Your grade 8 cello ABRSM exam will be marked out of 150 and you will need a total of 100 marks to Pass, 120 marks for a Merit and 130 marks for a Distinction.  The exam comprises of four main areas:


    In your exam you are required to play three pieces (worth up to 30 marks each), one from each of the three lists, A, B and C below:

    LIST A

    1. J. S. Bach Prélude: from Suite No. 3 in C, BWV 1009. Bach Six Suites for Violoncello Solo (Bärenreiter BA 320 or Peters EP 238 or Peters (Urtext) EP 9054)
    2. J. S. Bach Adagio from Toccata in C for Organ, trans. Siloti. The Casals Legacy (Carl Fischer)
    3. Berteau (formerly attrib. Sammartini) Grave and Allegro: 2nd and 3rd movts from Sonata in G (IMC 2093)
    4. Boccherini Aettuoso: 3rd movt from Sonata in A (G4). No. 6 from Boccherini Six Sonatas for Cello (Ricordi)
    5. Geminiani Andante and Presto: 1st and 2nd movts from Sonata in D minor, Op. 5 No. 2 (Peters EP 7296) or Geminiani Six Sonatas for Cello, Op. 5 (Peters EP 9033)
    6. Telemann Lento and Allegro: 1st and 2nd movts from Sonata in D, TWV 41:D6 (from Der getreue Musikmeister) (Bärenreiter HM 13). Also available in: Cello & Piano 1, arr. Pejtsik (Editio Musica Budapest Z.14636)
    7. Vivaldi Largo and Allegro poco: 1st and 2nd movts from Sonata in A minor, RV 44. Vivaldi Complete Sonatas for Violoncello (Bärenreiter BA 6995)

    LIST B

    1. Albéniz Tango, Op. 165 No. 2, trans. Maréchal (Eschig)
    2. Borowski Adoration, arr. Wells. Principal Cello (ABRSM)
    3. Brahms Sonata Movement, arr. Forbes (Stainer & Bell H195c)
    4. Bridge Scherzo or Mélodie (Faber: published together)
    5. Debussy Scherzo, L. 39/(26) (Henle HN 945: published with Intermezzo)
    6. Fauré Romance in A, Op. 69 (Hamelle HA09168 or IMC 3499)
    7. F. Strauss Nocturno, Op. 7 (Universal UE 31455)

    LIST C

    1. Bloch Jewish Song: No. 3 from From Jewish Life. Piece published individually (Carl Fischer) or available in: Bloch Music for Cello and Piano (Carl Fischer)
    2. Britten Marcia: 4th movt from Sonata in C, Op. 65 (Boosey & Hawkes)
    3. Cassadó Sérénade (Universal UE 8131)
    4. Aaron Minsky Truckin’ through the South or Laid-back Devil: No. 2 or No. 4 from 10 American Cello Etudes (OUP)
    5. Nin Vieille Castille (mute optional) and Murcienne: 1st and 2nd movts from Suite Espagnole (Eschig)
    6. Squire Tzig-Tzig (Danse magyare). Principal Cello (ABRSM)
    7. Mark Summer Julie-O ( for solo cello), arr. Cheney. Solos for Young Cellists, Vol. 5 (Alfred–Summy-Birchard 212X0)

    Scales & Arpeggios

    As part of your exam you are also required to play scales & arpeggios from memory (worth up to 21 marks) - please see the ABRSM Cello Grades 6-8 Scale Book

    Sight-Reading Test

    You will also be required to sight-read some music that you have not seen before (worth up to 21 marks) - to prepare for this part of your exam please see the ABRSM Cello Grades 6-8 Sight-Reading Book which has a selection of specimen sight-reading pieces.

    Aural Tests

    In another part of your exam you will be required to complete a set of aural tests challenging your musicianship (worth up to 18 marks). To help prepare for this please see the ABRSM Aural Training in Practice Grades 6-8 Book (a guide with tests) and/or ABRSM Specimen Sight-Reading Tests Grade 8 Book (specimen tests).


    *Information correct at time of publishing 14.03.16

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