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Grade 8 Theory Summer 2017 (B) Question 2

keyboard reconstruction harmony Grade 8 Theory Exam Examination

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#1 sonorous

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Posted 23 June 2017 - 05:50

The keyboard reconstruction question in the recent Grade 8 Theory paper (2017B) seemed to me - and another candidate with whom I conversed after the exam had finished - not to have the 'clear harmonic structure' that candidates are supposed to be able to get at the outset of starting the question (see ABRSM Theory Workbook, p. 25).  Certainly not during the time available in the exam; even considering a modal melody.  Considering I was able to identify the harmonic basis throughout the previous five years of practice papers - including by Reinecke - made this particularly disappointing; it seemed unreasonable, unfair.


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#2 niobe

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Posted 23 June 2017 - 09:06

Hi Sonorous,

I agree wholeheartedly with your post. I looked at that question and wanted to scream! I had worked through a lot of past papers and thought I was well prepared but Q2 was *tough*. I think 3 hours would be required for that question alone. I spent far too much time trying to throw some notes at the page and ended up rushing Q3. 

I wish you all the best for a good result but I am pretty sure I know what my overall mark will be  :(


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#3 sonorous

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Posted 23 June 2017 - 11:32

Hi niobe, well thank you for your good wishes and although it's affirming to hear from fellow candidates who have had a similar experience regarding the Reinecke keyboard reconstruction question, I am also sorry to read of your difficulties - particularly as question 3 carries more weight than does question 2.

 

The ABRSM seems unwilling to recognise the difficulty, let alone considering it came straight after a Trio Sonata question in a minor key with four flats - surely significantly more taxing to work in exam conditions than say a Trio Sonata in a major key with one or two sharps or flats, regardless of how familiar you are with F minor.

 

The ABRSM is regulated by Ofqual, and once you have raised the matter with the ABRSM (and you need to do it within seven days of the exam, which means by today), you can pursue it by contacting Ofqual.  The relevant email address is: public.enquiries@ofqual.gov.uk.

 

I do hope you are successful after all the hard work you've put in to practising question 2 for the exam.


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#4 WillRoberts

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Posted 23 June 2017 - 19:51

I didn't see it but am quite surprised by your review- I've always found the questions quite consistent year-to-year.  Often, in my estimation, when one is a little harder than usual, another seems a little easier.  Were the score-reading questions kind?

?I look forward to going through it when the papers come out for purchase.

 

Good luck to you with your result!


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#5 sonorous

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Posted 23 June 2017 - 20:17

Certainly going back over the previous five years of papers to prepare for the exam, Will, I didn't think there was a significant inconsistency between the questions, until now.  In fact I sought out previous Reinecke keyboard construction questions I had practised, and the harmonic structure was clear enough in those.

 

It seems to me that as the score-reading questions test general knowledge rather than specific skills (perhaps with the exception of transposition), people will find them kinder or meaner depending on their musical experience and what has stuck with them as they have been preparing.  I went through them carefully and felt I knew all the answers to questions 4 and 5 of this particular paper.  Q4 was a Chopin (piano) piece that started in Ab and modulated subdominant-wise while Q5 was an orchestral score in German.

 

Thank you for your good wishes for my result!


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#6 niobe

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 16:59

Results published today and fortunately everything turned out well.

Good luck everyone!


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