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Grade 8 Piano - Lenght of piano pieces


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#1 Claudiokeys

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 16:59

Good morning everyone, 

 

thanks first to accept my registration to the forum. I hope, I'm posting in the right section and apology if the question is maybe not new, but I didn't find an answer in the topics.

 

I'm studyng for grade 8 and I'm in the process of choosing the three pieces. I have already chosen the C piece, the Rachmaninoff elegie, which is quite long, well over 5 minutes. My other favourite pieces are probably the Mozart Rondo in the B group, which is almost 6 minutes, and the Soler Sonata in the group A, which is around 3:20. 

 

I noticed that these are by coincidence, the longer pieces of the various groups and all in all this would account for 15 minutes. 

 

My question is if there is a limit of the tempo dedicated to the pieces or there is total freedom of choice in this respect.

 

Thanks in advance for your comments and helps

 

Claudio 


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#2 Ligneo Fistula

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 19:58

Hi Claudio!  I can't answer your question but welcome to the forum and good luck with your grade 8.


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#3 fsharpminor

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 21:17

You play the pieces at the tempo which is indicated or you feel is right for them  . The total length of the pieces is irrelevant .  There is always going to be some variation in piece lengths, it doesnt matter whether you pick three longer ones or three shorter ones.

I am now one of the older pianists (though amateur) on the forums, so welcome, and good luck. You will get plenty of good advice and encouragement on herewelcome.gif


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#4 EllieD

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 21:20

Hi and welcome! There should be no reason why you can't do the three pieces you want - I don't see any time limit mentioned anywhere. That said, do think about your own stamina! That's a long programme, especially under the pressure of an exam and if you feel it may be tiring, you may want to choose something else - but as far as the exam goes, I think you should be fine doing those.

 

Good luck!

 

PS - I found this page: https://gb.abrsm.org...s/exam-timings/ which says Grade 8 keyboard exams are 30 minutes, so there should be ample time to play those pieces and still have time for everything else.


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#5 dorfmouse

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 22:05

You may choose whatever pieces you like from each of the lists. However, if you read the regulations, the examiner may stop you if they feel they have heard enough to make a judgement. I remember when I did my G8 this was very off-putting, even when you know it may happen.
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#6 Claudiokeys

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 00:39

Thanks to all of you for the good answers and for welcoming me. I'll choose then what I like most, and I hope I'll not be stopped (it doesn't sound as an experience I want to live :-)


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#7 EllieD

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 08:15

I'd be furious if the examiner stopped me before the end of a piece after I'd paid all that money to do an exam!! 


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#8 Hildegard

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 09:17

I'd be furious if the examiner stopped me before the end of a piece after I'd paid all that money to do an exam!! 

 

You only pay for 30 minutes of the examiner's time, though!

 

In my experience of accompanying candidates, it is not unusual for an examiner to stop a piece before the end (particularly if it is to avoid hearing a recapitulation that is very similar to an exposition). It all depends on the length of the chosen pieces, obviously, but the examiner will be aware that there could be a room full of subsequent candidates with accompanists who may have other appointments, and will therefore not want to start running late.


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#9 Claudiokeys

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 18:07

 

I'd be furious if the examiner stopped me before the end of a piece after I'd paid all that money to do an exam!! 

 

You only pay for 30 minutes of the examiner's time, though!

 

In my experience of accompanying candidates, it is not unusual for an examiner to stop a piece before the end (particularly if it is to avoid hearing a recapitulation that is very similar to an exposition). It all depends on the length of the chosen pieces, obviously, but the examiner will be aware that there could be a room full of subsequent candidates with accompanists who may have other appointments, and will therefore not want to start running late.

 

 

Indeed by my previous exams I was never stopped, but I was seeing that they were quite aware of the timing because of the following students. 


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#10 Yet another muso

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 19:56

 

 

I'd be furious if the examiner stopped me before the end of a piece after I'd paid all that money to do an exam!! 

 

You only pay for 30 minutes of the examiner's time, though!

 

In my experience of accompanying candidates, it is not unusual for an examiner to stop a piece before the end (particularly if it is to avoid hearing a recapitulation that is very similar to an exposition). It all depends on the length of the chosen pieces, obviously, but the examiner will be aware that there could be a room full of subsequent candidates with accompanists who may have other appointments, and will therefore not want to start running late.

 

 

Indeed by my previous exams I was never stopped, but I was seeing that they were quite aware of the timing because of the following students. 

 

I accompany something like 80 exams per year (nearly all ABRSM) and have been doing so for many years, usually including a few grades 7 and/or 8 every term. In all those years, I can only remember one ABRSM examiner and one Trinity examiner who stopped candidates part way through the pieces. Both those examiners stopped players in all the high grade exams they did so it was clearly how those particular examiners worked. I suspect the majority of examiners have a policy of trying to allow candidates to get to the end of their pieces, knowing that after all that preparation it might really disappoint them not to have that chance, only giving in and stopping them in long pieces if they are at risk of getting very behind (several back to back exams over running for example). That said, I strongly suspect that with the longest high grade pieces, they have pretty much made up their mind about the mark during the first half of the piece - towards the end of longer pieces, I have seen examiners going back to fill in extra notes on earlier exams in the day! 

 

Although interesting that Hildegard has experienced far more candidates being stopped than I have done. Maybe just luck of the draw!


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#11 Violin Hero

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 21:03

In my Trinity G8 exam, Trinity Guildhall as it was back then, my pieces must have added up to at least 15 minutes but I was allowed to play them all the way through without interruption. My exam started around 1 hour late , not sure why but the steward advised of the late running when I arrived at the center. It meant I had more time to warm up but unfortunately the room I used had a pretty awful keyboard with no pedals. I felt sorry for my accompanist. She didn't get paid extra for all the additional waiting around.

 

I would have been annoyed if I had been asked to stop before the end of any of the pieces as I feel one is paying for the examiners time, in this case 30 minutes for grade 8 I believe, as well as expertise. The time allocated to each grade is usually enough time to hear the pieces in their entirety, regardless of whether you choose the longest 3. After all I very much doubt I am going to get any sort of pro-rata/partial refund if the length if exam is shortened to allow the examiner to get back on schedule timing wise.

 

Oh and the exam would feel sort of incomplete if I didn't get to play all the pieces through in their entirety. It is different to say a conservatoire audition as one knows up front that you could be stopped midway through a piece, the exam boards give no such warning to my knowledge.


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#12 dorfmouse

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 21:18

If it's basically a logistics problem, they should jolly well set pieces that fit the time schedule.

I was stopped in G8; this was in the days you played a full sonata. It was horrible. Being a probably normal, unconfident candidate, you automatically imagine that the examiner couldn't take anymore, rather than assuming they were already totally bowled over by one's brilliance. It wasn't just being stopped in full flow, I remember being asked to proceed to a later section of the piece, and if I remember rightly, it happened again within the same sonata Imagine doing that to a performer who has spent months of energy to prepare. Just rude and uncaring.
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#13 Violin Hero

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 21:22

If it's basically a logistics problem, they should jolly well set pieces that fit the time schedule.

I was stopped in G8; this was in the days you played a full sonata. It was horrible. Being a probably normal, unconfident candidate, you automatically imagine that the examiner couldn't take anymore, rather than assuming they were already totally bowled over by one's brilliance. It wasn't just being stopped in full flow, I remember being asked to proceed to a later section of the piece, and if I remember rightly, it happened again within the same sonata Imagine doing that to a performer who has spent months of energy to prepare. Just rude and uncaring.

I imagine it would be very off putting to be asked to stop and start from a later point in the piece. I certainly never even thought of this as a possibility. Maybe it was the norm back in your day so you were prepared for this possibility?


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#14 zwhe

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 22:17

I was stopped in my grade 8 flute, by an examiner who clearly didn't know the piece as I was only 4 bars from the end! I found it very off-putting as I had no idea they could do that and it was very disconcerting to think that they might not know the music.

There are no rules about length of pieces, so choose the ones that best show what you can do!


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#15 dorfmouse

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Posted 12 January 2019 - 22:46

If it's basically a logistics problem, they should jolly well set pieces that fit the time schedule.
I was stopped in G8; this was in the days you played a full sonata. It was horrible. Being a probably normal, unconfident candidate, you automatically imagine that the examiner couldn't take anymore, rather than assuming they were already totally bowled over by one's brilliance. It wasn't just being stopped in full flow, I remember being asked to proceed to a later section of the piece, and if I remember rightly, it happened again within the same sonata Imagine doing that to a performer who has spent months of energy to prepare. Just rude and uncaring.

I imagine it would be very off putting to be asked to stop and start from a later point in the piece. I certainly never even thought of this as a possibility. Maybe it was the norm back in your day so you were prepared for this possibility?

I can't remember from this distance in time; I may have been aware of it as a possibilty but I'm pretty sure that it wasn't practised, in the way that a professional should learn to cope with any eventualities.
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