Jump to content


Photo

Scales in exams - enharmonic equivalents


  • Please log in to reply
9 replies to this topic

#1 hummingbird

hummingbird

    Prodigy

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1792 posts
  • Member: 491056
    Joined: 25-July 12

Posted 28 January 2019 - 22:20

Quick question - do examiners ever ask for the enharmonic equivalents in the exam, eg Db minor instead of C# Major.  Although I know the enharmonic equivalents, in the heat of the moment I'm thinking it would be easy to think Db Major instead, for instance.  It would be one less thing to worry about if I knew they didn't ask for the enharmonic equivalents  piano.gif


  • 0

#2 tulip21

tulip21

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 132 posts
  • Member: 898887
    Joined: 28-March 18

Posted 28 January 2019 - 22:55

I don't think an examiner would ask for the enharmonic equivalent except for the following keys because there are two key signatures associated with them, and even then, it's not likely:
Db/C# major
Eb/D# minor (more likely)
Gb/F# major (also more likely)
Ab/G# minor
Bb/A# minor
  • 0

#3 hummingbird

hummingbird

    Prodigy

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1792 posts
  • Member: 491056
    Joined: 25-July 12

Posted 29 January 2019 - 16:16

Thanks tulip21, I'll keep my fingers crossed!


  • 0

#4 fsharpminor

fsharpminor

    Maestro

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 17375 posts
  • Member: 7089
    Joined: 07-June 06
  • Heswall, Wirral (originally Keighley, Yorks)

Posted 29 January 2019 - 16:31

When I did ALCM back in 1963 we had to know almost every scale and arpeggio there is. (You dont need scales for A Dips any more!)  The first 'arp' he asked me was F# Major !   (all black keys). I do tend to think of that one as Gflat Major.


  • 0

#5 tulip21

tulip21

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 132 posts
  • Member: 898887
    Joined: 28-March 18

Posted 29 January 2019 - 17:51

And oh wait, I forgot to mention B/Cb major, but that is extremely unlikely.
  • 0

#6 gav_1988

gav_1988

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 90 posts
  • Member: 416492
    Joined: 06-March 12
  • Stoke-on-Trent

Posted 30 January 2019 - 05:06

In my last exam, the examiner just turned to the relevant page of the syllabus and picked them off the list. I don't think there'd be a reason for them to deliberately ask for the enharmonic equivalent. 

It seems to be a naming convention that it's always a 'flat' major and a 'sharp' minor. Presumably from the circle of fifths? 


  • 0

#7 zwhe

zwhe

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 276 posts
  • Member: 898658
    Joined: 19-January 18

Posted 30 January 2019 - 07:22

I'm pretty sure that they should never ask for enharmonic equivalents, as they are only allowed to ask for scales that are on the lists. That said, I had a pupil in the autumn asked the scales for the wrong grade (yes, I did complain, especially as the supporting tests were also wrong and they added up the marks wrong too)!


  • 0

#8 HelenVJ

HelenVJ

    Virtuoso

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2072 posts
  • Member: 1265
    Joined: 03-May 04
  • South-East London ( OK - Penge)

Posted 30 January 2019 - 09:09

Yes, but the requirements -  eg for Grade 5 piano -  just say 'all major and minor scales' - there isn't a list of all 24!

Most enharmonic equivalents aren't that esoteric, so I think it's better to be prepared ( although A# minor would be a real rareity, and I can confidently say that no examiner will ask for Cb major).


  • 0

#9 Maizie

Maizie

    Virtuoso

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 6632 posts
  • Member: 9360
    Joined: 05-February 07
  • Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire

Posted 30 January 2019 - 09:15

Last exam I did, the syllabus listed "G# / Ab minor", so I was prepared to be asked for either.  Of course, the examiner asked for Gb, which I queried (do you mean G#?).  The query seemed to confuse her, I don't think she'd been listening to what she was saying :lol:


  • 2

#10 EllieD

EllieD

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 582 posts
  • Member: 897806
    Joined: 04-June 17

Posted 31 January 2019 - 09:10

Actually, that's a good point, Maizie - ask the examiner if in any doubt - buys a bit more time as well for the brain to work it out. I did a classic in my lesson yesterday doing arpeggios - I was so convinced that my teacher would start off asking me one that was all on white notes that when he asked for G minor he got G major instead ... Don't do that in an exam!! smile.png


  • 0