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Quick studies

The Quick Study section is worth 21 marks in the exam overall. In the quick study, you are expected to play back a short passage of music. This is to test your ability to internalise and reproduce the music on your instrument. You will be given the option to attempt the test either at sight or by ear.

If at sight:

· The examiner will hand you the music and will give two bars’ pulse to indicate the general tempo expected.

· You will then have half a minute in which to look through and, if you wish, try out the piece before assessment.

· The examiner will indicate, after which you should play the piece as written.

If by ear:

The examiner will perform the piece three times, and will ask you to play the piece back after each time. You will be assessed on the strongest of your three attempts.

  • The examiner will first name the key, sound and name the starting note and play the tonic chord as a broken chord.
  • The examiner will then give a two-bar count-in and perform the piece.
  • You will then play the piece back.
  • The examiner will then give a two-bar count-in and perform the piece for a second time. You will then play the piece back for a second time.
  • The examiner will then give a two-bar count-in and perform the piece for a third time. You will then play the piece back for the third and final time.

Summary

At sight:

Examiner: Notation and pulse given
Candidate: Practise (30 seconds)
Candidate: Performance of the whole piece

By ear:

Examiner: Lever setting, key, tonic chord and starting note given as appropriate
Examiner: First play-through with a count-in
Candidate: First play-through
Examiner: Second play-through with a count-in
Candidate: Second play-through
Examiner: Final play-through with a count-in
Candidate: Final play-through

Remember that the examiner will be looking for fluent and confident delivery, with a clear reference to style and musical character.

A complete pack of Quick Study specimen pieces for all grades, complete with guidelines, is available from Taigh na Teud at www.scotlandsmusic.com .