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Theory Miscellany


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#1 Ligneo Fistula

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Posted 09 February 2019 - 18:29

I've never taken an ABRSM theory paper, so forgive my naivety please.

 

(1) Various sources (distant memories of my music lessons at school; my copy of Lovelock's The Elements of Orchestral Arrangement; script typefaces used in scoring programs) all used a simplified version of C clefs, e.g.
Vibzo3b.jpg

The marking criteria seem very picky, so would this form of the clefs be acceptable in ABRSM theory exams?  Is it required that the first line is noticeably thicker than the second (as in the printed version)?

 

(2) Also, there's nothing (at least that I could find) that states theory exam papers must be completed in ink. Is pencil acceptable and do most candidates use graphite?

 

(3) And, speaking of pencils, can anyone recommend a decent eraser (or pencil-with-eraser) that isn't the horrid polymer type whose only purpose, it would seem, is to smudge what you're trying to erase?  I sound like my late dad now, but when I was young erasers were made of india rubber and worked a treat.

 

Thank you in advance.


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#2 Clovis

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Posted 10 February 2019 - 11:58

Pencil is fine for theory exams. I use a staedtler 4B for most of the note-writing, with a Faber-Castell rubber stuck on the end. The latter come in packs of three or four.
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#3 Ligneo Fistula

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Posted 10 February 2019 - 12:17

Pencil is fine for theory exams. I use a staedtler 4B for most of the note-writing, with a Faber-Castell rubber stuck on the end. The latter come in packs of three or four.

Thank you, Clovis. This is very helpful.


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#4 Clovis

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Posted 11 February 2019 - 12:28

I would imagine that a C clef drawn like your example is fine for an exam. The printed versions are far too fancy to replicate.

 

I don't know about the thick/thin lines, but I can remember rather enjoying drawing those in exam using a nice pencil and ruler, and producing the thinker line by shifting the ruler on by a fraction before going along it with the pencil again.


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#5 Ligneo Fistula

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Posted 11 February 2019 - 17:17

I would imagine that a C clef drawn like your example is fine for an exam. The printed versions are far too fancy to replicate.

 

I don't know about the thick/thin lines, but I can remember rather enjoying drawing those in exam using a nice pencil and ruler, and producing the thinker line by shifting the ruler on by a fraction before going along it with the pencil again.

Ha! Well I suppose if you have plenty of time in the exam – and I've read lots of candidates do – then why not indeed!

 

Thanks also for the C clef query; wish ABRSM were clear about things like this.


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#6 Hildegard

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Posted 13 February 2019 - 11:56

Thanks also for the C clef query; wish ABRSM were clear about things like this.

 

 

It's a bit like specifying any kind of writing - as long as the intention is clear, any recognisable variant should be acceptable. There is no need for manuscript to look exactly like engraved music.


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#7 Clovis

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Posted 14 February 2019 - 10:56

 

I would imagine that a C clef drawn like your example is fine for an exam. The printed versions are far too fancy to replicate.

 

I don't know about the thick/thin lines, but I can remember rather enjoying drawing those in exam using a nice pencil and ruler, and producing the thinker line by shifting the ruler on by a fraction before going along it with the pencil again.

Ha! Well I suppose if you have plenty of time in the exam – and I've read lots of candidates do – then why not indeed!

 

 

 

There is always plenty of time in a ABRSM theory exam. Too much, sometimes. The only one I didn't leave early was Grade 8.


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