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Violin Grade 5 Violin

Violin Grade 5 exams consist of three pieces, scales and arpeggios, sight-reading, and aural tests.

Total marks in all individual Practical exams are 150. You need 100 marks to achieve Pass, 120 marks to pass with Merit and 130 marks to pass with Distinction.

Violin Grade 5 (2020–2023)

Pieces

Musicians learn to play an instrument to explore and perform repertoire, which is why pieces are at the core of the exam – candidates are asked to present three at each grade. The syllabus repertoire is organised into three lists which explore different traditions and styles, dating from the Renaissance period to the present day.

Choosing one piece from each list gives candidates the opportunity to play a balanced selection and demonstrate a range of skills. In this syllabus, the pieces are broadly grouped into lists by the characteristics of the music:

  • List A pieces are generally faster moving and require technical agility
  • List B pieces are more lyrical and invite expressive playing
  • List C pieces reflect a wide variety of musical traditions, styles and characters.

Most of the pieces require an accompaniment, as interacting with other musicians is an important musical skill, but there are also opportunities to choose solo pieces and develop confidence with unaccompanied playing.

We hope that by offering this variety in the syllabus, candidates will find music that inspires them and that they enjoy learning and performing.

Grade 5 Pieces

Candidates choose three pieces, one from each list (A, B and C) – 30 marks each. The full requirements and information for the pieces are explained after the lists.

List A

No. Composer Piece information Publication(s)
1 Corelli Folia
Theme and selected variations from Sonata in D minor, Op. 5 No. 12
Violin Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 5 (Part)
ABRSM

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Violin Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 5 (Score & Part)
ABRSM

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Violin Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 5 (Score, Part & CD)
ABRSM

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2 Leclair Allegro
3rd movt from Sonata in B minor, Op. 5 No. 5
Violin Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 5 (Part)
ABRSM

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Violin Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 5 (Score & Part)
ABRSM

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Violin Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 5 (Score, Part & CD)
ABRSM

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3 Vivaldi Allegro
1st movt from Concerto in G, Op. 3 No. 3, RV 310
(violin to play in tuttis)
Violin Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 5 (Part)
ABRSM

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Violin Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 5 (Score & Part)
ABRSM

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Violin Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 5 (Score, Part & CD)
ABRSM

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4 J. C. Bach
arr. Wade
Presto
3rd movt from Symphony No. 4
The Young Symphonist, Vol. 3, arr. Wade
Spartan Press (SP1183)

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5 Boyce
arr. Wade
Allegro
1st movt from Symphony No. 4 in F
The Young Symphonist, Vol. 3, arr. Wade
Spartan Press (SP1183)

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6 J. S. Bach
arr. K. and D. Blackwell
Bereite dich, Zion
from Weihnachtsoratorium (Christmas Oratorio), BWV 248
No. 12 from Bach for Violin, arr. K. and D. Blackwell
OUP

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7 Gossec
arr. Nelson
Tambourin
Sheila M. Nelson’s Classical Violinist
Boosey & Hawkes (BH 1000841)

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8 Joachim Johow Café classique
No. 5 from Coffee & Violin
No. 5 from Joachim Johow: Coffee & Violin
Schott (ED 22670)

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9 Jean Baptiste Loeillet Giga
4th movt from Sonata in G minor, Op. 5 No. 6
Jean Baptiste Loeillet: Six Sonatas, Vol. 2, Op. 5
European Music Archive (EMA103)

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10 Senaillé Allegro (spiritoso)
4th movt from Sonata No. 4 in D minor
Senaillé: Sonata in D minor
OUP

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Senaillé: Sonata in D minor
Schott (VLB 26)

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List B

No. Composer Piece information Publication(s)
1 Jacob Elegy
Violin Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 5 (Part)
ABRSM

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Violin Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 5 (Score & Part)
ABRSM

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Violin Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 5 (Score, Part & CD)
ABRSM

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2 C.-A. de Bériot
arr. Salter
Romance
No. 12 from Premier guide du violoniste, Op. 75
Violin Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 5 (Part)
ABRSM

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Violin Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 5 (Score & Part)
ABRSM

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Violin Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 5 (Score, Part & CD)
ABRSM

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3 Tchaikovsky
arr. Bullard
Chanson triste
No. 2 from 12 morceaux, Op. 40
Violin Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 5 (Part)
ABRSM

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Violin Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 5 (Score & Part)
ABRSM

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Violin Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 5 (Score, Part & CD)
ABRSM

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4 Bridge Cradle Song
H. 96
No. 3 from Bridge: Three Pieces for Violin
Faber (0571516491)

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The Best of Grade 5 Violin
Faber (0571536956)

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5 Ireland Berceuse
Ireland: Berceuse for Violin
Stainer & Bell (H484)

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6 attrib. Paradis
arr. Dushkin
Sicilienne
Paradis: Sicilienne for Violin or Cello, arr. Dushkin
Schott (ED 11197)

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Encore Violin, Book 3
ABRSM

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7 Pergolesi Siciliano
Small Concert Pieces, Vol. 1
Editio Musica Budapest (Z. 4535)

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8 Rieding Andante sostenuto
2nd movt from Concertino in G, Op. 24
Rieding: Concertino in G, Op. 24
Bosworth (BOE003554)

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9 Shostakovich
arr. Fortunatov
Elegie
No. 5 from Shostakovich: Albumstücke, arr. Fortunatov
Peters (EP4794)

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No. 5 from Shostakovich: Albumstücke, arr. Fortunatov
Sikorski

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10 Tchaikovsky
arr. Huws Jones
Waltz
from Serenade for Strings
No. 15 from Going Solo for Violin, arr. Huws Jones
Faber (0571516106)

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List C

No. Composer Piece information Publication(s)
1 Nikki Iles Hay Barn Blues
(slides optional)
Violin Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 5 (Part)
ABRSM

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Violin Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 5 (Score & Part)
ABRSM

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Violin Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 5 (Score, Part & CD)
ABRSM

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2 Britten
arr. Blackwell
Night Song and Pantomime
from The Little Sweep, Op. 45
Violin Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 5 (Part)
ABRSM

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Violin Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 5 (Score & Part)
ABRSM

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Violin Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 5 (Score, Part & CD)
ABRSM

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3 Trad. Chinese
arr. Stock
Bamboo Stem and Jasmine Flower (SOLO)
Violin Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 5 (Part)
ABRSM

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Violin Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 5 (Score & Part)
ABRSM

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Violin Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 5 (Score, Part & CD)
ABRSM

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4 Diana Burrell The Secrets of the Dark Pool in the Pine Forest
Diana Burrell: The Secrets of the Dark Pool in the Pine Forest
UMP

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5 Kodály
arr. Kolman
Intermezzo
from Háry János
No. 10 from Universal Violin Album, Vol. 3, arr. Kolman
Universal (UE17857)

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6 Timothy Kraemer and Natasha Kraemer Cossack Dance
Gypsy Jazz: Intermediate Level
Faber (0571519377)

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The Best of Grade 5 Violin
Faber (0571536956)

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7 Lavildevan
arr. K. and D. Blackwell
Sugar with Cinnamon
No. 7 from Solo Time for Violin, Book 2
OUP

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8 Tailleferre Moderato
1st movt from Sonatine for Violin
Tailleferre: Sonatine for Violin
Billaudot (GB1635)

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9 Trad. Klezmer
arr. Stephen and Rowlands
Hava Nagila (Let Us Rejoice)
No. 3 from Klezmer Fiddle Tunes (piano accomp. printable from companion CD)
Schott (ED 13492)

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10 Richard Wade Barn Dance
from Way Out West
Richard Wade: Way Out West
Queen's Temple Publications (QT117)

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Violin requirements and information: Pieces

Programme planning: Candidates must choose one piece from each of the three lists (A, B and C). In the exam, candidates should tell the examiner which pieces they are performing, and they are welcome to use the Exam programme & running order form for this.

Every effort has been made to feature a broad range of repertoire to suit and appeal to candidates of different ages, backgrounds and interests. Certain pieces may not be suitable for every candidate for technical reasons or because of wider context (historical, cultural, subject matter of the larger work from which it is drawn, lyrics if an arrangement of a song etc.). Pieces should be carefully considered for their appropriateness to each individual, which may need consultation between teachers and parents/guardians. Teachers and parents/guardians should also exercise caution when allowing younger candidates to research pieces online (see www.nspcc.org.uk/onlinesafety).

Accompaniment: A live piano or string (where the option is listed) accompaniment is required for all pieces, except those which are published as studies or unaccompanied works (these are marked SOLO in the lists above).

At Grades Initial–3, candidates may perform some or all of their pieces with a string accompaniment. Pieces that are published as duets (or with string accompaniment only) are marked DUET in the lists above. Pieces that are published with piano and string accompaniment options are marked PF/VN in the lists above, and may be performed with either accompaniment in the exam.

Candidates must provide their own accompanist(s), who can only be in the exam room while accompanying. The candidate’s teacher may accompany (examiners will not). If necessary, an accompanist may simplify any part of the accompaniment, as long as the result is musical. Recorded accompaniments are not allowed.

Exam music & editions: Wherever the syllabus includes an arrangement or transcription (appearing as ‘arr.’ or ‘trans.’ in the syllabus list), the edition listed in the syllabus must be used in the exam. For all other pieces, editions are listed for guidance only and candidates may use any edition of their choice (in- or out-of-print or downloadable). For full details on sourcing exam music, see Obtaining exam music.

Interpreting the score: Printed editorial suggestions such as fingering, bowing, metronome marks, realisation of ornaments etc. do not need to be strictly observed. Whether the piece contains musical indications or not, candidates are encouraged to interpret the score in a musical and stylistic way. Examiners’ marking will be determined by how control of pitch, time, tone, shape and performance contributes to the overall musical outcome.

Vibrato: The use and control of vibrato, and its effect on tone and shape, will be taken into account by examiners, who will be assessing the overall musical outcome. Pieces that are heavily reliant on vibrato for their full musical effect tend not to appear in the syllabus before around Grade 5.

Repeats: Unless the syllabus specifies differently, all da capo and dal segno indications should be followed but other repeats (including first-time bars) should not be played unless they are very short (i.e. a few bars).

Cadenzas & tuttis: Cadenzas should not be played unless the syllabus specifies differently. Accompanists should cut lengthy orchestral tutti sections.

Performing from memory: Candidates may perform any of their pieces from memory; if doing so, they must make sure that a copy of the music is available for the examiner to refer to. No extra marks are awarded for playing from memory.

Page-turns: Examiners will be understanding if a page-turn causes a lack of continuity during a piece, and this will not affect the marking. Candidates (and accompanists) may use an extra copy of the music or a photocopy of a section of the piece (but see ‘Photocopies’ below) to help with page-turns. Candidates and accompanists at Grades 6–8 may bring a page-turner to the exam if there is no solution to a particularly awkward page-turn (prior permission is not required; the turner may be the candidate’s teacher). Examiners are unable to help with page-turning.

Photocopies: Performing from unauthorised photocopies (or other kinds of copies) of copyright editions is not allowed. ABRSM may withhold the exam result where it has evidence of an illegal copy (or copies) being used. In the UK, copies may be used in certain limited circumstances – for full details, see the MPA’s Code of Fair Practice at www.mpaonline.org.uk. In all other cases, application should be made to the copyright holder before any copy is made, and evidence of permission should be brought to the exam.

Violin Grade 5 Violin

Violin Grade 5 exams consist of three pieces, scales and arpeggios, sight-reading, and aural tests.

Total marks in all individual Practical exams are 150. You need 100 marks to achieve Pass, 120 marks to pass with Merit and 130 marks to pass with Distinction.

Violin Grade 5 (2016–2019)

Pieces

Three pieces: one chosen by the candidate from each of the three Lists, A, B and C - 30 marks each

List A

No. Composer Piece information Publication(s)
1 J. S. Bach download download Andante
3rd movt from Sonata in B minor, BWV 1014
 
Violin Exam Pieces, 2016–2019, Grade 5
ABRSM

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2 attrib. Handel download download Allegro
4th movt from Sonata in E, HWV 373
 
Violin Exam Pieces, 2016–2019, Grade 5
ABRSM

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3 Matteis
arr. Huws Jones
download download Ground after the Scotch Humour
 
Violin Exam Pieces, 2016–2019, Grade 5
ABRSM

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4 Mozart
arr. Forbes
download download Minuet
(omitting DC)
 
No. 5 from Classical and Romantic Pieces, Book 3, arr. Forbes
OUP

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5 Telemann download download Allegro
2nd movt from Sonata in G, TWV 41:G1
 
No. 4 from Telemann: Six Sonatas for Violin
Schott (ED 4221)

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6 Vivaldi download download Allegro
1st movt from Concerto in G, Op. 3 No. 3 (RV 310)
(violin to play in tuttis)
 
Vivaldi: Concerto in G, Op. 3 No. 3
Bärenreiter (BA 8980)

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List B

No. Composer Piece information Publication(s)
1 Ireland download download The Holy Boy (A Carol of the Nativity)
(mute optional)
 
Violin Exam Pieces, 2016–2019, Grade 5
ABRSM

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2 Kreisler download download Rondino on a Theme of Beethoven
 
Violin Exam Pieces, 2016–2019, Grade 5
ABRSM

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3 Shostakovich
arr. Fraser
download download Romance
from The Gadfly, Op. 97
 
Violin Exam Pieces, 2016–2019, Grade 5
ABRSM

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4 Carse download download Rigaudon
 
Classic Carse, Book 2
Stainer & Bell (H355)

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5 Liszt download download No. 1 and No.2
from Two Waltzes
 
Liszt: Two Waltzes and Romance oubliée
Hardie Press

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6 Peguri
arr. Huws Jones
download download An Evening of Romance
(violin melody)
 
The French Fiddler, arr. Huws Jones
Boosey & Hawkes

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List C

No. Composer Piece information Publication(s)
1 Gordon Kerry download download Dream
 
Violin Exam Pieces, 2016–2019, Grade 5
ABRSM

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2 Malcolm Miles download download Bathwater Blues
No. 10 from Creative Variations for Violin, Vol. 1
 
Violin Exam Pieces, 2016–2019, Grade 5
ABRSM

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3 Kodály
arr. Kolman
download download Intermezzo
from Háry János
 
Violin Exam Pieces, 2016–2019, Grade 5
ABRSM

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4 M. Arnold
arr. Gedge
download download No. 1
from Four Scottish Dances, Op. 59
 
Arnold: Four Scottish Dances, Op. 59, arr. Gedge
Novello (NOV090882)

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5 Ives download download Allegro
1st movt from Sonata No. 4, ‘Children’s Day at the Camp Meeting’
(double-stops in bb. 48 and 69 optional; ignoring octave ad lib. in bb. 70-77)
 
Ives: Sonata No. 4, ‘Children’s Day at the Camp Meeting’
AMP (GS22419)

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6 Trad. Russian
arr. Russ-Bovelino
download download Two Guitars
 
The Gipsy Violin, arr. Russ-Bovelino
Bosworth (BOE004518)

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Violin requirements and information: Pieces

Programme planning: Candidates must choose one piece from each of the three lists (A, B and C) in each grade. In the exam, they should inform the examiner which pieces they are performing, and they are welcome to use the Exam programme & running order form (PDF) for this purpose.

Accompaniment: A live piano accompaniment is required for all pieces, except those which are published as studies or unaccompanied works. Candidates must provide their own accompanist, who may remain in the exam room only while accompanying. The candidate’s teacher may act as accompanist (examiners will not). If necessary, the accompanist may simplify any part of the piano accompaniment, provided the result is musically satisfactory.

Exam music & editions: Wherever the syllabus includes an arrangement or transcription, the edition listed in the syllabus must be used in the exam; in all such cases the abbreviation ‘arr.’ or ‘trans.’ appears in the syllabus entry. For all other pieces, the editions quoted in the syllabus are given for guidance only and candidates may use any edition of their choice (in- or out-of-print or downloadable).

Interpreting the score: Printed editorial suggestions such as fingering, bowing, metronome marks, realization of ornaments etc. need not be strictly observed. Whether the piece contains musical indications or not, candidates are always encouraged to interpret the score in a stylistically appropriate manner. Ultimately, examiners’ marking will be determined by consideration of pitch, time, tone, shape and performance, and how control of these contributes to the overall musical outcome.

Vibrato: The use and control of vibrato, and its effect on tone and shape, will be taken into account by examiners, who will be assessing the overall musical outcome. Pieces whose full musical effect is heavily reliant on vibrato tend not to appear in the syllabus before around Grade 5.

Repeats: All da capo and dal segno indications should be observed but all other repeats (including first-time bars) should be omitted unless they are very brief (i.e. of a few bars) or unless the syllabus specifies otherwise.

Cadenzas & tuttis: Cadenzas should not be played unless the syllabus specifies otherwise. Lengthy orchestral tutti sections should be cut.

Performing from memory: Candidates are free to perform any of their pieces from memory; in such cases they must ensure that a copy of the music is available for the examiner to refer to if necessary. No additional marks are awarded for playing from memory.

Page-turns: Examiners will be understanding if a page-turn causes a lack of continuity during a piece, and this will not affect the marking. A variety of solutions for awkward page-turns exists, including the use of an additional copy of the music or a photocopy of a section of the piece (but see ‘Photocopies’ below). In cases where candidates believe there is no solution to a particularly awkward page-turn, they may apply to bring a page-turner to the exam. The request must be made to the Syllabus Department no later than the closing date for entry, and details of the piece, edition and nature of the difficulty should be given. If permission is granted, a confirmation letter will be issued which must be taken to the exam as verification. Examiners are unable to help with page-turning. In a Grade 8 exam, a candidate’s accompanist is permitted to bring a page-turner to assist with page-turns in the piano part (prior permission is not required).

Photocopies: Performing from unauthorized photocopies (or other kinds of copies) of copyright editions is not allowed. ABRSM may withhold the exam result where it has evidence of an illegal copy (or copies) being used. In the UK, copies may be used in certain limited circumstances – for full details, see the MPA’s Code of Fair Practice at www.mpaonline.org.uk. In all other cases, application should be made to the copyright holder before any copy is made, and evidence of permission received should be brought to the exam.

Publications & audio

Supporting applications

Violin Practice Partner

Violin Practice Partner is a simple way to make practising pieces for your ABRSM exam more musical, enjoyable and fun.

Scales Trainer

Scales Trainer helps increase fluency with ABRSM scales and arpeggios requirements.

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