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Prerequisite

Candidates for Grade 6, 7 or 8 exams must already have passed ABRSM Grade 5 (or above) in Music Theory, Practical Musicianship or a solo Jazz instrument. For full details including a list of accepted alternatives, see Regulation 1d.

Syllabus

Violin Grade 6 Violin

Violin Grade 6 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 6 (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 6 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 Handel Allegro
2nd movt from Sonata in D, HWV 371
Violin Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 6 (Score & Part)
ABRSM

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Violin Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 6 (Score, Part & CD)
ABRSM

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2 McGibbon Largo And Allegro
1st movt And 2nd movt from Sonata No. 3 in E minor
(semiquaver trills in 2nd movt optional)
Violin Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 6 (Score & Part)
ABRSM

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Violin Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 6 (Score, Part & CD)
ABRSM

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3 Stanley Siciliana And Allegro
1st movt And 2nd movt from Solo in A minor, Op. 4 No. 1
Violin Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 6 (Score & Part)
ABRSM

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Violin Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 6 (Score, Part & CD)
ABRSM

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4 J. S. Bach
arr. K. and D. Blackwell
Auch mit gedämpften, schwachen Stimmen
from Cantata, BWV 36
No. 10 from Bach for Violin, arr. K. and D. Blackwell
OUP

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5 Beethoven
arr. Isserlis
Andante And Variation 1 And Variation 6
from Andante and Variations, WoO 44b
Beethoven: Andante con variazioni, for Violin, arr. Isserlis
Faber (0571511155)

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6 Corelli Allegro
4th movt from Sonata in C, Op. 5 No. 3
Corelli: Violin Sonatas, Op. 5, Vol. 1
Wiener Urtext (UT50235)

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Corelli: 12 Sonatas, Op. 5, Vol. 1
Schott (ED 4380)

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7 Geminiani Affettuoso And Allegro
3rd movt And 4th movt from Sonata in C, Op. 4 No. 3
Italian Violin Music of the Baroque Period, Vol. 1
Henle (HN 350)

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8 J. Stamitz Minuetto–Minore–Altro
3rd movt from Sonata in D, Op. 6 No. 5
Bohemian Violin Sonatas, Vol. 1
Henle (HN 334)

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9 Telemann Adagio And Allegro assai
1st movt And 2nd movt from Sonatina in A, TWV 41:A2
No. 4 from Telemann: Six Sonatinas
Amadeus (BP 0480)

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Violinissimo: Concertino
Schott (ED 21561)

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10 Vivaldi Preludio And Allemanda
1st movt And 2nd movt from Sonata in B♭, Op. 5 No. 3, RV 33
Vivaldi: Four Sonatas, Op. 5 Nos. 1–4
European Music Archive (EMA101)

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List B

No. Composer Piece information Publication(s)
1 Cui Orientale
No. 9 from Kaleidoscope, Op. 50
Violin Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 6 (Score & Part)
ABRSM

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Violin Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 6 (Score, Part & CD)
ABRSM

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2 Gluck
arr. Kreisler
Melody
from Orphée et Eurydice
Violin Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 6 (Score & Part)
ABRSM

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Violin Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 6 (Score, Part & CD)
ABRSM

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3 C. Schumann Romance
No. 2 from Three Romances, Op. 22
Violin Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 6 (Score & Part)
ABRSM

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Violin Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 6 (Score, Part & CD)
ABRSM

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4 L. Boulanger Nocturne
Encore Violin, Book 3
ABRSM

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5 Elgar Chanson de nuit
Op. 15 No. 1
Elgar: Chanson de nuit & Chanson de matin
Peters (EP7370)

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Elgar: Chanson de matin & Chanson de nuit, for Violin
Novello (NOV120431R)

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6 C. A. Gibbs The Silent Pool
No. 3 from Three Pieces for Violin
C. A. Gibbs: The Silent Pool
Chester (JC100124)

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7 Nigel Hess Theme
from Ladies in Lavender
Nigel Hess: Theme from Ladies in Lavender for Violin
Faber (0571533965)

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8 Kreisler Andantino in the Style of Martini
Kreisler: Andantino in the Style of Martini
Schott (BSS 29020)

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9 Shostakovich
arr. Fortunatov
Romanze in D
No. 7 from Shostakovich: Albumstücke, arr. Fortunatov
Peters (EP4794)

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No. 7 from Shostakovich: Albumstücke, arr. Fortunatov
Sikorski

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10 Tacchinardi Romance
No. 11 from Dodici miniature (12 Miniatures)
No. 11 from Tacchinardi: Dodici miniature, Book 2
Dohr (DOHR17506)

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List C

No. Composer Piece information Publication(s)
1 Genzmer Allegro
4th movt from Sonatine No. 1, GeWV 225
(with repeat of bb. 25–29)
Violin Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 6 (Score & Part)
ABRSM

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Violin Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 6 (Score, Part & CD)
ABRSM

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2 Susanne Lundeng
arr. Bendiksen
Kela (SOLO)
Violin Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 6 (Score & Part)
ABRSM

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Violin Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 6 (Score, Part & CD)
ABRSM

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3 Villoldo
arr. Birtel
El Choclo (The Corncob)
Violin Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 6 (Score & Part)
ABRSM

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Violin Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 6 (Score, Part & CD)
ABRSM

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4 C. Bohm Bolero
No. 9 from Albumblätter
C. Bohm: Bolero
Simrock (EE 3468)

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Encore Violin, Book 3
ABRSM

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5 Szelényi Youngsters' Dance
No. 19 from 24 Easy Little Concert Pieces
Encore Violin, Book 3
ABRSM

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No. 19 from Szelényi: 24 Easy Little Concert Pieces, Vol. 2
Editio Musica Budapest (Z. 2649)

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6 Mistowski Hornpipe
Mistowski: Hornpipe
Chester (CH00314)

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7 Nölck Hungarian Dance
Op. 196 No. 5
Sheila M. Nelson's Romantic Violinist
Boosey & Hawkes (BH 1000687)

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8 Rieding Allegro
3rd movt from Concertino in G, Op. 24
Rieding: Concertino in G, Op. 24
Bosworth (BOE003554)

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9 Trad. Russian
arr. Waterfield
Black Eyes
Gypsy Jazz: Intermediate Level
Faber (0571519377)

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10 Pauline Viardot Berceuse
No. 3 from Six morceaux
No. 3 from Pauline Viardot: Six morceaux
Hildegard (494-02591)

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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 6 Violin

Violin Grade 6 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 6 (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 Corelli download download Preludio
1st movt from Sonata in A, Op. 5 No. 9
(observing repeats and with Geminiani's embellishments on the repeats)
 
Violin Exam Pieces, 2016–2019, Grade 6
ABRSM

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2 Beethoven download download Scherzo and Trio
3rd movt from Sonata in C minor, Op. 30 No. 2
 
Violin Exam Pieces, 2016–2019, Grade 6
ABRSM

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3 Locatelli download download Allegro
2nd movt from Sonata in D minor, Op. 6 No. 12
 
Violin Exam Pieces, 2016–2019, Grade 6
ABRSM

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4 J. S. Bach download download Allegro
4th movt from Sonata in B minor, BWV 1014
 
J. S. Bach: Six Sonatas for Violin, Vol. 1
Bärenreiter (BA 5118)

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J. S. Bach: Six Sonatas for Violin, Vol. 1
Wiener Urtext (UT 50018)

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5 Mozart download download Allegro
2nd movt from Sonata in G, K. 301
 
No. 1 from Mozart: Sonatas for Piano and Violin, Vol. 1
Henle (HN 77)

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Mozart: Complete Works for Piano and Violin, Vol. 1
Bärenreiter (BA 5761)

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6 Telemann download download Adagio and Allegro assai
1st movt and 2nd movt from Sonatina in A, TWV 41:A2
 
No. 4 from Telemann: Six Sonatinas for Violin
Amadeus (BP 0480)

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List B

No. Composer Piece information Publication(s)
1 Mascagni download download Intermezzo
from Cavalleria rusticana
 
Violin Exam Pieces, 2016–2019, Grade 6
ABRSM

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2 Paganini
arr. Huws Jones
download download Rondeau
3rd movt from Sonata Concertata
 
Violin Exam Pieces, 2016–2019, Grade 6
ABRSM

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3 Elgar download download Idylle
Op. 4 No. 1
 
Violin Exam Pieces, 2016–2019, Grade 6
ABRSM

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4 Dancla download download 5th Air varié on a Theme by Weigl
Op. 89 No. 5
 
Solos for Young Violinists, Vol. 3
Alfred–Summy-Birchard (0990)

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5 Mazas
arr. Dezaire and Van Rompaey
download download Study in C
Op. 36 No. 7
(accompanied)
 
Selected Studies 3, arr. Dezaire and Van Rompaey
De Haske (DHP 1074433-400)

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6 Schubert download download Allegro molto
1st movt from Sonatina in D, Op. 137 No. 1 (D. 384)
 
Schubert: Sonatinas for Piano and Violin
Henle (HN 6)

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Schubert: Sonatas for Piano and Violin
Wiener Urtext (UT 50004)

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List C

No. Composer Piece information Publication(s)
1 Bartók
arr. Fülep
download download Este a székelyeknél (An Evening in the Village)
 
Violin Exam Pieces, 2016–2019, Grade 6
ABRSM

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2 Nigel Hess download download Theme
from Ladies in Lavender
 
Violin Exam Pieces, 2016–2019, Grade 6
ABRSM

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3 Trad. Russian
arr. Waterfield
download download Black Eyes
 
Violin Exam Pieces, 2016–2019, Grade 6
ABRSM

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4 Richard Lane download download Elegy
 
Richard Lane: Elegy
Editions BIM (VN22)

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5 Martinů download download No. 1
from Five Madrigal Stanzas, H. 297
 
Martinů: Five Madrigal Stanzas
AMP (GS23440)

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6 Nazareth
arr. Huws Jones
download download Apanhei-te, cavaquinho
(violin melody)
 
The Latin-American Fiddler, arr. Huws Jones
Boosey & Hawkes

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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.

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