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Cello Grade 1 Cello

Cello Grade 1 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.

Cello Grade 1 (2020–2023)

Cello requirements and information

Our Cello requirements and information summarise the most important points that teachers and candidates need to know when taking ABRSM graded Cello exams. They are explained in the exam sections below (Pieces, Scales and arpeggios, Sight-reading and Aural tests) and are also available to download as a PDF.

Further administrative information about our exams are given in our Exam Regulations which you should read before booking an exam.

Entering for an exam

Eligibility: There are nine grades of exam for Cello. Candidates may be entered for any grade at any age and do not need to have taken other grade(s) in Cello. Candidates for a Grade 6, 7 or 8 exam must have already 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 Prerequisite for Grades 6–8.

Access: ABRSM is committed to providing all candidates with fair access to its assessments by putting in place access arrangements and reasonable adjustments. There is a range of alternative tests and formats as well as guidelines for candidates with specific needs. For full details, see Specific Needs. Where a candidate’s needs are not covered by the guidelines, each case is considered individually. Further information is available from the Access Co-ordinator.

Exam booking: For full details of exam dates, location, fees and how to book an exam, see Exam Booking.

Instruments

Candidates are required to perform on acoustic instruments (electric instruments are not allowed) and any size of instrument may be used. Examiners apply the marking criteria (which include the assessment of pitch, tone and musical shaping) to assess musical outcomes without reference to the specific attributes of the instrument.

In the exam

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

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

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

Seating: A chair/stool will be provided for cello candidates at ABRSM public venues.

Music stands: All ABRSM public venues 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.

Assessment

Exams are marked out of 150. 100 marks are required for a Pass, 120 for a Merit and 130 for a Distinction. Candidates do not need to pass each section to pass overall. For full details, including the marking criteria used by examiners, see Graded music exam marking criteria.

Sourcing exam music

Exam music is available from music retailers and online, including at the ABRSM music shop. Every effort has been made to make sure that the publications listed will be available for the duration of the syllabus. Candidates are advised to get their music well before the exam in case items are not kept in stock by retailers. Non-exam related questions about the music (e.g. editorial, availability) should be addressed to the relevant publisher. For a complete list of publisher contact details, see Obtaining exam music.

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 1 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 Arbeau
arr. Huws Jones
Mattachins
from Orchesographie
Cello Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 1 (Part)
ABRSM

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Cello Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 1 (Score & Part)
ABRSM

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Cello Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 1 (Score, Part & CD)
ABRSM

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2 Campion
arr. Black and Harris
What is it all?
from Third Booke of Ayres
Cello Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 1 (Part)
ABRSM

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Cello Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 1 (Score & Part)
ABRSM

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Cello Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 1 (Score, Part & CD)
ABRSM

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3 Trad. Irish
arr. Huws Jones
John Ryan's Polka
Cello Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 1 (Part)
ABRSM

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Cello Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 1 (Score & Part)
ABRSM

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Cello Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 1 (Score, Part & CD)
ABRSM

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4 Kathy Blackwell and David Blackwell Patrick's Reel (PF/VC)
No. 43 from Cello Time Joggers, arr. K. and D. Blackwell
OUP

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No. 43 from Cello Time Joggers, Piano accompaniment book, arr. K. and D. Blackwell
OUP

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No. 43 from Cello Time Joggers, Cello accompaniment book, arr. K. and D. Blackwell
OUP

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5 Blow
arr. Bruce and Wells
Air
More Time Pieces for Cello, Vol. 1, arr. Bruce and Wells
ABRSM

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6 Corrette
arr. Thorp and Blackman
Minuet (PF/VC)
(p. 6 version)
P. 6 from A Flying Start for Strings, Cello Book 3, arr. Thorp
Flying Strings

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A Flying Start for Strings, Piano accompaniments to Cello Books 1, 2 & 3, arr. Thorp
Flying Strings

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7 Purcell
arr. Nelson
Rigadoon
(with repeat)
No. 24 from Piece by Piece 1 for Cello, arr. Nelson
Boosey & Hawkes (BH 1200312)

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8 Trad.
arr. Nelson
Dance to your daddy
No. 13 from Piece by Piece 1 for Cello, arr. Nelson
Boosey & Hawkes (BH 1200312)

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9 Janice Tucker Rhoda A Shakespeare Play
No. 51 from The ABC's of Cello, Book 1, arr. Rhoda
Carl Fischer

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10 Suzuki
arr. Mooney
Andantino (PF/VC)
No. 12 from Suzuki Cello School, Vol. 1
Alfred (0479S)

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No. 12 from Suzuki Cello School, Vol. 1, Piano accompaniment
Alfred (0480S)

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No. 12 from Suzuki Ensembles for Cello, Vol. 1, arr. Mooney
Alfred (0296S)

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List B

No. Composer Piece information Publication(s)
1 Rodgers and Hammerstein
arr. Bullard
Edelweiss
from The Sound of Music
Cello Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 1 (Part)
ABRSM

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Cello Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 1 (Score & Part)
ABRSM

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Cello Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 1 (Score, Part & CD)
ABRSM

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2 Schubert
arr. Blackwell
Wiegenlied (Lullaby)
D. 498
Cello Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 1 (Part)
ABRSM

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Cello Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 1 (Score & Part)
ABRSM

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Cello Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 1 (Score, Part & CD)
ABRSM

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3 Trad. Irish
arr. Bullard
Star of the County Down
Cello Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 1 (Part)
ABRSM

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Cello Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 1 (Score & Part)
ABRSM

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Cello Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 1 (Score, Part & CD)
ABRSM

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4 T. H. Bayly
arr. Suzuki and Mooney
Long, Long Ago (PF/VC)
No. 10 from Suzuki Cello School, Vol. 1
Alfred (0479S)

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No. 10 from Suzuki Cello School, Vol. 1, Piano accompaniment
Alfred (0480S)

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No. 10 from Suzuki Ensembles for Cello, Vol. 1, arr. Mooney
Alfred (0296S)

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5 Kathy Blackwell and David Blackwell Rocking Horse (PF/VC)
No. 42 from Cello Time Joggers, arr. K. and D. Blackwell
OUP

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No. 42 from Cello Time Joggers, Piano accompaniment book, arr. K. and D. Blackwell
OUP

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No. 42 from Cello Time Joggers, Cello accompaniment book, arr. K. and D. Blackwell
OUP

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6 Carse A Little Reverie
Carse: Two Short Pieces
Stainer & Bell (2201)

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7 Katherine Colledge and Hugh Colledge Full Moon
No. 22 from Waggon Wheels
No. 22 from Katherine Colledge and Hugh Colledge: Waggon Wheels for Cello
Boosey & Hawkes (BH 1200302)

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8 Thomas Gregory Alpine Waltz
No. 11 from Vamoosh Cello, Book 2, arr. Gregory
Vamoosh (VAM22)

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No. 11 from Vamoosh String Book 2, Piano accompaniment, arr. Gregory
Vamoosh (VAM52)

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9 Lully
arr. Feuillard
Ariette
Le jeune violincelliste, Vol. 1A, arr. Feuillard
Edition Delrieu

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10 Trad. English
arr. Koeppen
Scarborough Fair (PF/VC)
(upper part)
Cello Method: Tune Book 1, arr. Koeppen
Schott (ED 22504)

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List C

No. Composer Piece information Publication(s)
1 James MacMillan March
No. 1 from Northern Skies
Cello Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 1 (Part)
ABRSM

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Cello Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 1 (Score & Part)
ABRSM

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Cello Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 1 (Score, Part & CD)
ABRSM

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2 Sheila Nelson Flag Dance
Cello Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 1 (Part)
ABRSM

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Cello Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 1 (Score & Part)
ABRSM

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Cello Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 1 (Score, Part & CD)
ABRSM

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3 Trad. American
arr. Blackwell
Turkey in the Straw
Cello Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 1 (Part)
ABRSM

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Cello Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 1 (Score & Part)
ABRSM

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Cello Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 1 (Score, Part & CD)
ABRSM

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4 Benoy and L. Burrowes Victory March (DUET)
(upper part)
The First-Year Violoncello Method, arr. Benoy and Burrowes
Novello

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5 Alan Bullard Hungarian Dance
from Party Time!
Alan Bullard: Party Time! for Cello
ABRSM

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6 Katherine Colledge and Hugh Colledge Lollipop Man
No. 26 from Waggon Wheels
No. 26 from Katherine Colledge and Hugh Colledge: Waggon Wheels for Cello
Boosey & Hawkes (BH 1200302)

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7 Thomas Gregory Fiery Fiddler
(with repeats)
No. 25 from Vamoosh Cello, Book 1, arr. Gregory
Vamoosh (VAM21)

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No. 25 from Vamoosh String Book 1, Piano accompaniment, arr. Gregory
Vamoosh (VAM51)

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8 Edward Huws Jones Toodle-Pip
No. 18 from Ten O'Clock Rock
No. 18 from Edward Huws Jones: Ten O'Clock Rock for Cello
Boosey & Hawkes (BH 1200366)

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No. 18 from Edward Huws Jones: Ten O'Clock Rock, Piano accompaniment
Boosey & Hawkes (BH 1000653)

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9 Trad. American
arr. K. and D. Blackwell
Pick a Bale of Cotton (DUET)
(upper part)
No. 8 from Cello Time Runners, arr. K. and D. Blackwell
OUP

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10 Trad. Congolese
arr. Bruce and Wells
Banaha
More Time Pieces for Cello, Vol. 1, arr. Bruce and Wells
ABRSM

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Cello 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/VC 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.

Scales and arpeggios

Playing scales and arpeggios is important for building strong technical skills such as reliable finger movement, hand position, co-ordination and fingerboard fluency. It also helps to develop tone, pitch and interval awareness, and familiarity with keys and their related patterns. This leads to greater confidence and security when sight-reading, learning new pieces and performing – from a score or from memory, as a solo musician or with others.

Grade 1 Scales and arpeggios – 21 marks

The full requirements and information for scales are explained after the table.

 

 

range

bowing requirements

rhythm pattern

Scales

G, D majors †

A natural minor

1 octave

separate bows or slurred
(2 quavers to a bow) at examiner's choice.

even notes or long tonic, at candidate's choice

C major

2 octaves

separate bows or slurred
(2 quavers to a bow) at examiner's choice.

even notes or long tonic, at candidate's choice

Arpeggios

G, D majors †

A minor

1 octave

separate bows

even notes

C major

2 octaves

separate bows

even notes

† Starting on open strings

Scale speeds

The scale speeds below are given as a general guide.

Grade 1

Scales

Crotchets and quavers

Crotchet

Arpeggios

Three quavers

Quaver

 


Cello requirements and information: Scales

Memory: All requirements should be played from memory.

Range: All requirements should be played from the lowest possible tonic/starting note unless the syllabus specifies differently. They should ascend and descend according to the specified range (and pattern).

Rhythm: For most major and minor scales (and double-stop scales in parallel sixths/octaves) candidates may choose between two rhythm patterns: even notes or long tonic. The scale to a fifth (Initial Grade) should be played in even notes.

Patterns: Arpeggios and dominant sevenths are required in root position only. All dominant sevenths should finish by resolving on the tonic. Examples of scale/arpeggio etc. patterns found in this syllabus are available to download as a PDF. Fully notated versions of the requirements are published by ABRSM and are available to buy from our music shop.

Fingering: Candidates may use any fingering that produces a successful musical outcome.

Speed: Bowing will generally dictate the tempi of slurred scales and arpeggios. Separately-bowed requirements should be played briskly, using no more than half the bow length. The speeds in the table above are given as a general guide.

In the exam

Initial Grade candidates should play all three requirements when asked for their scales. The examiner will prompt the keys/ranges where necessary.

At Grades 1–8, examiners will usually ask for at least one of each scale/arpeggio (etc.) type. They will ask for majors followed by minors within each type, and also ask to hear a balance of the separately-bowed and slurred requirements. When asking for requirements, examiners will specify:

  • the key* (including minor form – harmonic or melodic – in the Grade 6–8 scales) or the starting note
  • separate bows or slurred (except for where the requirements are to be prepared with separate bows only – e.g. Grade 1 arpeggios).

* Where keys at Grades 6–8 are listed enharmonically – Db/C# and Ab/G# – the examiner will use the flat spelling when asking for major keys and the sharp spelling for minor keys.

Sight-reading

Sight-reading is a valuable skill with many benefits. Learning to sight-read helps to develop quick recognition of keys, tonality and common rhythm patterns. Strong sight-reading skills make learning new pieces quicker and easier, and also help when making music with others, so that playing in an ensemble becomes more rewarding and enjoyable.

Cello requirements and information: Sight-reading – 21 marks

Candidates will be asked to play a short unaccompanied piece of music which they have not seen before. They will be given half a minute to look through and, if they wish, try out all or any part of the test before they are asked to play it for assessment. The table below shows the elements that are introduced at each grade.

Grade

Length
(bars)

Time

Other features that may be included

Initial Grade

4

4/4

  • 1st position
  • crotchet and two quavers beamed together
  • crotchet rests
  • notes separately bowed
  • mf dynamic mark

6

2/4

(as above)

Grade 1

4

3/4

  • minim and four quavers beamed together
  • f and p dynamic marks

 

For practice purposes, sample sight-reading tests are published by ABRSM and are available to buy from our music shop.

Aural tests

Listening lies at the heart of music-making and the ability to hear how music works helps with all aspects of musical development. Aural skills help with gauging the sound and balance of playing, keeping in time and playing with a sense of rhythm and pulse. These skills also help to develop a sense of pitch, musical memory and the ability to spot mistakes.

Grade 1 Aural tests – 18 marks

  1. To clap the pulse of a piece played by the examiner, and to identify whether it is in two time or three time. The examiner will start playing the passage, and the candidate should join in as soon as possible, clapping in time and giving a louder clap on the strong beats. The examiner will then ask whether the music is in two time or three time. The candidate is not required to state the time signature.
  2. To sing as ‘echoes’ three phrases played by the examiner. The phrases will be two bars long, in a major key, and within the range of tonic–mediant. First the examiner will play the key-chord and the starting note (the tonic) and then count in two bars. After the examiner has played each phrase, the candidate should sing back the echo without a pause, keeping in time.
  3. To identify where a change in pitch occurs during a phrase played by the examiner. The phrase will be two bars long, in a major key, and the change will affect only one of the notes. First the examiner will play the key-chord and the tonic and then count in two bars. The examiner will play the phrase twice, making the change in the second playing, after which the candidate should state whether the change was near the beginning or near the end. If necessary, the examiner will play both versions of the phrase again (although this will affect the assessment).
  4. To answer questions about two features of a piece played by the examiner. Before playing, the examiner will tell the candidate which two features the questions will be about. The first will be: dynamics (loud/quiet, or sudden/gradual changes); the second will be articulation (smooth/detached).

 


Cello requirements and information: Aural tests

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 Graded Exams in Music Performance.

The tests are administered by the examiner from the piano. For any test that requires a sung response, pitch rather than vocal quality is being assessed. 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

Some tests allow for a second attempt or for an additional playing by the examiner, if necessary. The examiner will also be ready to prompt, where helpful, although this may affect the assessment.

Marks are not awarded for each individual test or deducted for mistakes; instead they reflect the candidate’s overall response in this section. For full details, including the marking criteria used by examiners, see Graded music exam marking criteria.

Sample tests

Examples of the tests for Grades Initial–8 are given in Specimen Aural Tests. More examples for Grades 1–8 are given in Aural Training in Practice.

Deaf or hearing-impaired candidates

Deaf or hearing-impaired candidates may choose alternative tests in place of the standard tests, if requested at the time of entry. For full details, including the syllabus for the alternative tests, see Specific Needs.

Cello Grade 1 Cello

Cello Grade 1 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.

Cello Grade 1 (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 Anon. French
arr. Lengyel and Pejtsik
download download Bourrée
 
No. 9 from Violoncello Music for Beginners 1, arr. Lengyel and Pejtsik
Editio Musica Budapest (Z.6312)

More details
2 Arbeau
arr. Black and Harris
download download Branle des Sabots
from Orchésographie
 
Time Pieces for Cello, Vol. 1, arr. Black and Harris
ABRSM

More details
3 Kathy Blackwell and David Blackwell download download Patrick's Reel
 
No. 43 from Cello Time Joggers, arr. Blackwell
OUP

More details

Piano accomp. published separately as Cello Time Joggers Piano Accompaniment, arr. Blackwell
OUP
4 Haydn
arr. Erhart-Schwertmann
download download Divertimento
Hob. II:14
 
P. 2 from Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven for Cello, arr. Erhart-Schwertmann
Doblinger (DOBL 33756)

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5 Haydn
arr. Bruce and Wells
download download Poco adagio
from String Quartet ('Emperor'), Op. 76 No. 3
 
More Time Pieces for Cello, Vol. 1, arr. Bruce and Wells
ABRSM

More details
6 Suzuki download download Andantino
 
No. 12 from Suzuki Cello School, Vol. 1
Alfred–Summy-Birchard (0479S)

More details

Piano accomp. published separately as Suzuki Cello School, Vol. 1 Piano Accompaniment
Alfred–Summy-Birchard (0480S)

List B

No. Composer Piece information Publication(s)
1 T. H. Bayly download download Long, Long Ago
 
No. 10 from Suzuki Cello School, Vol. 1
Alfred–Summy-Birchard (0479S)

More details

Piano accomp. published separately as Suzuki Cello School, Vol. 1 Piano Accompaniment
Alfred–Summy-Birchard (0480S)
2 Kathy Blackwell and David Blackwell download download Rocking Horse
 
No. 42 from Cello Time Joggers, arr. Blackwell
OUP

More details

Piano accomp. published separately as Cello Time Joggers Piano Accompaniment, arr. Blackwell
OUP
3 Katherine Colledge and Hugh Colledge download download Full Moon
No. 22 from Waggon Wheels for Cello
 
Katherine Colledge and Hugh Colledge: Waggon Wheels for Cello
Boosey & Hawkes

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4 Fauré
arr. Bruce and Wells
download download Berceuse
from Dolly, Op. 56
 
More Time Pieces for Cello, Vol. 1, arr. Bruce and Wells
ABRSM

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5 Saint-Saëns
arr. Black and Harris
download download The Elephant
from The Carnival of the Animals
 
Time Pieces for Cello, Vol. 1, arr. Black and Harris
ABRSM

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6 Schubert
arr. Lengyel and Pejtsik
download download Waltz
 
No. 20 from Violoncello Music for Beginners 1, arr. Lengyel and Pejtsik
Editio Musica Budapest (Z.6312)

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List C

No. Composer Piece information Publication(s)
1 Katherine Colledge and Hugh Colledge download download Waggon Wheels
No. 23 from Waggon Wheels for Cello
 
Katherine Colledge and Hugh Colledge: Waggon Wheels for Cello
Boosey & Hawkes

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2 Sheila Nelson download download Mad as a Hatter
 
No. 10 from Piece by Piece 1 for Cello, arr. Nelson
Boosey & Hawkes

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3 Ros Stephen download download Stoppin' off in Louisiana
No. 2 from Cello Globetrotters
(easier version)
 
Ros Stephen: Cello Globetrotters (piano accomp. printable from companion CD)
OUP

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4 Trad. Congolese
arr. Bruce and Wells
download download Banaha
 
More Time Pieces for Cello, Vol. 1, arr. Bruce and Wells
ABRSM

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5 Tim Wells download download The Ghost
from Cello Scenes
 
Tim Wells: Cello Scenes
Cramer

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6 Frank Wunsch
arr. Deserno
download download Dorian Blue
 
No. 19 from My First Concert for Cello, arr. Deserno
Schott (ED 20881)

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Cello 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/VC 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.

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.

Scales Trainer

Scales Trainer helps increase fluency with ABRSM scales and arpeggios requirements.

 

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