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Grade 7 Theory

MandyH

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I know I said I never would (KevGermany even offered to come & kick me in the shins!) ... but I have decided to start music theory lessons again, with a view to (one day) contemplating my grade 7 theory exam!

o_O
 

Dibbs

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Good luck with that. I just had a quick look at the syllabus. I don't think it's changed much in the 45 years since I did it. i.e. both feet stuck very firmly in the 18th century. I've forgotten most of that stuff. I'm not sure I would pass it now.
 
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MandyH

MandyH

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Good luck with that. I just had a quick look at the syllabus. I don't think it's changed much in the 45 years since I did it. i.e. both feet stuck very firmly in the 18th century. I've forgotten most of that stuff. I'm not sure I would pass it now.
I think you are correct!

My teacher mentioned last week that the ABRSM is full of middle-aged male organists (tbf he is also a middle-aged male organist) so the syllabus is very stuck to Classical / Baroque organ music and chorales.

Today's homework:

bach chorales_1.jpg


Working out the chords is not a problem - it's the bit highlighted in yellow that may prove challenging.
I may have Jazz sax grade 8, but I don't think even I can manage to play 4 lines at once. (maybe I can employ my whole sax quartet!)
My not-yet-grade-1 piano playing skills may be stretched too!
 

jbtsax

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That is a tall order for a non-keyboard player to play 4-part harmonization the way it is written out. I really struggled with that in the required "group piano" course I took in college as a music major. If the object is to hear the choral rather than develop keyboard skill, you may be able to use a notation software such as Finale or even Finale Note Pad to write the music example and play it back so you can hear the harmony and moving voices. That's what I would do. :)
 

Dibbs

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That is a tall order for a non-keyboard player to play 4-part harmonization the way it is written out. I really struggled with that in the required "group piano" course I took in college as a music major. If the object is to hear the choral rather than develop keyboard skill, you may be able to use a notation software such as Finale or even Finale Note Pad to write the music example and play it back so you can hear the harmony and moving voices. That's what I would do. :)
I agree. If you do try to play it on the piano, for no, 113 it would be easiest to play most of the tenor part with your right thumb. Hardly anyone would be able to reach the 12th in the middle of the second bar.
 
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MandyH

MandyH

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That is a tall order for a non-keyboard player to play 4-part harmonization the way it is written out. I really struggled with that in the required "group piano" course I took in college as a music major. If the object is to hear the choral rather than develop keyboard skill, you may be able to use a notation software such as Finale or even Finale Note Pad to write the music example and play it back so you can hear the harmony and moving voices. That's what I would do. :)
That's what I am planning to do - and to be fair to my tutor, that's what he suggested.
I have Sibelius, and I have worked out how to get SATB voices in closed score, so I'll just keep amending the one score that is now set up for each different exercise.

Sibelius sings voices in a rather cute "aah" :D
 
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MandyH

MandyH

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Well, we are now 2 lessons in, and enjoying the lessons
(I’m not sure I could have said that in grade 6 lessons)

I have taken the view that the journey is far more important than the exam. Which means I feel comfortable with asking lots of questions - we occasionally go off at tangents (related to the main topic).

Last lesson I worked an Alto & Tenor line to a given Soprano & Bass line in a Bach chorale.

My tutor had to “suffer” a verbal brain dump as I worked my way piecewise through each chord. But I figured that if I had been doing something wrong, he would have stopped me & pointed out my error.
So I feel much more at ease with the techniques we are currently looking at.

Having sorted out the block chords, we then discussed where to add some “twiddly bits” - it is Baroque after all :rofl:

E0D0CB8D-9831-4EC8-986C-3D649EF402AB.jpeg
 
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Dibbs

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So neither you nor Bach have ever heard that the leading note has to rise to the tonic in perfect cadence. :)
 
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MandyH

MandyH

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So, having spent weeks attempting to harmonise Bach chorales, and asking myself why I ever started this, 2 weeks ago we looked at the relevant past paper question.

I could have kissed my tutor! (Metaphorically you understand!)

The question doesn’t actually require me to guess (work out) which chords to use, all chords are given, including which voice has which note - I just have to add in suitable Bach-like “twiddley bits”!

So the ground-work was far more in depth than what is needed to answer the question.

3 in 4 of the exams across the year asks for such work on a Bach Chorale, 1 in 4 doesn’t.

So in yesterday’s lesson, I completed a Haydn piano piece instead - strangely straightforward, and very enjoyable!
 

Jeanette

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So, having spent weeks attempting to harmonise Bach chorales, and asking myself why I ever started this, 2 weeks ago we looked at the relevant past paper question.

I could have kissed my tutor! (Metaphorically you understand!)

The question doesn’t actually require me to guess (work out) which chords to use, all chords are given, including which voice has which note - I just have to add in suitable Bach-like “twiddley bits”!

So the ground-work was far more in depth than what is needed to answer the question.

3 in 4 of the exams across the year asks for such work on a Bach Chorale, 1 in 4 doesn’t.

So in yesterday’s lesson, I completed a Haydn piano piece instead - strangely straightforward, and very enjoyable!
What books would you recommend for Grade 6?

Jx
 
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MandyH

MandyH

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What books would you recommend for Grade 6?

Jx
We worked through some of Harmony in Practice, Anna Butterworth.

I would say it’s almost impossible without a teacher!

I’ll look to see whether we used any other books.
My tutor provided me with copious of his own notes too.
 

tenorviol

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We worked through some of Harmony in Practice, Anna Butterworth.

I would say it’s almost impossible without a teacher!

I’ll look to see whether we used any other books.
My tutor provided me with copious of his own notes too.
I did my G6 on a whim at 6 weeks notice and no tutor, which is why I only got 77% - I have since discovered that there some rules around some of the questions which I didn’t know about and had I known, life would have been much easier
 
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MandyH

MandyH

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My lessons are still going!
Last week, my homework was to tackle a complete G7 past paper!

I wouldn’t say it was easy (it was traumatic in places!) and I approached it in a more “open book” style than under exam conditions, but it gave my tutor and I lots to discuss in today’s lesson.

Anyway, the result wasn’t quite as horrific as I had anticipated!

On a related note ... I have discovered that I can’t take the exam in the June sitting. The exam is 3 hours, starting at 10:00am on 15th June, but I am performing in a concert in Malvern Priory at 3:00pm the same day, with a rehearsal earlier in the day with a touring sax ensemble. So I guess I’ll be waiting until November before taking the exam (if I take it!)
 
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