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New ABRSM Woodwind syllabus 2018-21

clarinet flute oboe bassoon recorder saxophone woodwind syllabus ABRSM 2018

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#16 Lucid

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Posted 10 July 2017 - 13:04

Does anyone have any initial thoughts about the G7 syllabus? I'm waiting impatiently for the music I ordered to arrive, so haven't seen it yet.

 

It seems ABRSM are now doing downloads instead of CDs to go with the books - but I have no idea what I am supposed to do with it, or even if I will recognise it. To IT buffs this will sound like a very daft question, but what does a download look like? Is it some kind of logo that I have to scan?

 

I think there will be a link to a webpage and a download code both given in the exam book. You type in the linked web address to your browser and put your code in, and can then download your tracks on to your computer/phone/tablet etc. Hopefully it will all be presented clearly with instructions. The downside to this is if you usually use a CD player through a stereo with good speakers, and now you're presented with downloadable tracks that can only be played through your phone or computer speakers etc. Hopefully they'll be able to be burned on to a CD though if that's the case. 

 

Lucid :)


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#17 dorfmouse

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Posted 10 July 2017 - 22:15

I bought the G7 book today and there is no CD. The download instructions are on the back cover and as Lucid says. You first have to register and make a password. When you've done all that and eager-beaver want to go ahead and download, it kindly tells you .... it will not download onto a mobile phone or ipad; has to be a computer with windows or apple. Grrr, am on holiday at the moment with only phone and ipad.
Why do things never get easier instead of more complicated?
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#18 Lemontree

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Posted 11 July 2017 - 18:23

@dorfmouse : probably because they can save a lot of money on the production of the cds and in return ask still make a huge profit on just putting yourself to work (downloading etc.). That new syllabus is just hilarious. I really consider switching boards. Not sure yet but this is no fun.

 

Which pieces are you considering? 


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#19 dorfmouse

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Posted 11 July 2017 - 20:17

I haven't decided whether to do the exam or not, it's such a lot of money to enter from abroad, engage accompanist for rehearsals etc. Think of all the music I can buy for that! However I do need a fresh approach after the sad loss of my teacher. I'll see what ideas our new one will have.
I love Il Gardellino, was already working up the first movement.Was intrigued to work on the Gluck arrangement. I like La Parisienne.Also the Faure and Poulenc and I'm wondering how the Toreador will sound as a solo flute piece but that has to be ordered. And of course both the two Bach and Telemann pieces I like. A lot of the others I'm clueless about so hopefully there'll be some nice surprises! I'm not quite sure what people don't like about the lists! Easily pleased, me!
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#20 Tenor Viol

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 07:26

You can play download files thorugh your hi-fi system, but you need a bit of familiarity with various things and some cabling.

The simplest option is to buy a cable which has a 3.5mm mini-jack at one end a stereo phono at the other. Plug the mini-jack into the headphone socket on the pc and the phono into an input on your hi-fi or AV amp. Remember to turn the volume on the PC up to about 75% of maximum as that will give best quality.

if you have a bit more tech knowledge... use an offboard DAC and plug PC into that, then plug DAC into hi-fi/AV amp, which will provide much better quality. You can buy an offboard DAC for £30 from Maplin. This is what I do.


Edited by Tenor Viol, 12 July 2017 - 21:07 .

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#21 elemimele

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 08:56

... and if your local Maplin is anything like ours, they will be delighted to explain to you how the whole thing works, and help you understand how to set it up. Maplin is the only shop in the universe that really understands diversity. They employ the most eclectic mix of people I've ever seen in a shop, united only by their eagerness to help and their detailed understanding of what they sell. (No, I don't work for Maplin...)

 

On repertoire, OK, yes, in the recorder syllabus I can certainly see a lot of well-known pieces, but I'm not going to be too hard on ABRSM for that. Maybe it's easier to assess someone when they play something where there are already good role-models? Also, the well-known pieces are often well-known for good reasons: they're stuff of which everyone should be aware.

 

But I do sort-of sympathise with you, Lemontree. I think, though, that in recorder, the fact the same old bits keep coming up again and again maybe indicates that the world would be a better place if there were a few more good anthologies out there. The Schott Baroque recorder books are good, but they're not enough. The Capek renaissance dance tunes is, I think, a sad little anthology, tunes shorn of their context, with no notes. The Rosenberg repertoire is similarly a bit sad, with no notes, and how many more times can I hear Wilson's Love and King's Mistress before I get bored?? There is so much good music out there, it'd be great to see more of it played. Feeling gloomy this morning.


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#22 sbhoa

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 10:35

I haven't decided whether to do the exam or not, it's such a lot of money to enter from abroad, engage accompanist for rehearsals etc. Think of all the music I can buy for that! However I do need a fresh approach after the sad loss of my teacher. I'll see what ideas our new one will have.
I love Il Gardellino, was already working up the first movement.Was intrigued to work on the Gluck arrangement. I like La Parisienne.Also the Faure and Poulenc and I'm wondering how the Toreador will sound as a solo flute piece but that has to be ordered. And of course both the two Bach and Telemann pieces I like. A lot of the others I'm clueless about so hopefully there'll be some nice surprises! I'm not quite sure what people don't like about the lists! Easily pleased, me!

While you are without a teacher had you thought about working with an accompanist/coach? 

I do this regularly now that many of my accompaniments are beyond my teacher's pianistic abilities.

Last year when my teacher was on a sabbatical I worked with my accompanist instead. I did the note learning then worked with the accompanist. As she is also a coach she is able to help me not only in putting things together with the piano but also with ways to practice when I'm a bit stick on tricky bits and advice on interpretation on which we collaborate. My teacher is very happy that I do this and there is no confiict over the arrangement.

Having another expert to learn from has helped my progress a lot.


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#23 Lemontree

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 12:00

I guess it is this mainstream thing that annoys me most. I am just not a Baroque fan. I am more on the side of the Romantical and Contemporary period. And what's on there is basically mainstream.

 

Ian Clarke - Hypnosis

Faurè (Fantaisie - splitted into parts which in itself I find annoying)

Martinu from Sonata

Poulenc from Sonata

Roussel - Pan

 

It's those pieces that are found everywhere you happen to stumble your path through flute music currently. I am no fan of James Rae either. Which leaves me with Albéniz, Chopin, Gregson and Louis of which I have no idea who the latter two are. The Albéniz is okay'ish but does not particularly hit my spot. Aside the fact that most of them already where on the last syllabus and the one before that. So what's the point in making a new one then?

 

The other part (solo flute) where I got my kick in the last exams doesn't look much better. I already did Koehler studies in 3 exams out of the 7 I took which means aside from Koehler op. 75 I have done them so often they come out of my ears.What about Demersseman, Berbiguier, Hugues, Platonov and the like. They have beautiful studies, too. I don't know 4 of the composers or their works and it is very likely that just one might fall in the category which I like which I would gess is La Montaine. And I love the J.S. Bach sonatas but it can be argumented why on earth a transcription from a cello piece is on a flute exam syllabus all the while there are great pieces out there that actually are written for flute. 


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#24 Lemontree

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 12:04

In addition what else I wanted to say to make my point clear. I worked lately on a set of very very great and challenging pieces. Not all, I admit are grade 8. Some are beyond that already. But each of them underline the fact that there is great music out there that is simply ignored. 

 

Reinecke - Ballade

Demersseman - Le Tremolo (Grand Air Varie)

Marin Marais - Le Folie d'Espagne

Jean-Octave Ferroud - Trois Piece pour Flute

Perilhou - Ballade

 

just to name a few. Nothing there cries "mainstream". And they were absolute fun, challenging and simply beautiful. I was kind of hoping for a change in the new syllabus, not the same mainstream pieces over and over again. 


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#25 elemimele

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 13:17

I'm a very unfair person! I am biased against the Time series for recorder because I don't want to pay for transcriptions of popular classics written for different instruments altogether (so I sympathise about the transcribed Cello, Lemontree). And yet I'm happy to steal anything from the Baroque period that can be squeezed into the range of the recorder. My justification is that there is so much music of that era that is described by its composer as being for flute (recorder), traverso, hurdy-gurdy, oboe or violin that I can convince myself that the composers didn't really care, and just wanted their stuff to be played by anyone who felt so inclined.

 

In terms of solo material, it's very good that Abrsm permit treble players to perform a piece on descant at the higher levels. I'd like to see them permit this at lower levels. Van Eyck's Lusthof is so remarkable, so huge, and so full of opportunity to display musicality, that every recorder player should be aware of it, even if they've chosen to stick to treble. We're lucky to have the world's largest single collection of composed solo material for any instrument - so we should celebrate our good luck.

 

It also irritates me that Abrsm have named the edition they require for Lust Hof in the descant syllabus. There are several good editions available, and I do think that it should be acceptable to use any decent edition. Surely it wasn't intended that the Amadeus edition, for example, would be unacceptable? What's wrong with it? This seems a little unfair, commercially, on the publishers.


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#26 dorfmouse

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 13:19

Thanks shboa, I too love working with accompaniment when I get the chance. In the music school I'm lucky that my piano teacher usually does the accompaniments and Korrepetition (does that word work in English?) leading up to concerts and he's wonderful. But the poor guy is so exhausted by the end of the summer term he really needs a complete break and usually escapes to a silent Swiss mountain or somewhere!
It seems they've probably found a new teacher for next term, who comes from the same conservatory as my previous two, so fingers crossed. They've been great, good performers and well trained in the pedagogy side. I'll start work slowly on a couple from my new stock of repertoire and hopefully hold onto all I was taught by M.
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#27 Lemontree

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 15:46

@dorfmouse : That's good news. I hope for you that you two will get along. I had so many different experiences now that I am just thankful that my teacher and I are both on the same page. Hope that will be true for you, too. To the accompaniment part : are you in a bigger city (or nearby)? I worked with a student from the conservatory and that was quite some fun for about the same prize as an hour in lessons. Or another option I had was at a music school (and you obviously are already at one) were we had ensemble classes offered. That was something of a new challenge as well. Did so with different instrumental settings for several terms. 


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#28 Flutery

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 18:07

Great to hear dorfmouse. I hope you get on really well with your new teacher, such a positive post from you. Best wishes.
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#29 dorfmouse

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 20:39

Thanks both!
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#30 Clari Nicki1

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 08:18

On the clarinet syllabus I am sad to see Finzi Fughetta off the grade 8 syllabus. I haven't found much on the grade 6 syllabus for sax that is appealing to students and am very sad to see Gypsy Song gone. My students love that and it is great to get them used to making a piece their own- I tell them I want no two identical interpretations of the beginning and the quasi cadenza. One student is going to do Trinity Grade 6 simply because she can't find any pieces she really likes on the AB sax list. Also there is no Victorian Kitchen Garden anything on it....
but lots of Brahms........
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