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#605250 - 05/16/07 09:09 PM Grade 8 Studies.. please help!!!!
piano.is.love Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/14/07
Posts: 8
hi.... i am choosing my grade 8 studies.. and i am doing an rcm exam.. i have the piano odyssey book of grade 8 piano studies.. anyways i have no idea what any of them sound like and im trying to figure out what they sound like... does anyone know of any sites where i ciould hear what the studies sound like? or if not that... then does anyone know out of this book some fun and nice or pretty studies that i might enjoy

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#605251 - 05/16/07 10:26 PM Re: Grade 8 Studies.. please help!!!!
pianojerome Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/05
Posts: 9868
One of the amazing things about playing piano is that you don't have to listen to someone else to hear how a piece sounds... you can play it yourself, and listen to how it goes while you play!

Of course, it takes some time to learn each piece, and so you won't know right away which one in the book you'll like the best. But, in my opinion, that mystery is part of the joy of learning.

#605252 - 05/17/07 07:50 AM Re: Grade 8 Studies.. please help!!!!
EbonyIvory Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/28/07
Posts: 50
Loc: Australia
^ That's true. Maybe you have a favourite period or genre of pieces to play? I know if I could just choose anything, it would be something romantic or impressionistic. Or, go for a composer that you've never played before, you might be pleasantly surprised!
"I write music with an exclamation point!" - Richard Wagner

#605253 - 05/17/07 09:55 AM Re: Grade 8 Studies.. please help!!!!
BruceD Offline

Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 20105
Loc: Victoria, BC

It's not a case of "just choosing anything" for piano.is.love. She is required to play two Studies for her grade 8 exam, and she has a collection of some from which she might choose. Her unfamiliarity with them was the reason for her query.


I agree with Sam that one of the joys of playing the piano is discovery. "Discover" how the work sounds by playing it. All you need to know is in the score. You don't need the "crutch" of someone else's polished performance to let you know what they "sound like"; work through them and discover them for yourself. That way, too, you will discover which ones present particular technical challenges that will either want to tackle or will want to avoid. Many of the Studies at that level are by lesser composers and while some of their works may be available on recording, it is doubtful that their Studies are. It is even more doubtful that you will find a website where you can listen to such works.

I think you're on your own, for this.

- - - - -
Estonia 190

#605254 - 05/17/07 11:42 AM Re: Grade 8 Studies.. please help!!!!
TammyF Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/16/05
Posts: 21
Loc: Castlegar, Canada
There are recordings available from the Royal Conservatory. You can pick them up or order them from any of the music stores that sell RC materials.
I tell my students that the recordings aren't the "end all" but give you an idea what they sound like. You can hear a recording of the same piece numerous times and it will sound slightly different.
Hope that helps!

#605255 - 05/17/07 12:35 PM Re: Grade 8 Studies.. please help!!!!
BruceD Offline

Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 20105
Loc: Victoria, BC
Here's a link to the CD for Series 8 of the Piano Odyssey series, including the Studies.

Odyssey 8

I still think it's a bit of a cop-out, however, just sitting and listening to what a work "sounds like" played by someone else rather than learning to follow the clues in the score and discovering a work for oneself. Particularly, by Grade 8, this "discovery" should be part of every music student's experience.

- - - - -
Estonia 190

#605256 - 05/17/07 06:07 PM Re: Grade 8 Studies.. please help!!!!

I do the ABRSM grade 8 exam. i would like to know how didfferent it is.
my exam is 150 marks possible, 100 passes you, 120 merit and 130 distiniction.
3 pieces from different eras each contribute a possible 30 points are to be chosen. mine are a prelude and fugue by shostakovich, a sonata movement by clementi, and a nocturne from chopin.
the remainig 60 marks are gained by scales and arpeggios (together), sight reading and aural tests.
whats your RCM exam?

#605257 - 05/17/07 09:24 PM Re: Grade 8 Studies.. please help!!!!
BruceD Offline

Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 20105
Loc: Victoria, BC
chopinmad :

Remember that RCM goes to Grade 10, and is then followed by the ARCT diploma. Therefore, RCM Grade 8 is not quite as advanced as ABRSM grade 8.

RCM Grade 8 examination requirements :
Four pieces, one each from :
- List A - Baroque repertoire
- List B - Classical and Classical-style repertoire
- List C - Romantic repertoire
- List D - 20th-century repertoire
The above pieces must be chosen from the RCM Syllabus for the particular grade. The current Syllabus lists, for Grade 8, more than 30 pieces for List A, more than 20 for list B, more than 30 for list C and more than 50 for list D among which the candidate must choose

plus :

Two technical studies

Scales : 6 major, 6 melodic and harmonic minor, hands together, four octaves at 88=quarter note

Four-note chords: major, minor, dominant, diminished, hands together, some solid and some solid and broken, 2 octaves at 80=quarter note

Arpeggios: major, minor, dominant 7ths, diminished 7ths, hands together, 4 octaves, 72=quarter note

Ear tests

Sight reading

Scale of marks :
pieces : 52 points
memorization of pieces : 8 points
Techical tests and studies : 20 points
Ear Tests : 10 points
Sight Reading : 10 points
Total : 100 points

Classification :
First Class Honours with Distinction : 90-100
First Class Honours : 80-89
Honors : 70-79
Pass : 60-69

- - - - -
Estonia 190

#605258 - 05/18/07 06:14 PM Re: Grade 8 Studies.. please help!!!!

aaaah thanks.
its still pretty similar. but in my grade theres more scales and arpeggios to do.
what are the fournote chords?
also not so much choice of piece.

#605259 - 06/12/07 03:35 PM Re: Grade 8 Studies.. please help!!!!
pilgrim Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/02/07
Posts: 152
Loc: nova scotia
if i may interject,
please do not buy the cd collection
there are many wrong notes across the recordings.

re: variety of pieces to pick from
the RCM publishes two books for each grade, a repertoire and a studies book.
you must play any two studies from the book but for your other pieces (one from each list) they may be from the repertoire book or any other pieces listed under grade 8 in the syllabus (2001, i think) which is published by fjh music.

for my grade 8 exam i played
the march of the marionettes
spider on the ceiling

but pick something you like -- if you don't do that well on the studies don't worry. they're only worth about five points i believe.
repertoire for the moment:
bach: prelude and fugue in b-, book i (WTC)
mozart - sonata in D+, k. 576
schumann (transc. liszt) - widmung
coulthard - image astrale

#605260 - 06/12/07 06:14 PM Re: Grade 8 Studies.. please help!!!!
pianist.ame Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/18/07
Posts: 1166
Loc: Singapore
"aaaah thanks.
its still pretty similar.
nope, that's not true. RCM music students have a heavier workload then ABRSM students. We have to learn more pieces for example for ABRSM dip you have to learn 3 pieces. For ARCT Performers we have to learn 1 Baroque, 1 Classical, 1 Neo-Classical/Romantic, 1 18th C and 1 20th C.
Mastering:Chopin Etudes op.10 nos.8&12 and op.25 no.1, Chopin Scherzo no.4 in E major op.54, Mozart Sonata in B flat major K.333& Khachaturian Toccata

#605261 - 06/13/07 12:25 AM Re: Grade 8 Studies.. please help!!!!
Daffodil Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/09/07
Posts: 168
Loc: In a big country
I've found this to be a useful site:


You can listen to five recordings a day free - and it's a hefty library. \:\)
Daffodil - Onslow's twin.
Hailun 178

#605262 - 06/13/07 07:20 PM Re: Grade 8 Studies.. please help!!!!
jello_g Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/19/02
Posts: 214
Loc: Toronto, Canada
I've heard a couple of those RCM CDs in the past. They will certainly give you an idea what the pieces sound like, but that is all. They are not IMHO, highly polished performances, but that I don't think is the purpose of the available recordings.

If you have the appropriate technology, you could resort to scanning in the music and having a computer play it back to you.

#605263 - 06/13/07 10:29 PM Re: Grade 8 Studies.. please help!!!!
me_dup1 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/19/02
Posts: 261
Loc: north of 53
The RCM CDs are available in your local library too (well, at least for me). Or your teacher could play a few for you to pick from (for your exam).

#605264 - 06/23/07 03:47 PM Re: Grade 8 Studies.. please help!!!!
AdamG Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/23/07
Posts: 17
When I did my grade 8 exam I chose the Sonata in C - by Clementi, Beethovens Easy Sonata, Milonga del Angeli ( which I strongly recommend ), a grade 9 substitute of Chopin's most wonderful Nocturne in C#- post opus and for studies I chose Song of the Waterfall and Etude in D minor. I recommend everything that I did obviously and I recommend to always look up pieces a grade higher in the syllabus to see if there's anything you fancy better.

Myself it doesn't matter so much the difficulty of the piece so much as the enjoyment I get out of playing it so I'm able to sub up a grade without it really effecting anything as long as I like the song.

I didn't really like either list A or B selections in grade 8 but myself I don't really like much of the 1700's selection that RCM gives you.

Oh well :>

Good luck with your studies.

#605265 - 07/11/07 10:01 AM Re: Grade 8 Studies.. please help!!!!
cantabile Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/19/04
Posts: 20
Loc: ontario
Pilgrim, I would be interested to know what fingering you used to arrive at the sfz chord in the last but one measure. I have experimented with several fingerings but still find it very difficult to get to that chord on time. Did you find this a challenge?

#605266 - 07/11/07 02:00 PM Re: Grade 8 Studies.. please help!!!!
cantabile Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/19/04
Posts: 20
Loc: ontario
Pilgrim, I forgot to say the piece I am referring to is Spider on the Ceiling.

#605267 - 07/20/07 03:39 PM Re: Grade 8 Studies.. please help!!!!
pilgrim Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/02/07
Posts: 152
Loc: nova scotia
measure 15
three in the right on the high Eb
1 in the left on the C
use the chromatic scale fingering

you see how in the left hand they have 123 marked?
i changed that and use
i kept the right hand

then the measure with the 5 and 6 triplet-like figures, i did those in two phrases.
then i jumped down to the sfz chord.
as far as i can tell, it's supposed to sound like a "splat" so just pounce into that chord as fast as you can.
but, i used
from the left hand
F - 4, Gb - 3, Bbb - 2
and the right
Ab - 2, Bb - 3, Cb - 4

but! i struggled with this greatly. it was truly a matter of getting to that last chord cleanly. not all this fussing.
when i didn't think about it, it came off great.
i don't remember how it went on the exam, but i was pleased with my overall mark.
repertoire for the moment:
bach: prelude and fugue in b-, book i (WTC)
mozart - sonata in D+, k. 576
schumann (transc. liszt) - widmung
coulthard - image astrale

#605268 - 07/20/07 08:50 PM Re: Grade 8 Studies.. please help!!!!
Theowne Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/06
Posts: 1099
Loc: Toronto, Canada
The CD's are actually a good buy, I think. Rather then waste my lesson time with my teacher asking them to play every single piece in the book, with the CD you can go through it and pick pieces you like.

And I am also doing (or attempting to do) my grade 8 in a month. I'm playing

Sonata in C Minor-III-Pescetti
Sonata in G Major-I-Clementi
Page D'Album-Debussy

And my two technicals are Dance of the Marionettes by Pinto and Allegro by Kadosa.
http://www.youtube.com/user/Theowne- Piano Videos (Ravel, Debussy, etc) & Original Compositions


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