Jump to content


Musical terms in exams

  • Please log in to reply
2 replies to this topic

#1 hammer action

hammer action

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 830 posts
  • Member: 63311
    Joined: 22-April 09

Posted 30 October 2019 - 22:11

I'm trying to remember if I've seen guidelines somewhere with the musical terms a student needs to be familiar with for their practical exam?  I had a semi-beginner student asking today about a particular performance direction on the sight-reading test we were looking at.  


I told them I'd type out a list for next time.  Are they just the same as the ones for the theory exam of the same grade that can be found at the back of the Eric Taylor Theory workbooks?

  • 0

#2 Latin pianist

Latin pianist


  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 3749 posts
  • Member: 711500
    Joined: 01-April 13
  • Cotswolds

Posted 31 October 2019 - 07:15

That's an interesting question. I've just been looking at the ab specimen test books and sometimes the performance direction is in English and other times in Italian. In the grade 1 book you just see andante, moderato and allegretto but more often English terms. By grade 3 there are directions like scherzando and leggiero but some still have English directions. Hope someone has the answer to this.
  • 0

#3 Aquarelle



  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 7845 posts
  • Member: 10531
    Joined: 05-April 07

Posted 31 October 2019 - 09:58

I'm always a bit cross about English terms. If they are supposed to be learning Italian terms then these should be used. It gets a bit complicated when you are teaching non English speakers and adds to their theory workload. But they don't, of course appear in the exam papers. Most theory books have long lists of words for each Grade. I tend to ignore this and just check that they know the ones seen in the music they are playing. I don't see the point of making pupils learn long lists of vocabulary they will store only in their short term memories and forget after the next test.


As far as direction in the sight reading tests - well they certainly should be in Italian and should be restricted to a small range covering nothing more than  the commonest tempo indications. I don't think it makes much difference in a sight reading test - certainly not before G5 or 6.

  • 0