Huntingdonshire Music School Association

Monday, October 05, 2009

New ABRSM Syllabuses for 2010

Listen to a podcast of the new Cello, Double Bass, Trumpet, Trombone and Bass Trombone requirements for 2010 - 14:23 minutes

From the ABRSM web site:

Syllabus Update for 2010

Student playing cello
Nigel Scaife, Syllabus Director, looks ahead to the new syllabuses for 2010 being prepared for release later in the year.

Whereas last year we had the major reviews of the syllabuses for piano, guitar and singing, this year there are no reviews of scales or sight-reading, but we are refreshing the repertoire lists for five subjects: cello, double bass, trumpet, trombone and bass trombone.

Alongside this, we will be supporting the syllabuses with a range of exciting new publications and recordings. So let me take each subject area in turn.


The cello syllabus repertoire was last refreshed in 2005, when we were able to draw particularly on the experience of cello teachers via the European String Teachers Association, and much of their expertise and advice has fed through into this new syllabus. This time round, we are delighted that to complement the syllabus, ABRSM will not only be producing CD recordings for all grades, but will also be supplementing the three existing volumes of Time Pieces for Cello by a further two books in the series.
These new books extend from Grade 1 right up to Grade 7, and will offer a rich choice of extra repertoire for candidates taking the new cello exams.

Double Bass

In late 2007 we conducted a pilot project involving literally hundreds of double bass teachers in the UK and covering a variety of topics from repertoire suggestions to new approaches to scales. We wanted to know, for example, the extent to which teachers valued having the choice of different groups of scales and gain a sense of the percentage of those using half position at the early stages. While the participants‚?? responses relating to scales will be fed into the global review of all bowed strings that we have recently begun (more in future Librettos!), the feedback on the current double bass syllabus and the many suggestions for new or little-known repertoire were much appreciated by the team choosing the new pieces. So, many thanks to everyone who took part in the pilot, and watch out for the new syllabus to see which of your recommendations have been incorporated.

ABRSM is extending the popular Time Pieces series ‚?? available already for 14 instruments ‚?? to embrace double bass. There will be two books, the first of which will provide material for Grades 1‚??3, with the second volume covering Grades 4 and 5. These will be an important asset for bass teachers and their pupils, providing attractive repertoire drawn from the widest possible range of historical and stylistic sources.
The revision of the cello and double-bass lists completes the refreshment of repertoire lists for bowed strings, following the new violin and viola lists that were issued for 2008.

Trumpet, Cornet, Flugelhorn

Although the new lists have yet to undergo their final round of moderation, we can reveal at this stage that one of the most noticeable improvements in the new lists will be a more varied content in the List Bs. While a good number of jazz-style pieces will be retained, they will now be complemented in the List Bs by a wider representation of significant repertoire pieces from the late 19th and 20th centuries ‚?? repertoire we hope candidates will really enjoy getting to know.

Another important development reflects the fact that a significant percentage of candidates currently entering for this syllabus take the exam on the cornet, so our selectors have been busily looking to increase the number of pieces specifically written for the instrument. Although candidate numbers are smaller for flugelhorn, the selectors have also been eager to boost the number of particularly suitable exam pieces for this wonderful instrument as well.
And finally, it is our aim that the new syllabus will contain a larger number of choices in each list, more in line with the size of the current flute and clarinet syllabuses, for example. This will mean that trumpet teachers can be even more empowered to match the repertoire to the particular needs of each student, finding just the right material to challenge and motivate their learners, at whatever stage they are at. Recordings of the new trumpet syllabus will be released by the end of 2009.

Trombone and Bass Trombone

As with the new trumpet lists, it is our aim that the eventual number of pieces in the new trombone lists will be larger than the current syllabus, offering candidates and teachers a richer selection to choose from. The lists were last refreshed in 2002 and this time we are also taking the opportunity to revise the repertoire lists for bass trombone, which have not been updated for many years. The grades of this syllabus will remain as before ‚?? that is for Grades 6‚??8 only.

The ABRSM provides a complete list of syllabuses on its site and advice on the overlap periods between the old and new syllabuses.

PS It seems the plural of syllabus can be either syllabuses or syllabi.

See also

Preview of the ABRSM 2009 Guitar SyllabusMusic Exams

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Tuba Carols - London - 13th December 2009

From Tubanews:

Tuba Carols 2009 is on Sunday 13th December at 12.45 until 14.30 in front of St. Paul’s Cathedral.

Please tell all your Tuba / euphonium / baritone/ sousaphone / helicon / ophecleide / serpent / cimbasso playing friends, and of course, put the date in your own diary.

Music (4 parts, with descants, all clefs) will be provided, also chairs, you will need to bring a music stand.
Last year we managed a fantastic 54 players and collected ¬£780 for charity. (Watch last year’s on YouTube: )

This year it would be great if we could manage 75 + players! We’ll be collecting for The Prostate Cancer Research Foundation (, who’s fundraising campaign using the memory of Bob Monkhouse is, I’m sure, already familiar to many of you.

I look forward to hearing all of you on Sunday 13th December!

Best regards, Chris Ludwig, Tuba Carols.

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