Your grade 8 viola 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 Allemande and Courante: from Cello Suite No. 2 in D minor, BWV 1008. Bach Six Cello Suites, trans. Rowland-Jones (Peters EP 7489 ) or trans. Forbes (Chester CH01401)
    2. J. S. Bach Vivace: 1st movt from Viola da Gamba Sonata No. 3 in G minor, BWV 1029. Bach Three Sonatas for Viola da Gamba (Viola), BWV 1027–1029 (Bärenreiter BA 5186 or Henle HN 684)
    3. Beethoven Theme and Variations: 6th movt from Notturno, Op. 42, arr. Primrose (omitting Var. 1 and observing Marcia) (Schott ED 10091)
    4. Boccherini Moderato: 1st movt from Sonata in C minor (Schott VAB 46)
    5. Homeister Rondo: 3rd movt from Concerto in D (Peters EP 9857 or Henle HN739)
    6. A. Stamitz Rondeau: 3rd movt from Concerto in Bb (Schott VAB 29)
    7. Telemann Siciliana and Vivace: 1st and 2nd movts from Fantasia No. 9 in E minor. Telemann 12 Fantasias for Unaccompanied Viola, arr. Arnold (Viola World VWP100188)

    LIST B

    1. Brahms Vivace: 4th movt from Sonata in F minor, Op. 120 No. 1. Brahms Two Sonatas, Op. 120 (Peters EP 3896 or Henle HN 988)
    2. Coates First Meeting (Souvenir). A Lionel Tertis Album (Weinberger)
    3. Glazunov Élégie, Op. 44 (Belaie BEL 200 or Henle HN 1241)
    4. Jansa Cantilène, Op. 84 (Amadeus BP 1762 or Schott BSS 53719)
    5. Nedbal Romantisches Stück, Op. 18 (Doblinger DOBL 3579)
    6. H. Ritter Pastorale and Gavotte, Op. 32 No. 1. Solos for Young Violists, Vol. 4 (Alfred–Summy-Birchard 18750X)
    7. Tchaikovsky Nocturne, Op. 19 No. 4, arr. Davis and Borisovsky (IMC 536)

    LIST C

    1. Leroy Anderson Fiddle-Faddle, arr. Arnold (Viola World VWP100210)
    2. Bloch Armation: 3rd movt from Suite Hébraïque (G. Schirmer GS28608)
    3. Rebecca Clarke Untitled. Rebecca Clarke Shorter Pieces for Viola (OUP)
    4. Finzi Fughetta: No. 5 from Five Bagatelles, trans. Leigh Jacobs (Boosey & Hawkes)
    5. Gordon Jacob Dance: from Air and Dance (starting at b. 54). Solos for Young Violists, Vol. 4 (Alfred–Summy Birchard 18750X)
    6. W. Lloyd Webber Vivo: 3rd movt from Sonatina (Stainer & Bell H369)
    7. Vaughan Williams Galop (observing cadenza): No. 3 from Suite for Viola, Group 3 (OUP)

    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 Viola 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 Viola 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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