confined to contrasted dynamics ( p/f ), gradation of tone (crescendo/diminuendo), articulation (staccato/ legato), recognition of tempo changes (rallentando/accelerando, etc.), recognition of major and minor tonality, and general perception of texture, rhythm, form, style and period, of which the examiner will select one or two and advise the candidate accordingly before playing the piece. Questions on the selected features will then follow. Candidates are encouraged to use Italian terms in their answers where appropriate. C2 To clap the rhythm of a short extract played twice by the examiner from the above piece and state whether it is in 2, 3 or 4 time. Aural Tests Grade 6 A To sing or play from memory the upper part of a two-part phrase played twice by the examiner. The key-chord and starting note will first be sounded and named, and the pulse indicated. A second attempt will be allowed if necessary. B To sing a short melody from score, with an accompaniment played by the examiner, in any major or minor key up to three sharps or flats. The key-chord and starting note will first be sounded and the pulse indicated. Candidates may choose to sing the test from the treble or bass clef. A second attempt will be allowed if necessary. C To identify the cadence at the end of a phrase, played twice by the examiner, as perfect or imperfect, and to state whether it is in a major or minor key. The key-chord will first be sounded. D1 To answer questions on the features of a piece played by the examiner, including the general perception of texture, form (including phrase structure), style and period, of which the examiner will select one or two and advise the candidate accordingly before playing the piece. Candidates will be expected to use Italian terms in their answers where appropriate. D2 To clap the rhythm of a short extract played twice by the examiner

10 from the above piece and state whether it is in 2, 3, or 4 time. Aural tests Grade 7 A To sing or play from memory the lower part of a two-part phrase played twice by the examiner. The key-chord and starting note will first be sounded and named, and the pulse indicated. A second attempt will be allowed if necessary. B To sing a short melody from score, accompanied by a lower part played by the examiner, in any major or minor key up to four sharps or flats. The key-chord and starting note will first be sounded and the pulse indicated. Candidates may choose to sing the test from the treble or bass clef. A second attempt will be allowed if necessary. C1 To identify a cadence at the end of a phrase, played twice by the examiner, as perfect, imperfect or interrupted. The key-chord will first be sounded. C2 To identify the two chords forming the above cadence as tonic, subdominant, dominant, dominant seventh or submediant in root position, or tonic in second inversion. Candidates may alternatively use the equivalent roman notation. The key-chord will first be sounded and each chord will be played again. C3 To identify whether a short passage, played once by the examiner, beginning in a major key modulates to its dominant, subdominant, or relative minor. The key-chord will first be sounded and named. Candidates may alternatively state the letter name of the new key. D1 To answer questions on the features of a piece played by the examiner, including the general perception of texture, form (including phrase structure), style and period, of which the examiner will select one or two and advise the candidate accordingly before playing the piece. Candidates will be expected to use Italian terms in their answers where appropriate. D2 To clap the rhythm of a short extract played twice by the examiner from the above piece and state whether it is in 2, 3, 4 or 6 time 8 Aural Tests Grade 8 A1 To sing or play from memory the lowest part of a short three-part phrase played twice by the examiner. The key-chord and starting note will first be sounded and named, and the pulse indicated. A second attempt will be allowed if necessary. A2 To identify the cadence at the end of a further (following) phrase, played twice by the examiner, as perfect, imperfect, interrupted or plagal. The key-chord will first be sounded. A3 To identify up to four chords in the above cadential progression, played twice by the examiner, as tonic (root position, first or second inversions), supertonic (root position or first inversion), subdominant (root position), dominant (root position, first or second inversions), dominant seventh (root position), or submediant (root position).

11 Candidates may alternatively use the equivalent roman notation. The key-chord will first be sounded. B To sing a short melody from score, accompanied by a higher part played by the examiner, in any major or minor key up to four sharps or flats. The key-chord and starting note will first be sounded and the pulse indicated. Candidates may choose to sing the test from the treble or bass clef. A second attempt will be allowed if necessary. C To identify two modulations, each played once by the examiner, beginning in a major or minor key. The passages may modulate to the dominant (including dominant minor if in a minor key), subdominant, relative minor or major, or (from a major key only) to the supertonic minor. Candidates will also be required to name the new keys. In each instance the key-chord will first be sounded and the key named. D To discuss matters relating to any of the musical features of a piece played by the examiner.

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