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Trombone Grade 4 Trombone

The Trombone Grade 4 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 4 (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 Anon.
arr. Tanner
Sweet Nightingale Or Tom Bawcock's Eve
Cornish Pastiche for Trombone/Tuba, arr. Tanner (Bass clef edition)
Spartan Press (SP1215)

More details
Cornish Pastiche, arr. Tanner (Bb Treble clef brass edition)
Spartan Press (SP1213)

More details
2 Boismortier
arr. Harris and Miller
Rigaudon
from Op. 40
Time Pieces for Trombone, Vol. 2, arr. Harris and Miller (Bass/Treble clef edition)
ABRSM

More details
3 M.-A. Charpentier
arr. Mowat
Prelude to Te Deum
(observing lower line in ossia)
Savoir Faire for Trombone/Euphonium, arr. Mowat (Bass clef edition)
Brass Wind (BW2147BC)

More details
Savoir Faire for Trombone/Euphonium, arr. Mowat (Treble clef edition)
Brass Wind (BW2147TC)

More details
4 Tom Davoren Beaufort Allegro
Shining Brass, Book 2 (Bass/Treble clef brass edition)
ABRSM

More details

Piano accomp. published separately as Shining Brass, Book 2
ABRSM
5 John Frith Jiggedy Jig
Shining Brass, Book 2 (Bass/Treble clef brass edition)
ABRSM

More details

Piano accomp. published separately as Shining Brass, Book 2
ABRSM
6 Grieg
arr. Lawrance
Solveig's Song
from Peer Gynt
Great Winners, arr. Lawrance (Bass clef Trombone edition)
Brass Wind (BW0136BC)

More details
Great Winners, arr. Lawrance (Treble clef brass edition)
Brass Wind (BW0132)

More details

Piano accomp. published separately as Great Winners, arr. Lawrance
Brass Wind (BW0133PA)
7 Molloy
arr. Wills
Love's Old Sweet Song
The Victorian Trombone, arr. Wills (Bass/Treble clef edition)
Faber

More details
8 Mozart
arr. Sparke
Adagio
No. 15 from Skilful Solos for Trombone, arr. Sparke (Bass/Treble clef edition)
Anglo Music (AMP 193-400)

More details
9 Warlock
arr. Mowat
Basse Dance
from Capriol Suite
Slide Show for Trombone, arr. Mowat (Bass clef edition)
Brass Wind (BW0122BC)

More details
Slide Show for Trombone, arr. Mowat (Treble clef edition)
Brass Wind (BW0122TC)

More details

List B

No. Composer Piece information Publication(s)
1 Barber
arr. McMillen
Sure on this Shining Night
Across the Pond 02 for Trombone, arr. McMillen (Bass clef edition)
Brass Wind (BW2155BC)

More details
Across the Pond 02 for Trombone, arr. McMillen (Treble clef edition)
Brass Wind (BW2155TC)

More details
2 Alberto Dominguez
arr. Lawrance
Frenesì
Great Winners, arr. Lawrance (Bass clef Trombone edition)
Brass Wind (BW0136BC)

More details
Great Winners, arr. Lawrance (Treble clef brass edition)
Brass Wind (BW0132)

More details

Piano accomp. published separately as Great Winners, arr. Lawrance
Brass Wind (BW0133PA)
3 Ron Goodwin
arr. Lawrance
633 Squadron
Great Winners, arr. Lawrance (Bass clef Trombone edition)
Brass Wind (BW0136BC)

More details
Great Winners, arr. Lawrance (Treble clef brass edition)
Brass Wind (BW0132)

More details

Piano accomp. published separately as Great Winners, arr. Lawrance
Brass Wind (BW0133PA)
4 Paul Harris Rag and Bone Rag
Time Pieces for Trombone, Vol. 2, arr. Harris and Miller (Bass/Treble clef edition)
ABRSM

More details
5 Peter Meechan Way Down South
Shining Brass, Book 2 (Bass/Treble clef brass edition)
ABRSM

More details

Piano accomp. published separately as Shining Brass, Book 2
ABRSM
6 David A. Stowell Open Plains
Shining Brass, Book 2 (Bass/Treble clef brass edition)
ABRSM

More details

Piano accomp. published separately as Shining Brass, Book 2
ABRSM
7 Stephen Sondheim
arr. Iveson
Send in the Clowns
A Little Light Music for Trombone, arr. Iveson (Bass clef edition)
Brass Wind (BW2115BC)

More details
A Little Light Music for Trombone, arr. Iveson (Treble clef edition)
Brass Wind (BW2115TC)

More details
8 Philip Sparke At the Circus Or Thinking of You
No. 14 Or No. 17 from Skilful Solos for Trombone, arr. Sparke (Bass/Treble clef edition)
Anglo Music (AMP 193-400)

More details
9 John Williams
arr. Galliford and Neuburg and Edmondson
Hedwig’s Theme
from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's/Philosopher's Stone
Ultimate Movie Instrumental Solos for Trombone, arr. Galliford and Neuburg and Edmondson (Bass clef edition; piano accomp. printable from companion CD)
Alfred (40123)

More details

List C

No. Composer Piece information Publication(s)
1 Derek Bourgeois Allegro vivace
No. 10 from Splinters of Bone, Op. 130
Derek Bourgeois: Splinters of Bone (Bass clef edition)
Brass Wind (BW6014BC)

More details
Derek Bourgeois: Splinters of Bone (Treble clef edition)
Brass Wind (BW6014TC)

More details
2 Dave Gale Aye Carumba! Or Prairie Contrary
from JazzFX for Trombone
P. 5 Or P. 6 from Dave Gale: JazzFX for Trombone (Bass clef edition)
Brass Wind (BW1163BCD)

More details
P. 5 Or P. 6 from Dave Gale: JazzFX for Trombone (Treble clef edition)
Brass Wind (BW1164TCD)

More details
3 Jock McKenzie Tarantella
from Music Makes the World Go Around
Jock McKenzie: Music Makes the World Go Around (Bass clef edition)
Con Moto

More details
Jock McKenzie: Music Makes the World Go Around (Treble clef edition)
Con Moto

More details
4 Peter Meechan Reflections
Shining Brass, Book 2 (Bass/Treble clef brass edition)
ABRSM

More details
5 Mark Nightingale Shutdown Samba
No. 17 from Jazz@Etudes for Trombone
Mark Nightingale: Jazz@Etudes for Trombone (Bass clef edition)
Warwick Music (TB732)

More details
Mark Nightingale: Jazz@Etudes for Trombone (Treble clef edition)
Warwick Music (TB817)

More details
6 Bob Quick Harvest Home
from Reel Technique for Trombone
Bob Quick: Reel Technique for Trombone (Bass clef edition)
Warwick Music (TB653)

More details
7 Philip Sparke Ursa Major
No. 37 from Skilful Studies for Trombone
Philip Sparke: Skilful Studies for Trombone (Bass/Treble clef edition)
Anglo Music (AMP 100-401)

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 both tongued and with legato tonguing in the following keys:

  • Bass clef: Db major (one octave); E minor (starting an octave above lowest tonic) (one octave)
    Ab, Bb majors; G minor (a twelfth)
  • Treble clef: Eb major (one octave); F# minor (starting an octave above lowest tonic) (one octave)
    Bb, C majors; A minor (a twelfth)

Scales: in the above keys (minors in harmonic or melodic form at candidate’s choice)

Chromatic Scale:

  • Bass clef: starting on Eb (one octave)
  • Treble clef: starting on F (one octave)

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

 


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 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 or treble clef at candidate’s choice) a short piece in simple or compound time within the keys, notes and overall range of the scale requirements set up to and including this grade.


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. To sing or play from memory a melody played twice by the examiner. The melody 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 melody again and allow a second attempt (although this will affect the assessment).
  2. To sing five notes from score in free time. The candidate may choose to sing from treble or bass clef. The notes will be within the range of a third above and below the tonic in the key of C, F or G major. The test will begin and end on the tonic and will not contain intervals greater than a third. First the examiner will name and play the key-chord and the starting note. If necessary, the examiner will help the candidate by playing and identifying the correct note if any note is sung at the wrong pitch.
  3. (i) 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 one of the following: dynamics, articulation, tempo, tonality; the second will be character.

    (ii) To clap the rhythm of the notes in an extract from the same piece, and to identify whether it is in two time, three time or four time. The examiner will play the extract twice (unharmonized), after which the candidate should clap back the rhythm. The examiner will then ask whether the music is in two time, three time or four time. The candidate is not required to state the time signature.

 


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 4 Trombone

The Trombone Grade 4 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.

Publications & audio

Supporting applications

 

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