Skip to main content

Syllabuses

Introducing our syllabuses

From this this page you can to start to explore our music exams and assessments.  

Use our instrument and subject finder to discover the exams we offer along with qualification specifications and syllabuses.

Further down the page you'll find more information about our syllabuses including updates, overlap periods, corrections and FAQs.  

A young woman in a yellow jumper plays the saxophone

Instruments and subjects

Choose your instrument or subject to find out about assessments and download qualification specifications and syllabuses.
Syllabus updates
Bowed Strings

New Practical and Performance Grade syllabuses from 2024

The Bowed Strings syllabuses from 2024 feature refreshed repertoire lists for Violin, Viola, Cello and Double Bass. There are no changes to the scales and arpeggios, sight-reading and aural tests in the Practical Grade syllabus. The new syllabuses come into effect on 1 January 2024 and there is a one-year overlap period – see below.

bass1
Syllabus overlaps

We offer an overlap period in the first year of a new syllabus. During the overlap period, you can follow specific requirements from the preceding syllabus. Overlap periods only apply to the syllabuses and requirements listed on this page. We will add information for other syllabuses during the final year of their validity period.

Piano 2023 & 2024

Practical Grades

  • You can choose your three pieces from the 2023 & 2024 syllabus until 31 December 2025.
  • All three pieces must be from the same syllabus.
  • If you are playing pieces from the 2023 & 2024 syllabus, please tell the examiner or write this on your programme form.

Performance Grades

  • You can choose your set pieces from the 2023 & 2024 syllabus until 31 December 2025. You must upload your video recording on or before this date.
  • All three set pieces must be from the same syllabus.
  • The fourth, own-choice piece is not affected by overlap arrangements.
  • Please include the relevant syllabus dates when completing the online programme form.

How to book an exam

Syllabus and publication corrections and clarifications

Publication corrections

Errors in publications affect the first impression copies only and are corrected at reprint.

Discovering Music Theory

Discovering Music Theory Grade 1 Answer Book

  • Page 26, Exercise 3 c: the correct answer is a G on the bottom line, creating a triad of G major.
  • Page 28, Exercise 4: fine means ‘the end’ (not ‘repeat from the beginning’).

Discovering Music Theory Grade 2 Answer Book

  • Page 1, Exercise 2 b: the answer should match the three-note exercise in the Workbook, and read ‘BAG’ (not the extended ‘BAGGED’).
  • Page 24, Exercise 1 a: the correct answer is ‘The music should be played very quietly and in a singing style’ (not ‘The music should be played very quietly and sweetly’).
  • Page 29, Exercise 3.5: this should be numbered ‘2.4’ (not ‘3.5’).
  • Page 30, Exercise 3.7: the first and fifth boxes should be selected, not the third and seventh.

Discovering Music Theory Grade 3 Workbook

  • Page 3, Exercise 3, top row, second from left: this example will be reprinted as a semiquaver note followed by two semiquaver rests.

Discovering Music Theory Grade 3 Answer Book

  • Page 2, Exercise 3, top row, second from left: this example will be reprinted as a semiquaver note followed by two semiquaver rests.
  • Page 5, Exercise 10 b and c: these musical examples should match the examples found in Discovering Music Theory Grade 3 Workbook (where the notes are grouped correctly).
  • Page 10, Exercise 8 a: the final quaver rest is correct.
  • Page 12, Exercise 2 f: answer book should still state ‘F’ (not ‘A’).
  • Page 25, Exercise 3 b: the second interval is a minor 3rd (not a major 3rd), and the third interval is a minor 7th (not a minor 2nd).
  • Page 28, Exercise 4 c: the lower note (C sharp) should be highlighted, not the middle note (E natural).

Discovering Music Theory Grade 4 workbook

Contents page (Chapter 4: Keys & Scales Part 1); this should read ‘the keys and scales of B major and D flat major’, not ‘D flat minor’.

Discovering Music Theory Grade 4 Answer Book

  • Page 21, Exercise 4 b: the penultimate note (A sharp) should also be circled.
  • Page 26, Exercise 6 c: the second answer should be minor 7th (not diminished 7th).
  • Page 30, Exercise 3 h: the correct answer is B major (not B minor).
  • Page 36, Exercise 3 b: the correct answer is douce (not dolce).

Discovering Music Theory Grade 5 Answer Book

  • Page 13, Exercise 8 d: the penultimate note is correct.
  • Page 16, Exercise 5 d: the tonality should be ‘major’ (not ‘minor’).
  • Page 20, Exercise 4 j: the correct answer is A flat (not A double flat).
  • Page 31, Exercise 8 a: the final chord is IVb (not Vb).
  • Page 31, Exercise 8 c: the final chord is IVa (not IVc).
  • Page 40, Exercise 2 c: the correct answer is ‘cello’ (not ‘flute’).
  • Page 47, Exercise 6.1: cantando means ‘singing’ (not ‘resonant’).
Music Theory Sample Papers & Model Answers 2020

Music Theory Sample Papers, new format, Grade 2

Paper A

  • Page 8, Question 3.9: this question should read, ‘… complete the scale of E harmonic minor’ (not ‘E major’).

Paper C

  • Page 25, Question 4 j: the answer options should read 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th.

Music Theory Sample Papers, new format, Model Answers, Grade 2

Paper A

  • Page 5, Question 3.9: the correct answers are C and G (not C sharp and G sharp).
  • Page 7, Question 6: ritenuto means ‘held back’ (not ‘gradually getting slower’).

Music Theory Sample Papers, new format, Grade 4

Download corrected pages (PDF)

Paper A

  • Page 13, Question 7.3: the second option should not have a tenuto on the final note.

Music Theory Sample Papers, new format, Model Answers, Grade 4

Download corrected pages (PDF)

Paper A

  • Page 8, Question 7.3: the second option should match that in the Sample Paper.

Music Theory Sample Papers, new format, Grade 5

Paper C

  • Page 26, Question 2.4: second note of bar C is F (on second ledger line).

Music Theory Sample Papers, new format, Model Answers, Grade 5

Paper C

  • Page 14, Question 2.4: the correct answers are a. True; b. False; c. False (not a. True; b. True; c. True).

Paper D

  • Page 18, Question 1.2: the third option is correct (not the first).
  • Page 18, Question 1.4: the second option is correct (not the first).

More Music Theory Sample Papers, new format, Grade 5

Paper A

  • Page 12, Question 7: the question should read, ‘Study this music for cello and piano …’ (not
    ‘Study this music for violin and piano …’)


Online resources

Music in Words

The Music in Words web resource for the UK edition of the book is no longer available.

 


Syllabus corrections and clarifications

Singing syllabus updates: October 2023

We have removed the following songs due to their cultural associations. Candidates who have been preparing them may continue to sing them in exams. 

  • Grade 1 – A2 Leo Maguire 
  • Grade 1 – A5 Trad. American 
  • Grade 1 – A10 Trad. English 
  • Grade 2 – A4 H. Roberton 
  • Grade 2 – A6 Trad. Canadian 
  • Grade 2 – C12 Gay & Butler 
  • Grade 2 – C19 Betty Roe 
  • Grade 3 – C11 Fain & Webster 
  • Grade 3 – C14 Hart & Butler 
  • Grade 4 – C28 Wells & Tormé 
  • Grade 5 – C28 Stiles & Drewe 
  • Grade 6 – E8 Gershwin 
  • Grade 7 – C33 Strickland 
  • Grade 8 – E7 Gershwin 
  • Grade 8 – E17 Kern & Hammerstein 

We have included a warning symbol in the lists for the following songs where there is known potential for sensitive or mature content.  

  • Grade 2 – B14 Jenkyns 
  • Grade 2 – C15 Lin Marsh 
  • Grade 2 – C18 Rodgers & Hammerstein 
  • Grade 3 – B2 Anon. Welsh 
  • Grade 4 – C7 Bock & Harnick 
  • Grade 6 – A10 Gasparini 
  • Grade 6 – A16 Harris 
  • Grade 6 – C15 Hopkins 
  • Grade 6 – E27 Porter 
  • Grade 8 – E18 Kern & Hammerstein 
ARSM in Music Performance

Piano

  • J. S. Bach Toccata no.3 in D, BWV 912
    In the Henle edition (126) this piece is listed as no. 5.
  • J. S Bach Toccata no.5 in E minor, BWV 914
    In the Henle edition (126) this piece is listed as no. 2.

Bassoon

  • Jeremy Pike Aria-Commemoration
    This piece is now published by Composers Edition.
Bassoon (from 2022)

Grade 3, B10 John Williams
Grade 4, C7 H. Mancini

The book ‘Ultimate Movie Instrumental Solos for Trombone’ is set on Grades 3 and 4. The set pieces have been reviewed and confirmed as suitable for Bassoon candidates.

Bassoon (from 2022) – accompaniment books

The books marked + in the syllabus lists have printable piano accompaniments. Details of where to find these accompaniments are below. The information is listed alphabetically by publisher.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Publisher 

 
 
 
 
 

Book title 

 
 
 
 
 

Piano accompaniment details 

 
 
 
 
 

Alfred 

 
 
 
 

Ultimate Movie Instrumental Solos (bass clef edition) 

 
 
 
 

Pintable from companion CD 

 
 
 
 
 

Faber 

 
 
 
 

Bassoon Basics 

 
 
 
 

Printable from publisher website 

 
 
 
 
 

Useful Music 

 
 
 
 

Compositions for Bassoon, Vol. 1 

 
 
 
 

printable from companion CD or available in Selected Piano Accompaniments, Vol. 1, U240 

Bassoon (from 2022) - duets

The following duet publications are available in different formats for Bassoon and Bassoon, Mini-Bassoon and Bassoon, and Tenoroon and Bassoon, as follows:

  • Easy Traditional Duets for Two Bassoon
  • Easy Traditional Duets for Mini-Bassoon and Bassoon
  • Easy Traditional Duets for Tenoroon and Bassoon
  • Easy Classic Bassoon Duets
  • Easy Classic Mini-Bassoon and Bassoon Duets
  • Easy Classic Tenoroon and Bassoon Duets
  • Easy Duets from Around the World for Bassoons
  • Easy Duets from Around the World for Mini-Bassoon and Bassoon
  • Easy Duets from Around the World for Tenoroon and Bassoon

Candidates must play the upper parts in all set pieces. Publications where the reduced-size instrument plays the bottom line (titled ‘Bassoon and Mini-Bassoon’ or ‘Bassoon and Tenoroon’) are not suitable.

Cello (from 2024) - accompaniment books
 
 
 
 
 
 

Initial Grade 

 
 
 
 
 

  

 
 
 
 
 

  

 
 
 
 
 

Publisher 

 
 
 
 

Book title 

 
 
 
 

Accompaniment book(s) 

 
 
 
 
 

Bartholomew 

 
 
 
 

Ready Steady Go, arr. Elliott 

 
 
 
 

Ready Steady Go, Piano accompaniment, arr. Elliott 

 
 
 
 
 

Boosey & Hawkes 

 
 
 
 

Tetratunes for Double Bass, arr. Nelson 

 
 
 
 

Tetratunes: teacher's book with accompaniments, arr. Nelson 

 
 
 
 
 

Boosey & Hawkes 

 
 
 
 

The Essential String Method, Double Bass Book 1 

 
 
 
 

The Essential String Method, Cello/Double Bass Books 1 & 2, Piano accompaniment 

 
 
 
 
 

Boosey & Hawkes 

 
 
 
 

The Essential String Method, Double Bass Book 2 

 
 
 
 

The Essential String Method, Cello/Double Bass Books 1 & 2, Piano accompaniment 

 
 
 
 
 

Collins Music 

 
 
 
 

Abracadabra Double Bass, Book 1, arr. Lillywhite & Marshall 

 
 
 
 

Abracadabra Strings, Book 1, Piano accompaniments, arr. Hussey & Sebba 

 
 
 
 
 

Vamoosh 

 
 
 
 

Vamoosh Double Bass, Book 1, arr. Gregory 

 
 
 
 

Vamoosh String Book 1, Piano accompaniment, arr. Gregory 

 
 
 
 
 

  

 
 
 
 

  

 
 
 
 

  

 
 
 
 
 

Grade 1 

 
 
 
 

  

 
 
 
 

  

 
 
 
 
 

Publisher 

 
 
 
 

Book title 

 
 
 
 

Accompaniment book(s) 

 
 
 
 
 

Alfred 

 
 
 
 

Suzuki Bass School, Vol. 1, Revised Edition 

 
 
 
 

Suzuki Bass School, Vol. 1, Piano accompaniment 

 
 
 
 
 

Alfred 

 
 
 
 

Suzuki Bass School, Vol. 2, Revised Edition 

 
 
 
 

Suzuki Bass School, Vol. 2, Piano accompaniment 

 
 
 
 
 

Bartholomew 

 
 
 
 

Ready Steady Go, arr. Elliott 

 
 
 
 

Ready Steady Go, Piano accompaniment, arr. Elliott 

 
 
 
 
 

Boosey & Hawkes 

 
 
 
 

The Essential String Method, Double Bass Book 3 

 
 
 
 

The Essential String Method, Cello/Double Bass Books 3 & 4, Piano accompaniment 

 
 
 
 
 

Collins Music 

 
 
 
 

Abracadabra Double Bass, Book 1, arr. Lillywhite & Marshall 

 
 
 
 

Abracadabra Strings, Book 1, Piano accompaniments, arr. Hussey & Sebba 

 
 
 
 
 

Faber 

 
 
 
 

Wilson & Wood: Stringtastic Book 1 for Double Bass 

 
 
 
 

Wilson & Wood: Stringtastic Book 1, Teacher's Accompaniment 

 
 
 
 
 

Vamoosh 

 
 
 
 

Vamoosh Double Bass, Book 1, arr. Gregory 

 
 
 
 

Vamoosh String Book 1, Piano accompaniment, arr. Gregory 

 
 
 
 
 

Vamoosh 

 
 
 
 

Vamoosh Double Bass, Book 2, arr. Gregory 

 
 
 
 

Vamoosh String Book 2, Piano accompaniment, arr. Gregory 

 
 
 
 
 

  

 
 
 
 

  

 
 
 
 

  

 
 
 
 
 

Grade 2 

 
 
 
 

  

 
 
 
 

  

 
 
 
 
 

Publisher 

 
 
 
 

Book title 

 
 
 
 

Accompaniment book(s) 

 
 
 
 
 

Alfred 

 
 
 
 

Suzuki Bass School, Vol. 2, Revised Edition 

 
 
 
 

Suzuki Bass School, Vol. 2, Piano accompaniment 

 
 
 
 
 

Bartholomew 

 
 
 
 

The Anna Magdalena Bach Notebook for Double Bass, arr. Elliott 

 
 
 
 

The Anna Magdalena Bach Notebook for Double Bass, Piano accompaniment, arr. Elliott 

 
 
 
 
 

Boosey & Hawkes 

 
 
 
 

The Essential String Method, Double Bass Book 4 

 
 
 
 

The Essential String Method, Cello/Double Bass Books 3 & 4, Piano accompaniment 

 
 
 
 
 

Collins Music 

 
 
 
 

Abracadabra Double Bass, Book 1, arr. Lillywhite & Marshall 

 
 
 
 

Abracadabra Strings, Book 1, Piano accompaniments, arr. Hussey & Sebba 

 
 
 
 
 

Vamoosh 

 
 
 
 

Vamoosh Double Bass, Book 2, arr. Gregory 

 
 
 
 

Vamoosh String Book 2, Piano accompaniment, arr. Gregory 

 
 
 
 
 

  

 
 
 
 

  

 
 
 
 

  

 
 
 
 
 

Grade 3 

 
 
 
 

  

 
 
 
 

  

 
 
 
 
 

Publisher 

 
 
 
 

Book title 

 
 
 
 

Accompaniment book(s) 

 
 
 
 
 

Alfred 

 
 
 
 

Suzuki Bass School, Vol. 2, Revised Edition 

 
 
 
 

Suzuki Bass School, Vol. 2, Piano accompaniment 

 
 
 
 
 

Bartholomew 

 
 
 
 

Subterranean Solos, arr. Hartley 

 
 
 
 

Subterranean Solos, Piano accompaniment, arr. K. & J. Hartley 

 
 
 
 
 

Bartholomew 

 
 
 
 

The Anna Magdalena Bach Notebook for Double Bass, arr. Elliott 

 
 
 
 

The Anna Magdalena Bach Notebook for Double Bass, Piano accompaniment, arr. Elliott 

 
 
 
 
 

Boosey & Hawkes 

 
 
 
 

Technitunes for Double Bass, arr. Nelson 

 
 
 
 

Technitunes, Piano accompaniments, arr. Nelson 

 
 
 
 
 

Carl Fischer 

 
 
 
 

Festival Performance Solos: String Bass 

 
 
 
 

Festival Performance Solos, Piano accompaniment for String Bass 

 
 
 
 
 

Collins Music 

 
 
 
 

Abracadabra Double Bass, Book 1, arr. Lillywhite & Marshall 

 
 
 
 

Abracadabra Strings, Book 1, Piano accompaniments, arr. Hussey & Sebba 

 
 
 
 
 

Vamoosh 

 
 
 
 

Vamoosh Double Bass, Book 2, arr. Gregory 

 
 
 
 

Vamoosh String Book 2, Piano accompaniment, arr. Gregory 

 
 
 
 
 

  

 
 
 
 

  

 
 
 
 

  

 
 
 
 
 

Grade 4 

 
 
 
 

  

 
 
 
 

  

 
 
 
 
 

Publisher 

 
 
 
 

Book title 

 
 
 
 

Accompaniment book(s) 

 
 
 
 
 

Alfred 

 
 
 
 

Suzuki Bass School, Vol. 2, Revised Edition 

 
 
 
 

Suzuki Bass School, Vol. 2, Piano accompaniment 

 
 
 
 
 

Alfred 

 
 
 
 

Suzuki Bass School, Vol. 3, Revised Edition 

 
 
 
 

Suzuki Bass School, Vol. 3, Piano accompaniment 

 
 
 
 
 

Bartholomew 

 
 
 
 

Subterranean Solos, arr. Hartley 

 
 
 
 

Subterranean Solos, Piano accompaniment, arr. K. & J. Hartley 

 
 
 
 
 

Bartholomew 

 
 
 
 

The Anna Magdalena Bach Notebook for Double Bass, arr. Elliott 

 
 
 
 

The Anna Magdalena Bach Notebook for Double Bass, Piano accompaniment, arr. Elliott 

 
 
 
 
 

Carl Fischer 

 
 
 
 

Festival Performance Solos: String Bass 

 
 
 
 

Festival Performance Solos, Piano accompaniment for String Bass 

 
 
 
 
 

  

 
 
 
 

  

 
 
 
 

  

 
 
 
 
 

Grade 5 

 
 
 
 

  

 
 
 
 

  

 
 
 
 
 

Publisher 

 
 
 
 

Book title 

 
 
 
 

Accompaniment book(s) 

 
 
 
 
 

Alfred 

 
 
 
 

Suzuki Bass School, Vol. 3, Revised Edition 

 
 
 
 

Suzuki Bass School, Vol. 3, Piano accompaniment 

 
 
 
 
 

Bartholomew 

 
 
 
 

Subterranean Solos, arr. Hartley 

 
 
 
 

Subterranean Solos, Piano accompaniment, arr. K. & J. Hartley 

 
 
 
 
 

Carl Fischer 

 
 
 
 

Festival Performance Solos: String Bass 

 
 
 
 

Festival Performance Solos, Piano accompaniment for String Bass 

 
 
 
 
 

  

 
 
 
 

  

 
 
 
 

  

 
 
 
 
 

Grade 6 

 
 
 
 

  

 
 
 
 

  

 
 
 
 
 

Publisher

 
 
 
 

Book title 

 
 
 
 

Accompaniment book(s) 

 
 
 
 
 

Alfred 

 
 
 
 

Suzuki Bass School, Vol. 3, Revised Edition 

 
 
 
 

Suzuki Bass School, Vol. 3, Piano accompaniment 

 
 
 
 
 

Alfred 

 
 
 
 

Suzuki Bass School, Vol. 4, Revised Edition 

 
 
 
 

Suzuki Bass School, Vol. 4, Piano accompaniment 

 
 
 
 
 

Carl Fischer 

 
 
 
 

Festival Performance Solos: String Bass 

 
 
 
 

Festival Performance Solos, Piano accompaniment for String Bass 

 
 
 
 
 

  

 
 
 
 

  

 
 
 
 

  

 
 
 
 
 

Grade 7 

 
 
 
 

  

 
 
 
 

  

 
 
 
 
 

Publis er

 
 
 
 

Book title 

 
 
 
 

Accompaniment book(s) 

 
 
 
 
 

Alfred 

 
 
 
 

Suzuki Bass School, Vol. 4, Revised Edition 

 
 
 
 

Suzuki Bass School, Vol. 4, Piano accompaniment 

Cello (2020–2023)
  • Initial Grade, A9 Trad. – The accompaniment symbol is missing in the printed syllabus booklet. The piano accompaniment for this piece is published separately.
  • Grade 1, C7 Thomas Gregory – The publication title is incorrect in the printed syllabus booklet. This piece is available in Vamoosh Cello, Book 1.
  • Grade 1, C8 Edward Huws Jones – The accompaniment symbol is missing in the printed syllabus booklet. The piano accompaniment for this piece is published separately.
  • Grade 5, A1 Passionei – The catalogue number is incorrect in the printed syllabus booklet. The correct catalogue number is Op. 1 No. 8.
  • Grade 8, C7 Minsky - This piece is published unaccompanied and should be performed solo.
Clarinet (from 2022) – accompaniment books

The books marked + in the syllabus lists have printable piano accompaniments. Details of where to find these accompaniments are below. The information is listed alphabetically by publisher.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Publisher 

 
 
 
 
 

Book title 

 
 
 
 
 

Piano accompaniment details