New Year's Resolution - Grade 5 Theory

MikeMorrell

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Hi Jeanette, great to read that you're working towards grade 5. Not for the fainthearted!

I'm not all that savvy with absrm grades (being an expat) but grade 5 seems to cover 4 sharps/flats (with whatever rhythms). Good luck!

Mike
 

Young Col

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In amongst your head messing, you two, there is an interesting point.

As an adult learner, having at one time been a professional management trainer, I know that in situations like learning to play an instrument, I have a need to understand the underlying theory of things and think about them so that I can put them into practice. My teacher recognised this too and while I was learning to play, she got me to do Grade 5 theory before the playing exams. I'm very glad I did because it suited my learning style. It does depend on context though as sometimes I will abandon my theorist/reflector style and go into flat pack building mode of trying to put something together first and looking at the instructions afterwards (usually when something's gone wrong). Other people will be naturally different and will want to learn to play first and only get to the theory later, if they need to. Exactly as Trimmy says.

There is nothing wrong with either approach. However, to learn fully, you need to do all of the processes - whether you start with the activist/pragmatist process (dive in first and learn how it works later) or the theorist/reflector style (understand why and then do it). I'm paraphrasing, but I hope the point is clear. If anyone wants to know more about this (theory!), have look on line at Honey and Mumford's Learning Styles.

BTW, Grade 5 goes up to six sharps and flats, basic voicing, intervals, chords and cadences and some elementary composition. .
 

Jeanette

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In amongst your head messing, you two, there is an interesting point.

As an adult learner, having at one time been a professional management trainer, I know that in situations like learning to play an instrument, I have a need to understand the underlying theory of things and think about them so that I can put them into practice. My teacher recognised this too and while I was learning to play, she got me to do Grade 5 theory before the playing exams. I'm very glad I did because it suited my learning style. It does depend on context though as sometimes I will abandon my theorist/reflector style and go into flat pack building mode of trying to put something together first and looking at the instructions afterwards (usually when something's gone wrong). Other people will be naturally different and will want to learn to play first and only get to the theory later, if they need to. Exactly as Trimmy says.

There is nothing wrong with either approach. However, to learn fully, you need to do all of the processes - whether you start with the activist/pragmatist process (dive in first and learn how it works later) or the theorist/reflector style (understand why and then do it). I'm paraphrasing, but I hope the point is clear. If anyone wants to know more about this (theory!), have look on line at Honey and Mumford's Learning Styles.

BTW, Grade 5 goes up to six sharps and flats, basic voicing, intervals, chords and cadences and some elementary composition. .
I agree with all you say Col and interestingly I had to learn how to learn again if that makes sense. I kept buying theory books and reading so far and giving up but remembering how I learnt at school which was tutor led and when doing my professional exams, a lot of home study with workbooks set me on the right path. The biggest difference this time is actually working through examples and exercises. I've got further by doing this than just reading.

I still hope to take the exam just not sure on the timescale because it isn't about passing the exam but gaining the knowledge and slow is proving better at the moment. Though there is a danger I'll forget before the exam :)

Jx
 

Young Col

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Spot on, J. As adults we learn differently because we contextualise from experience.
It's good to take the exam as passing gives you a real sense of achievement, but even if you don't take it, you'll have learnt lots.
 

Jeanette

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I can't believe how long this is taking me, or how difficult I am finding it, still plodding on :)

Question: I'm transposing up a perfect 5th, asked not to use key signature and to add accidentals as required and remove any not required so why when transposing from A major a Bb and C nat in the answer transpose to F & G natural do they use the natural sign?

Would I be marked down for leaving it off. There are no other Fs or Gs in that bar.

Jx
 

nigeld

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It's a question of what they mean by "not using the key signature" to transpose up a 5th.

Basically you have 2 possibilities:
1. Keep the original key signature (3 sharps)
2. Use no key signature (i.e. C major)

I guess they mean you should keep the original key signature, rather than adding an extra sharp to make it E major.

If you are keeping the key signature of A major, then F and G have sharps in the key signature, so you will have to add natural signs.
 

BigMartin

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I can't believe how long this is taking me, or how difficult I am finding it, still plodding on :)

Question: I'm transposing up a perfect 5th, asked not to use key signature and to add accidentals as required and remove any not required so why when transposing from A major a Bb and C nat in the answer transpose to F & G natural do they use the natural sign?

Would I be marked down for leaving it off. There are no other Fs or Gs in that bar.

Jx
A perfect fifth up from a Bb is an F. Why would you use an accidental? Presumably the idea of the exercise is that you're transposing a part for someone to play from. That person doesn't care if the F was originallly a Bb. Since you're asked to remove not-required accidentals I would expect you to be marked down for putting the natural sign in.

Edit: Was typing at the same tie as @nigeld. I assumed they meant don't use a key signature in your answer.. Obviously if there are F and G sharps in the new key sig, you have to add the natural signs.
 
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Jeanette

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A perfect fifth up from a Bb is an F. Why would you use an accidental? Presumably the idea of the exercise is that you're transposing a part for someone to play from. That person doesn't care if the F was originallly a Bb. Since you're asked to remove not-required accidentals I would expect you to be marked down for putting the natural sign in.

Edit: Was typing at the same tie as @nigeld. I assumed they meant don't use a key signature in your answer.. Obviously if there are F and G sharps in the new key sig, you have to add the natural signs.
You understand it as I did Martin, it's just that the model answer has a natural sign. I didn't use one in my answer. Perhaps they are making a point that it is no longer sharp but not necessary in my opinion..

Jx
 

Jeanette

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It's a question of what they mean by "not using the key signature" to transpose up a 5th.

Basically you have 2 possibilities:
1. Keep the original key signature (3 sharps)
2. Use no key signature (i.e. C major)

I guess they mean you should keep the original key signature, rather than adding an extra sharp to make it E major.

If you are keeping the key signature of A major, then F and G have sharps in the key signature, so you will have to add natural signs.
They want me to transpose the key signature up a perfect 5th ie from A major to E major but instead of adding a key signature at the start of the stave just add accidentals as required.

Jx
 
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nigeld

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They want me to transpose the key signature up a perfect 5th ie from A major to E major but instead of adding a key signature at the start of the stave just add accidentals as required.
Are you sure they don't want you to keep the existing key signature at the start of the stave and then add accidentals to it as required.
 

nigeld

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There is a common convention, which Sibelius follows, that after a note has been sharpened of flattened, the next occurrence has an explicit natural sign, even if it is in the next bar. Strictly speaking the natural sign is not necessary, but it can be helpful.
 

kevgermany

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Sorry, explicit courtesy natural sign is only for the same bar. Next bar requires one, unless the key Sig changed.

Where it's confusing is whether to play other notes as naturals. E.g. C# below the stave is shown as C by a natural sign. This continues for the bar without a natural sign. Now comes a 3rd space C in the same bar. Is it natural or sharp? Both conventions are followed. Although the rule is.....
 
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