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#959338 - 12/16/06 04:58 PM defining a piece's level of difficulty
DinoCard Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/11/06
Posts: 8
Loc: Pittsburgh
Hello all,

I've heard it said that there is actually a formal system established in the teaching of western classical music by which you can determine a piece's "grade" level.

So, two part question.

1. Is there a musical "grading" system for determining which "year" a piano student is in, judged by what they can do and what they know, and not just by how long they've been studying?

2. Is there a related system for determining which "grade" a particular piece is suitable for?

Thank you so much, in advance.
Dino.

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#959339 - 12/18/06 02:52 AM Re: defining a piece's level of difficulty
buxtehude Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/07/06
Posts: 499
Loc: Copenhagen, Denmark
Here are some links. I don't know if it will answer your questions(?)

http://www.abrsm.org/resources/perfDip05Part2.pdf
(These are the advanced pieces; on the ABRSM pages you'll find link to their 1-8 grading)

http://www.bccmexaminations.ca/syllabus.html

http://www.pianoworld.com/Uploads/files/Graded_Pieces_Sorted_By_Difficulty.PDF

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#959340 - 12/19/06 11:24 AM Re: defining a piece's level of difficulty
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4263
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
If nobody else is going to say thank you
to buxtehude for the great links ... I'd like to convey a special vote of appreciation for a
real eye-opener grading of all keyboard classics.

Thanks again buxtehude.

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#959341 - 12/19/06 01:05 PM Re: defining a piece's level of difficulty
buxtehude Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/07/06
Posts: 499
Loc: Copenhagen, Denmark
You're welcome.

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#959342 - 12/20/06 04:17 AM Re: defining a piece's level of difficulty
pianobuff Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/09/06
Posts: 1580
Loc: Pacific Northwest
Just saw the lists.

Excellent. Thank you buxtehude!
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher,
member MTNA and Piano Basics Foundation

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#959343 - 12/20/06 07:25 AM Re: defining a piece's level of difficulty
oszillodrom Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/17/06
Posts: 1
Loc: Austria
Okay, I have a question: what do those grades refer to? Say, a grade 7 piece is a piece that a piano student should be able to play after 7 years of playing piano, right?

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#959344 - 12/20/06 12:31 PM Re: defining a piece's level of difficulty
buxtehude Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/07/06
Posts: 499
Loc: Copenhagen, Denmark
No, just a grading from easy to difficult, beginner to advanced.

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#959345 - 12/20/06 01:46 PM Re: defining a piece's level of difficulty
NancyM333 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/06
Posts: 1547
Loc: Roswell, Georgia
Wow, this is great. I have a very hard time telling what is within my range and what isn't, so sometimes I suggest things that make my teacher have to summon up her most creative ways of kindly telling me "Too hard." Now I can check the list before I ask.

Nancy
_________________________

Estonia 168, Yamaha UX3

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#959346 - 12/21/06 11:07 PM Re: defining a piece's level of difficulty
DinoCard Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/11/06
Posts: 8
Loc: Pittsburgh
buxtehude,

It wasn't that the links weren't helpful that I remained silent, but I have a practice for internet interactions. If I give somebody a link, I give them some kind of context and info. so that they don't have to do "all" the work and exploration themselves. Since I know what I'm posting in the link, it's not that hard to do.

When you hardly answered my question in any way, I just looked at it as, a ton of hard work that you didn't even think was worth the 3 minutes it takes to write an intro to, or to write a summery of how it addresses my question.

Later in the thread, somebody asked another question, which essentially restated my original, and you did answer that. Why not just answer the original with two or three sentences.

Even though there was no introduction I did open all the links and got from it what I could.

I just think that there's so much work on the internet, and in life, if we really are trying to be helpful we can at least give brief summaries of what we're offering since we know ourselves already. I don't know, just seems like a kind and productive way to be.

D.

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#959347 - 12/22/06 01:09 PM Re: defining a piece's level of difficulty
buxtehude Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/07/06
Posts: 499
Loc: Copenhagen, Denmark

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#959348 - 12/23/06 05:06 AM Re: defining a piece's level of difficulty
DinoCard Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/11/06
Posts: 8
Loc: Pittsburgh
hum, let this be a lesson to those trying to use sign language on a chat board. \:\)

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#959349 - 12/23/06 06:17 AM Re: defining a piece's level of difficulty
buxtehude Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/07/06
Posts: 499
Loc: Copenhagen, Denmark
Alright, D, I got so angry, reading your answer, that I'm sure the moderators would have shown me the door if I hadn't deleted my post in time. Now I'm calm again.

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#959350 - 12/24/06 07:17 PM Re: defining a piece's level of difficulty
BB Player Offline


Registered: 11/17/06
Posts: 2719
Loc: Not in Texas
I'll add my thanks to the chorus. Since I'm studying on my own, one of the hardest things for me to do is find pieces that are challenging for the level I'm at while at the same time being playable. To this point, I've relied on having an "ear out" when listening to classical CD's and music on the radio for pieces that "sound" about right - problematic at best. The grading system really helps and I've already identified a couple of pieces I want to take on.

Thanks much for the links. Glad you deleted your angry retort, it's great having helpful people like you around!
_________________________
Greg

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#959351 - 01/09/07 11:57 PM Re: defining a piece's level of difficulty
John v.d.Brook Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7417
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
For the web impared, try Maurice Hinson's book, Guide to Pianist's Literature, and for intermediate level material, Jane McGrath's book of similar title.
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#959352 - 01/21/07 11:58 AM Re: defining a piece's level of difficulty
AJB Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/01/05
Posts: 3655
Loc: Surrey, England
It is an interesting list that Buxty posted. I enjoyed having a cruise through. I don't necesarily agree with the gradings of some pieces I know (for example I would list the Chopin Nocturnes in a different order). Horses for courses I suppose. A
_________________________
S&S Hamburg D, Yamaha CLP 280


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#959353 - 01/22/07 01:17 AM Re: defining a piece's level of difficulty
SilentKoala Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/11/07
Posts: 245
Loc: Seattle
The gradings on that list are horribly inaccurate, for example they say Chopin's 3rd prelude is harder than his 8th? That's like saying an ant hill is taller than mount everest.
_________________________
"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened." - Winston Churchill

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