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Traditional Song Grade 8 (Female soprano)


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#16 Seer_Green

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Posted 02 August 2013 - 09:35

Linden Lea is very well-known and a it's a song which is presented very often at (I think) Grade 5 - I would therefore be surprised if the examiner didn't realise it wasn't a traditional song, but equally, I don't know what is supposed to happen in these cases - in theory, if the examiner knows it doesn't fit the requirements, there should be zero marks awarded for that section. I doubt that would happen in reality though...

Did teacher suggest this as a traditional song at Grade 8? If so, I would be more worried about the teacher's ability to confidently enter pupils for exams.
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#17 Splog

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Posted 02 August 2013 - 11:51

The syllabus defines the traditional song as "a folk song originating
among the native people of a region and forming part of their culture."

Even if a song has a known writer, and is not very old, it can still become part of the culture. I believe this is one of the reasons that Burns songs are acceptable. And often people sing "folk" songs, believing them to be traditional, of unknown origin, and then discover the history of the song quite by chance. There are lots of songs which the Scots think are Scottish and the Irish think are Irish. I know of one such, that I sing at both Scottish and Irish gigs, which I discovered recently was actually written in the 1860s by a Canadian.

Does it matter how difficult a song is? There is nothing in the syllabus which says that the folk song for grade 8 must be of a grade 8 standard. We just seem to assume that you should sing something more difficult at higher grades.
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#18 AnnC

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Posted 02 August 2013 - 12:58

QUOTE(Splog @ Aug 2 2013, 12:51 PM) View Post

Does it matter how difficult a song is? There is nothing in the syllabus which says that the folk song for grade 8 must be of a grade 8 standard. We just seem to assume that you should sing something more difficult at higher grades.


I think it does matter and would feel I wasn't doing my job as a teacher if I let a student sing something "too easy" for the grade. I would like to think that a lower number of marks would be available if the song isn't challenging enough. Otherwise, no wonder people feel that a singing exam is an easier option.
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#19 Seer_Green

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Posted 02 August 2013 - 13:13

QUOTE(AnnC @ Aug 2 2013, 01:58 PM) View Post

QUOTE(Splog @ Aug 2 2013, 12:51 PM) View Post

Does it matter how difficult a song is? There is nothing in the syllabus which says that the folk song for grade 8 must be of a grade 8 standard. We just seem to assume that you should sing something more difficult at higher grades.

I think it does matter and would feel I wasn't doing my job as a teacher if I let a student sing something "too easy" for the grade. I would like to think that a lower number of marks would be available if the song isn't challenging enough. Otherwise, no wonder people feel that a singing exam is an easier option.

I agree with that. When choosing a traditional song, I tend to look at the other songs at that grade looking at the range, complexity, difficulty etc. I know the syllabus doesn't explicitly say that the song needs to be at a particular level, but I guess the expectation in terms of the marking will increase as you go higher through the grades.
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#20 soccermom

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Posted 02 August 2013 - 13:57

QUOTE(Splog @ Aug 2 2013, 12:51 PM) View Post


Even if a song has a known writer, and is not very old, it can still become part of the culture. I believe this is one of the reasons that Burns songs are acceptable. And often people sing "folk" songs, believing them to be traditional, of unknown origin, and then discover the history of the song quite by chance.




That's exactly what I thought about Linden Lea until recently. My daughter sang it for grade 5 a year ago and, when she first told me she was learning it, I assumed it was going to be for the unaccompanied folk song rather than as one of the pieces on the syllabus. Obviously the teacher put me right.

I had thought it had been arranged by RVW, not written by him.
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#21 Seer_Green

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Posted 02 August 2013 - 14:02

QUOTE(soccermom @ Aug 2 2013, 02:57 PM) View Post

I had thought it had been arranged by RVW, not written by him.

Yes, a lot of people think this. I don't however think RVW fits into the same category as the Burns songs mentioned earlier.
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#22 soccermom

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Posted 02 August 2013 - 14:53

QUOTE(Seer_Green @ Aug 2 2013, 03:02 PM) View Post

QUOTE(soccermom @ Aug 2 2013, 02:57 PM) View Post

I had thought it had been arranged by RVW, not written by him.

Yes, a lot of people think this. I don't however think RVW fits into the same category as the Burns songs mentioned earlier.



I don't know anything about Burns songs - or indeed Scottish culture, but if you mean that songs like Linden Lea are not part of the culture, then I'm sure you're right. Sadly, I'm not sure many traditional folk songs are part of the culture these days, at least in England.


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#23 Splog

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Posted 02 August 2013 - 21:16

QUOTE(Seer_Green @ Aug 2 2013, 02:13 PM) View Post

QUOTE(AnnC @ Aug 2 2013, 01:58 PM) View Post

QUOTE(Splog @ Aug 2 2013, 12:51 PM) View Post

Does it matter how difficult a song is? There is nothing in the syllabus which says that the folk song for grade 8 must be of a grade 8 standard. We just seem to assume that you should sing something more difficult at higher grades.

I think it does matter and would feel I wasn't doing my job as a teacher if I let a student sing something "too easy" for the grade. I would like to think that a lower number of marks would be available if the song isn't challenging enough. Otherwise, no wonder people feel that a singing exam is an easier option.

I agree with that. When choosing a traditional song, I tend to look at the other songs at that grade looking at the range, complexity, difficulty etc. I know the syllabus doesn't explicitly say that the song needs to be at a particular level, but I guess the expectation in terms of the marking will increase as you go higher through the grades.


Interesting. I do this as well. I have rejected certain songs as being too easy/difficult for the grade. I don't necessarily say that a certain song is grade x standard, just that it would be acceptable for a grade or range of grades. Just pointing out that the syllabus doesn't state a requirement for this, but I imagine that you would be marked down if the song was felt to be too trivial. GCSE etc music performance is graded on difficulty, and you can get marks for doing an easier song well, so perhaps a bit of that applies.







QUOTE(soccermom @ Aug 2 2013, 03:53 PM) View Post

QUOTE(Seer_Green @ Aug 2 2013, 03:02 PM) View Post

QUOTE(soccermom @ Aug 2 2013, 02:57 PM) View Post

I had thought it had been arranged by RVW, not written by him.

Yes, a lot of people think this. I don't however think RVW fits into the same category as the Burns songs mentioned earlier.



I don't know anything about Burns songs - or indeed Scottish culture, but if you mean that songs like Linden Lea are not part of the culture, then I'm sure you're right. Sadly, I'm not sure many traditional folk songs are part of the culture these days, at least in England.


I don't know Linden Lea, so I didn't mean that they weren't part of the culture. Just saying that if they become part of the culture, then they are maybe acceptable. England seems to have lost much of its tradition of folk songs, and I struggle to find any that students know.
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#24 sunil

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Posted 04 August 2013 - 16:19

Yes teacher suggested Linden Lea. Daughter managed to get distinction for the exam, with just losing 1 marks each for songs and few marks for aural / singing. So we have confidence and daughter is very comfortable with teacher.

Only other reason I can think of getting high marks is the singing exam was straight after Grade 8 piano exam, where she performed exceptionally well.

QUOTE(Seer_Green @ Aug 2 2013, 10:35 AM) View Post

Linden Lea is very well-known and a it's a song which is presented very often at (I think) Grade 5 - I would therefore be surprised if the examiner didn't realise it wasn't a traditional song, but equally, I don't know what is supposed to happen in these cases - in theory, if the examiner knows it doesn't fit the requirements, there should be zero marks awarded for that section. I doubt that would happen in reality though...

Did teacher suggest this as a traditional song at Grade 8? If so, I would be more worried about the teacher's ability to confidently enter pupils for exams.


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#25 Seer_Green

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Posted 04 August 2013 - 16:36

There is no denying in this instance that however amazing the teacher (and I'm not belittling the result either) they have made an error - Linden Lea is not a traditional song and it isn't an acceptable choice for that element of the exam - the fact the examiner didn't pick up on this, is, essentially, luck. Had the examiner been someone like Eileen Field (who has a good deal of input into the syllabus and has spoken out before about the misguided choices for the traditional song), the result may have been different.

I've certainly come across some odd choices over the years, but none as odd as Linden Lea! If that's the sort of thing singing teachers think is suitable for the traditional song, I feel like giving up!
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#26 AnnC

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Posted 04 August 2013 - 20:51

QUOTE(Seer_Green @ Aug 4 2013, 05:36 PM) View Post

There is no denying in this instance that however amazing the teacher (and I'm not belittling the result either) they have made an error - Linden Lea is not a traditional song and it isn't an acceptable choice for that element of the exam - the fact the examiner didn't pick up on this, is, essentially, luck. Had the examiner been someone like Eileen Field (who has a good deal of input into the syllabus and has spoken out before about the misguided choices for the traditional song), the result may have been different.

I've certainly come across some odd choices over the years, but none as odd as Linden Lea! If that's the sort of thing singing teachers think is suitable for the traditional song, I feel like giving up!


I absolutely agree - and it's a shame that the AB doesn't uphold these guidelines - or train examiners to do so. It's no different to asking for a melodic minor scale and being played a harmonic and not noticing the difference. It's fundamental. I've seen festival adjudicators mark down for choice of song in folk song classes. But then, they are more likely to be singers (though not always). I'm not sure some examiners know whether languages are good, either. sad.gif
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#27 StradiVarious

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 20:47

I'm no expert, just a very amateur learner singer but my copy says this:
Linden Lea. A Dorset Folk Song.
Just sayin' as a young friend might put it!

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#28 AnnC

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 21:54

QUOTE(StradiVarious @ Aug 6 2013, 09:47 PM) View Post

I'm no expert, just a very amateur learner singer but my copy says this:
Linden Lea. A Dorset Folk Song.
Just sayin' as a young friend might put it!


smile.gif

My copy says "A Dorset Song" wink.gif

The original poem My Orcha'd in Linden Lea[i] is from [i]Hwomely Rhymes - A second collection of Poems in the Dorset Dialect, written by a Dorset poet William Barnes (1801-1886).
It was set to music as a version for voice and piano (therefore not intended to be sung unaccompanied) by Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958) as Linden Lea in 1901, published 1902.
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#29 BitterSweet

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 07:25

QUOTE(AnnC @ Aug 6 2013, 10:54 PM) View Post

QUOTE(StradiVarious @ Aug 6 2013, 09:47 PM) View Post

I'm no expert, just a very amateur learner singer but my copy says this:
Linden Lea. A Dorset Folk Song.
Just sayin' as a young friend might put it!


smile.gif

My copy says "A Dorset Song" wink.gif

The original poem My Orcha'd in Linden Lea[i] is from [i]Hwomely Rhymes - A second collection of Poems in the Dorset Dialect, written by a Dorset poet William Barnes (1801-1886).
It was set to music as a version for voice and piano (therefore not intended to be sung unaccompanied) by Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958) as Linden Lea in 1901, published 1902.


Barnes seems to be a collector like Burns. Since Barnes didn't record any music, the songs are not suitable for use in exams.

Burns "edited" and "arranged" most of his songs, rather than "composing" new music, so the majority of songs published under his name are considered to be suitable traditional songs. I wouldn't give a student a Burns song unless it was very unusual, primarily because I hate the idolisation of Burns up here, and also because there are so many traditional songs that I'm sure I can find some more interesting ones!
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#30 Splog

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 08:38

Interesting Bittersweet. I thought Burns was acceptable because his songs have become integral to Scottish culture and folk music. You say it is because he used traditional tunes. I'd never thought of it that way. I'd be interested to know what the ABRSM think. I'd like to see more of his songs included in the repertoire lists, because many of them are actually quite a technical challenge, the tunes not being written for voice.

As usual, ABRSM are very vague about this area. You can read all the guidance and rules and opinions of examiners, and still not get a clear idea about what is and isn't allowed, and why. And now they have chosen to publish that a candidate shouldn't need to get a note from the piano, when clearly the syllabus says that this is allowed. mad.gif


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