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Trombone Grade 8 Trombone

The Trombone Grade 8 exam consists of three pieces, chosen by the candidate from the appropriate lists in the current syllabus, scales and arpeggios, sight-reading and aural tests.

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

Trombone Grade 8 (2017-2020)

Trombone requirements and information

Subject code: 32

The Trombone requirements and information provide a summary of the most important points that teachers and candidates need to know when taking ABRSM Trombone exams.

They are detailed within the exam sections below (Pieces, Scales and arpeggios, Sight-reading and Aural tests), immediately after the grade-specific requirements, and are available to download here.

Further details, as well as administrative information relating to the exams, are given in ABRSM’s Information & Regulations which should be read before an exam booking is made.

Eligibility

There are eight grades of exam for Trombone and candidates may be entered for any grade irrespective of age and without previously having taken any other grade on Trombone. Candidates for a Grade 6, 7 or 8 exam 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.

In the exam

Examiners: Generally, there will be one examiner in the exam room; however, for training and quality assurance purposes, a second examiner may sometimes be present. Examiners may ask to look at the music before or after the performance of a piece (a separate copy is not required: the candidate’s or accompanist’s copy will suffice). Examiners may also decide to stop the performance of a piece when they have heard enough to form a judgment. They will not issue, or comment on, a candidate’s result; instead, the mark form (and certificate for successful candidates) will be issued by ABRSM after the exam.

Tuning: In Grades 1–5, the teacher or accompanist may help tune the candidate’s instrument before the exam begins. In Grades 6–8, candidates must tune their instruments themselves. Examiners are unable to help with tuning.

Music stands: All ABRSM Centres provide a music stand, but candidates are welcome to bring their own if they prefer. The examiner will be happy to help adjust the height or position of the stand.

Order of the exam: The individual sections of the exam may be undertaken in any order, at the candidate’s choice, although it is always preferable for accompanied pieces to be performed consecutively.

Further information

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

Arrieu

Introduction, Scherzo et Choral

 

Arrieu: Introduction, Scherzo et Choral (Bass clef edition)
Billaudot (GB3988)

More details

 

2

Ferdinand David

Marcia funebre (Andante) Or Allegro maestoso
2nd movt Or 3rd movt from Trombone Concertino, Op. 4

 

Ferdinand David: Concertino, Op. 4 for Trombone (Bass/Treble clef edition)
EMR (EMR 2064A)

More details

Ferdinand David: Concertino, Op. 4 for Trombone (Bass/Treble clef edition)
Brass Wind (BW3124)

More details

Ferdinand David: Concertino, Op. 4 for Trombone (Bass clef edition)
IMC (2008)

More details

 

3

Guilmant

Morceau symphonique (Concert Piece)
Op. 88
(starting at Allegro moderato, b. 39)

 

Guilmant: Morceau symphonique, Op. 88 (Bass/Treble clef edition)
EMR (2006)

More details

Guilmant: Morceau symphonique (Concert Piece), Op. 88 (Bass/Treble clef edition)
Brass Wind (BW3112)

More details

No. 15 from Solos for the Trombone Player, arr. Smith (Bass clef edition)
G. Schirmer (GS33009)

More details

 

4

Handel
arr. Mowat

Adagio And Allegro
from Flute Sonata, HWV 363b

 

Get a Handel on It for Trombone, arr. Mowat (Bass clef edition)
Brass Wind (BW2156BC)

More details

Get a Handel on It for Trombone, arr. Mowat (Treble clef edition)
Brass Wind (BW2156TC)

More details

 

5

Holst

Concertante
(starting at Allegro gioioso ma maestoso)

 

Holst: Concertante for Trombone & Piano (Tenor Clef edition)
Warwick Music (TB101)

More details

Holst: Concertante for Trombone & Piano (Treble clef edition)
Warwick Music (TB1060)

More details

 

6

A. Jørgensen

Romance
Op. 21

 

A. Jørgensen: Romance, Op. 21 (Bass clef edition)
Hansen (WH29516)

More details

 

7

B. Marcello
arr. Mortimer

Sonata No. 5 (in Bb)
(complete)

 

B. Marcello: Sonata No. 5 in Bb, arr. Mortimer (Bass/Treble clef edition)
EMR (2046L)

More details

 

8

E. Reiche

Rondo
3rd movt from Trombone Concerto No. 2 in A
(observing repeats)

 

E. Reiche: Concerto No. 2 in A (Bass clef edition)
IMC (2638)

More details

No. 12 from Solos for the Trombone Player, arr. Smith (Bass clef edition)
G. Schirmer (GS33009)

More details

 

9

S. Rousseau

Pièce Concertante
(observing cadenza)

 

S. Rousseau: Pièce Concertante (Bass/Treble clef edition)
Obrasso-Verlag (Obrasso 15519)

More details

 

10

Weber

Romance

 

Weber: Romance for Trombone (Bass/Treble clef edition)
Brass Wind (BW3121)

More details

Weber: Romance for Trombone (Bass clef edition)
EMR (EMR 236)

More details

 

List B

No.

Composer

Piece information

Publication(s)

1

Castérède

Allegro vivo
1st movt from Sonatine for Trombone

 

Castérède: Sonatine for Trombone (Bass clef edition)
Leduc (AL21930)

More details

 

2

Brian Chapple

Allegro giocoso
1st movt from A Bit of a Blow for Trombone

 

Brian Chapple: A Bit of a Blow for Trombone (Bass/Treble clef edition)
Bosworth (BOE100793)

More details

 

3

Tony Cliff

Pastels and any one other movt
from Four Sketches for Trombone

 

Tony Cliff: Four Sketches for Trombone (Bass/Treble clef edition)
Studio Music (M050034568)

More details

 

4

Larsson

Preludium (Allegro pomposo)
1st movt from Concertino for Trombone, Op. 45 No. 7

 

Larsson: Concertino for Trombone Op. 45 No. 7 (Bass clef edition)
Gehrmans (CG5139U)

More details

 

5

Jean-François Michel

download Prélude And Romance (observing cadenza)
1st movt And 2nd movt from Prélude, Romance & Bacchanale

Or

Bacchanale
3rd movt from Prélude, Romance & Bacchanale

 

Jean-François Michel: Prélude, Romance & Bacchanale for Trombone (Bass clef edition)
Editions BIM (TB86)

More details

 

6

Florentin Morel

Pièce in F minor

 

Florentin Morel: Pièce in F minor (Bass clef edition)
Billaudot (CC2460)

More details

 

7

Anthony Plog

Divergent Roads

 

Anthony Plog: Divergent Roads (Bass clef edition)
Editions BIM (TB88)

More details

 

8

Pryor

Thoughts of Love
(ending before Coda, at b. 189)

 

Pryor: Thoughts of Love (Bass clef edition)
Carl Fischer (W2614)

More details

Pryor: Solos for Trombone (Bass clef edition)
Carl Fischer (WF2)

More details

 

9

Jiggs Whigham

Steve And Fast Swing
4th movt And 5th movt from Suite for Trombone

 

Jiggs Whigham: Suite for Trombone (Bass clef edition)
Schott (ED 21132)

More details

 

10

Rob Wiffin

Shout!
(last 3 notes 8vb)

 

Rob Wiffin: Shout! (Bass/Treble clef edition)
Studio Music (M050083634)

More details

 

List C

No.

Composer

Piece information

Publication(s)

1

J. S. Bach
arr. Lafosse

Allemande Or Courante
from Suite No. 4

 

P. 17 Or P. 18 from J. S. Bach: Suites for Cello, arr. Lafosse (Bass clef edition)
Leduc (AL20326)

More details

 

2

Belcke

Allegro con spirito

 

No. 35 from Posaunen-Etüden 1 (Bass clef edition)
DVfM (DV 31075)

More details

 

3

Bordogni, trans. Rochut

Allegro Or Allegro moderato

 

No. 44 Or No. 55 from Melodious Etudes for Trombone, Book 1, trans. Rochut (Bass clef edition)
Carl Fischer (O1594X)

More details

 

4

Derek Bourgeois

Moderato con moto
No. 8 from Hear Today and Bone Tomorrow

 

Derek Bourgeois: Hear Today and Bone Tomorrow (Bass clef edition)
Brass Wind (BW6032BC)

More details

Derek Bourgeois: Hear Today and Bone Tomorrow (Treble clef edition)
Brass Wind (BW6032TC)

More details

 

5

Douglas Court

Reflections

 

No. 8 from Melodic Studies for Trombone (Bass clef edition)
De Haske (DHP 1084523-400)

More details

 

6

Englund

Panorama

 

Englund: Panorama for solo trombone (Bass clef edition)
Fennica Gehrman

More details

 

7

Philip Sparke

Georgia's Gigue Or Threes, Fives and Sevens
No. 18 Or No. 26 from Super Studies for Trombone

 

Philip Sparke: Super Studies for Trombone (Bass/Treble clef edition)
Anglo Music (AMP 116-401)

More details

 

8

Adrian Taylor

The Complete Technique
No. 20 from Melodic Studies on Trombone Technique

 

Adrian Taylor: Melodic Studies on Trombone Technique (Bass clef edition)
Warwick Music (TB1045)

More details

Adrian Taylor: Melodic Studies on Trombone Technique (Treble clef edition)
Warwick Music (TB1047)

More details

 

 


Trombone 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: All pieces in Lists A and B must be performed with a live piano accompaniment, whereas all pieces in List C must be performed solo. 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, phrasing, 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.

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.

Scales and arpeggios

21 marks

From memory, to be played tongued, with legato tonguing and staccato in the following keys:

  • Bass clef: B, C, Db, D, Eb majors; B, C, C#, D, Eb minors (a twelfth)
    All other keys, major and minor (two octaves)
  • Treble clef: Db, D, Eb, E, F majors; C#, D, Eb, E, F minors (a twelfth)
    All other keys, major and minor (two octaves)

Scales: in the above keys (minors in both harmonic and melodic forms)

Chromatic Scales:

  • Bass clef: starting on any note E–Bb (two octaves)
  • Treble clef: starting on any note F#–C (two octaves)

Whole-Tone Scales:

  • Bass clef: starting on A and Bb (two octaves), as example given
  • Treble clef: starting on B and C (two octaves), as example given

Arpeggios: the common chords of the above keys for the ranges indicated

Dominant Sevenths:

  • Bass clef: in the keys of A, Bb, B, C, Db, D and Eb (two octaves)
  • Treble clef: in the keys of B, C, Db, D, Eb, E and F (two octaves)

Diminished Sevenths:

  • Bass clef: starting on G, Ab and A (two octaves)
  • Treble clef: starting on A, Bb and B (two octaves)

 


Trombone requirements and information: Scales and arpeggios

Examiners will usually ask for at least one of each type of scale/arpeggio etc. required at each grade, as well as aiming to hear a balance of the specified articulations. They will also ask trombone candidates if they are bass- or treble-clef readers.

When asking for requirements, examiners will specify only:

  • the key (including minor form – harmonic or melodic – in the Grade 6–8 scales) or the starting note
  • the articulation

All scales and arpeggios should:

  • be played from memory
  • be played from the lowest possible tonic/starting note, unless the syllabus indicates otherwise
  • ascend and descend according to the specified range
  • be played without undue accentuation and at a pace that is consistent with accuracy and distinctness

The choice of breathing place is left to the candidate’s discretion, but taking a breath should not disturb the flow of the scale or arpeggio.

Arpeggios and dominant sevenths are required in root position only.

For transposing instruments, the naming of scales applies to the notation, not the concert pitch; for example, D major for trumpet in Bb will sound in C, not D.

Books of the scale requirements are published for all brass instruments by ABRSM.

Sight-reading

21 marks

(Bass and tenor clef, or treble clef at candidate’s choice) a short piece of previously unseen music.


Trombone requirements and information: Sight-reading

At all grades, candidates will be asked to play a short unaccompanied piece of music which they have not previously seen. They will be given up to half a minute in which to look through and, if they wish, try out all or any part of the test before they are required to play it for assessment. Examiners will ask trombone candidates if they are bass- or treble-clef readers. For practice purposes, books of specimen sight-reading tests are published for all brass instruments by ABRSM.

Aural tests

18 marks

  1. (i) To sing or play from memory the lowest part of a three-part phrase played twice by the examiner. The lowest part will be within the range of an octave, in a major or minor key with up to three sharps or flats. First the examiner will play the key-chord and the starting note and then count in two bars. (If the candidate chooses to play, the examiner will also name the key-chord and the starting note, as appropriate for the instrument.) If necessary, the examiner will play the phrase again and allow a second attempt (although this will affect the assessment).

    (ii) To identify the cadence at the end of a continuing phrase as perfect, imperfect, interrupted or plagal. The phrase will be in a major or minor key and will be played twice by the examiner. The chords forming the cadence will be limited to the tonic (root position, first or second inversions), supertonic (root position or first inversion), subdominant (root position), dominant (root position, first or second inversions), dominant seventh (root position) or submediant (root position). Before the first playing, the examiner will play the key-chord.

    (iii) To identify the three chords (including their positions) forming the above cadential progression. The chords will be limited to the tonic (root position, first or second inversions), supertonic (root position or first inversion), subdominant (root position), dominant (root position, first or second inversions), dominant seventh (root position) or submediant (root position). First the examiner will name and play the key-chord, then play the three chords in sequence, finally playing each chord individually, pausing for the candidate to identify it. The candidate may answer using technical names (tonic, first inversion, etc.), chord numbers (Ib, etc.) or letter names (C major in first inversion, etc.).

  2. To sing the lower part of a two-part phrase from score, with the upper part played by the examiner. The candidate may choose to sing from treble or bass clef. The lower part will be within the range of an octave, in a major or minor key with up to four sharps or flats. First the examiner will name and play the key-chord and the starting note and then give the pulse. A brief period of preparation will follow during which the candidate may sing out loud. The examiner will play the key-chord and the starting note again and then count in two bars. If necessary, the examiner will allow a second attempt (although this will affect the assessment).
  3. To identify whether the modulations at the end of two different passages are to the dominant, subdominant or relative minor/major. The first passage will begin in a major key and the second will begin in a minor key; each passage will be played once by the examiner. Before playing each passage, the examiner will name and play the starting key-chord. The candidate may answer using technical names (dominant*, subdominant, relative minor/major) or the letter name of the new key. (* Minor-key passages may modulate to the dominant major or minor but the candidate is only required to specify ‘dominant’ in such cases.) 
  4. To describe the characteristic features of a piece played by the examiner. After hearing the piece, the candidate should describe any notable features (such as texture, structure, character, style and period, etc.). The examiner will prompt the candidate with questions only if this becomes necessary.

 


Trombone requirements and information: Aural tests

Aural test requirements are the same for all subjects.

Listening lies at the heart of all good music-making. Developing aural awareness is fundamental to musical training because having a ‘musical ear’ impacts on all aspects of musicianship. Singing, both silently in the head and out loud, is one of the best ways to develop the ‘musical ear’. It connects the internal imagining of sound, the ‘inner ear’, with the external creation of it, without the necessity of mechanically having to ‘find the note’ on an instrument (important though that connection is). By integrating aural activities in imaginative ways in the lesson, preparation for the aural tests within an exam will be a natural extension of what is already an essential part of the learning experience.

In the exam

Aural tests are an integral part of all Practical graded exams. The tests are administered by the examiner from the piano. For any test that requires a sung response, pitch rather than vocal quality is the object. The examiner will be happy to adapt to the vocal range of the candidate, whose responses may be sung to any vowel (or consonant followed by a vowel), hummed or whistled (and at a different octave, if appropriate).

Assessment

A number of tests allow for a second attempt or for an additional playing by the examiner, if necessary. Also, where there is hesitation on the part of the candidate, the examiner will be ready to prompt, if necessary. In any such cases, this will affect the assessment. Marks are not awarded for each individual test nor deducted for mistakes but reflect the candidate’s overall response in this section.

Specimen tests

Examples of the tests are given in new editions (from 2011) of Specimen Aural Tests and Aural Training in Practice, available for purchase from music retailers and from the ABRSM music shop.

Deaf or hearing-impaired candidates

Deaf or hearing-impaired candidates may opt to respond to alternative tests in place of the standard tests, if requested at the time of entry. Further information, including the syllabus for the alternative tests, is available at www.abrsm.org/specificneeds.

Trombone 8 Trombone

The Trombone Grade 8 exam consists of three pieces, chosen by the candidate from the appropriate lists in the current syllabus, scales and arpeggios, sight-reading and aural tests.

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

Additional information

The repertoire lists indicate the clefs in which the pieces are published. If necessary, candidates may use manuscript transpositions into treble or bass clef.

Examiners will ask candidates whether they are bass- or treble-clef readers.

Prerequisite for entry

Candidates for Practical Grades 6, 7 and 8 must already have passed one of the following qualifications (see Regulation 1):

  • ABRSM Grade 5 (or above) in Music Theory, Practical Musicianship or any solo Jazz subject. For alternatives, see the prerequisite page.

Publications & audio

Supporting applications

Speedshifter

A practice tool that allows you to vary the speed of audio without altering the pitch.

 

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