Jump to content


Photo

Piano Grade 3 Questions

piano grade 3 sight reading aural pieces

  • Please log in to reply
8 replies to this topic

#1 MitchGardner1

MitchGardner1

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 27 posts
  • Member: 893732
    Joined: 27-September 15
  • Leicester

Posted 22 November 2015 - 21:12

Hi All.

 

I have my Grade 3 Piano on Thursday and have a few final questions that i'd like to ask you lovely folk before the day arrives:

 

1: Pieces

My first piece (Allegro - Clementi) Has repeat sections in. My teacher says that I don't have to do them, is this correct? My clarinet teacher said that I had to do them for my exams, I didn't know if it was totally compulsory?

 

2: Sight Reading

It's fair to say, my sight reading isn't the best, i'm really trying but i'm not the sort of person (yet) that can never look down at the piano because I never know where my hands are, but what is the best way to go with sight reading?

 

- Play the correct notes, at whatever speed but making sure you play the correct dynamics.

- Play the correct rhythm but play absolutely any note at the correct tempo with the correct dynamics.

 

What's the compromise? Which one could possibly grab more marks? Not an exam decider but would like to sail as much as possible on sight reading because I do some regularly.

 

3: Aural

The question "Two Time, Three Time or Four Time", how can you tell if it's in Two Time or Four Time? Does that depend on the speed perhaps?

 

Thanks for taking the time to read, hope to hear from you!  :)

 

Mitch

 

 


  • 0

#2 Scooby Doo

Scooby Doo

    Prodigy

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1204 posts
  • Member: 267513
    Joined: 07-June 11

Posted 22 November 2015 - 22:32

The ABRSM clearly states no repeats in exams in their regulations. Very occasionally they do want a repeat of a very short section if a piece would sound unbalanced without it, but this is made clear in the syllabus, and usually in the notes at the bottom of the page. 

 

Generally speaking, it's better to play fairly slowly when sight-reading and aim to keep going and get the rhythms right, accepting that a few notes may go astray. The overall effect of doing it this way is that the music makes more sense if the rhythms are correct and it has continuity, rather then stopping and starting. I usually demonstrate this to my students by playing a really well-known tune like Happy Birthday with crazy pitches but correct rhythms - it is still instantly recognisable. On the other hand, playing the right pitches but messing up the rhythm makes it much harder to spot.

 

The examiner will usually give an emphasis to the first beat of the bar, making it fairly obvious whether it is 2, 3, or 4, time. You can practise this by clapping along to the beat of any piece, then listening for a stronger beat.


  • 1

#3 agricola

agricola

    Prodigy

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1809 posts
  • Member: 545
    Joined: 01-February 04

Posted 23 November 2015 - 09:05

Just to add to Scooby's advice: when you pick up the beat in the aural test it should be going roughly at a walking speed.  Of course you can walk fast or slow but if you are clapping at jogging speed you may be clapping '1 and 2 and' which can lead you to think you are in 4 time rather than 2.


  • 0

#4 linda.ff

linda.ff

    Maestro

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 8034 posts
  • Member: 183500
    Joined: 04-January 11
  • Cambridge

Posted 23 November 2015 - 11:33

The examiner will usually give an emphasis to the first beat of the bar, making it fairly obvious whether it is 2, 3, or 4, time. You can practise this by clapping along to the beat of any piece, then listening for a stronger beat.

Yes, you are dependent on the examiner playing it well, of course, with an obvious accent.

 

Though in the case of 2 or 3 I do tell them that it's possible to tell even if the music is completely unaccented. To demonstrate, I play one of my favourite old tunes, "Over the Mountains", with chordal accompaniment, but with absolutely no accents anywhere. More often than not they get it right. When I ask them how they knew, they say "it just felt right" or "I don't know, it just was"

 

Rather like the ability to pitch the missing last note, when you have never even heard of semitones but your ear has always known about them (I mentioned this in an earlier thread) I tell them that if they've heard much music, their ear will know about harmonic rhythm. Yes, of course there are many exceptions where the composer has overstepped the general rule, but by and large, harmony will change on the first beat of the bar. It may also change on every beat, or on just one beat halfway through a bar, but within a phrase I think it's fairly unusual for the harmony to change on a weak beat and then not change again on the following strong beat. I don't suggest for a moment that you should listen for the chord changes, log them in to your musical memory, and base your answer on that, because there won't be time; but often your musical ear will tell you - without you ever having learnt about harmonic rhythm - and will then calculate the first beat for you. (Note I say the harmony and not the chord, as a different inversion of a chord doesn't alter the "colour" of the harmony)

 

So accent alone does not give you the answer, particularly at grade 3; however, since we're talking about 2 or 4 time, I think the onus is on the examiner to stomp in the right places!


  • 0

#5 sbhoa

sbhoa

    Maestro

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 22946 posts
  • Member: 24
    Joined: 31-October 03
  • Tameside

Posted 23 November 2015 - 15:37

 

The examiner will usually give an emphasis to the first beat of the bar, making it fairly obvious whether it is 2, 3, or 4, time. You can practise this by clapping along to the beat of any piece, then listening for a stronger beat.

 

 

 

So accent alone does not give you the answer, particularly at grade 3; however, since we're talking about 2 or 4 time, I think the onus is on the examiner to stomp in the right places!

 

Also there will be very little penalty in opting for the wrong one.


  • 0

#6 Saxwarbler

Saxwarbler

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 752 posts
  • Member: 768786
    Joined: 29-May 13
  • Leicester

Posted 23 November 2015 - 19:06

Just to add to Scooby's advice: when you pick up the beat in the aural test it should be going roughly at a walking speed.  Of course you can walk fast or slow but if you are clapping at jogging speed you may be clapping '1 and 2 and' which can lead you to think you are in 4 time rather than 2.

If it's any help (probably not), if you think it's in 4 time, think about how fast you would have to move your arms to 'conduct' it in 4. If it's 'too fast' then it's probably in 2 time.


  • 0

#7 linda.ff

linda.ff

    Maestro

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 8034 posts
  • Member: 183500
    Joined: 04-January 11
  • Cambridge

Posted 24 November 2015 - 11:43

 

Just to add to Scooby's advice: when you pick up the beat in the aural test it should be going roughly at a walking speed.  Of course you can walk fast or slow but if you are clapping at jogging speed you may be clapping '1 and 2 and' which can lead you to think you are in 4 time rather than 2.

If it's any help (probably not), if you think it's in 4 time, think about how fast you would have to move your arms to 'conduct' it in 4. If it's 'too fast' then it's probably in 2 time.

 

Yes, but there are two ways to get it wrong different - one is to feel the wrong note-length as the beat, so that a bar of 2.4 feels like it has four beats, and the other is to conflate two bars of 2 into one of 4. This is more easily done if the examiner isn't thumping out every second beat, or deliberately not  stressing the third beat of a 4/4 bar. I think it's hard. For those of you who remember Dave Brum, he took grade 3 piano and fell just two marks short of a distinction. He also lost just two marks on aural, where the comment said "Test A: grouped in 2 instead of 4. Other tests well answered" whic sounds like he lost those vital two marks by the second method I described.  :(


  • 0

#8 MitchGardner1

MitchGardner1

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 27 posts
  • Member: 893732
    Joined: 27-September 15
  • Leicester

Posted 27 November 2015 - 19:16

The ABRSM clearly states no repeats in exams in their regulations. Very occasionally they do want a repeat of a very short section if a piece would sound unbalanced without it, but this is made clear in the syllabus, and usually in the notes at the bottom of the page. 

 

Generally speaking, it's better to play fairly slowly when sight-reading and aim to keep going and get the rhythms right, accepting that a few notes may go astray. The overall effect of doing it this way is that the music makes more sense if the rhythms are correct and it has continuity, rather then stopping and starting. I usually demonstrate this to my students by playing a really well-known tune like Happy Birthday with crazy pitches but correct rhythms - it is still instantly recognisable. On the other hand, playing the right pitches but messing up the rhythm makes it much harder to spot.

 

The examiner will usually give an emphasis to the first beat of the bar, making it fairly obvious whether it is 2, 3, or 4, time. You can practise this by clapping along to the beat of any piece, then listening for a stronger beat.

Thank you for your post!

 

I tried to keep going and get the rhythm's right as you said, and I felt the piece more though a lot of wrong notes where played. I tried not to look down at my hands and focus on where I was in the music. It must be a crazy habit for me to look down at the keys because I was following the music but had practically no idea where my hands where during the sight reading.

 

The first bar emphasis worked a treat, was quite obviously 4-time!


  • 0

#9 MitchGardner1

MitchGardner1

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 27 posts
  • Member: 893732
    Joined: 27-September 15
  • Leicester

Posted 27 November 2015 - 19:18

 

The examiner will usually give an emphasis to the first beat of the bar, making it fairly obvious whether it is 2, 3, or 4, time. You can practise this by clapping along to the beat of any piece, then listening for a stronger beat.

Yes, you are dependent on the examiner playing it well, of course, with an obvious accent.

 

Though in the case of 2 or 3 I do tell them that it's possible to tell even if the music is completely unaccented. To demonstrate, I play one of my favourite old tunes, "Over the Mountains", with chordal accompaniment, but with absolutely no accents anywhere. More often than not they get it right. When I ask them how they knew, they say "it just felt right" or "I don't know, it just was"

 

Rather like the ability to pitch the missing last note, when you have never even heard of semitones but your ear has always known about them (I mentioned this in an earlier thread) I tell them that if they've heard much music, their ear will know about harmonic rhythm. Yes, of course there are many exceptions where the composer has overstepped the general rule, but by and large, harmony will change on the first beat of the bar. It may also change on every beat, or on just one beat halfway through a bar, but within a phrase I think it's fairly unusual for the harmony to change on a weak beat and then not change again on the following strong beat. I don't suggest for a moment that you should listen for the chord changes, log them in to your musical memory, and base your answer on that, because there won't be time; but often your musical ear will tell you - without you ever having learnt about harmonic rhythm - and will then calculate the first beat for you. (Note I say the harmony and not the chord, as a different inversion of a chord doesn't alter the "colour" of the harmony)

 

So accent alone does not give you the answer, particularly at grade 3; however, since we're talking about 2 or 4 time, I think the onus is on the examiner to stomp in the right places!

 

Thank you for your post!

 

The accents played a huge part in the music that the examiner played, an obvious 4-time from a fortissimo 1st crotchet beat to 3 mp crotchet beats (& repeated) so it wasn't so bar overall!


  • 0





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: piano, grade 3, sight reading, aural, pieces