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#1187140 - 04/25/09 01:18 PM Pieces Ranked By Difficulty
Toman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/24/09
Posts: 164
Hello all,

I seem to remember stumbling upon a list of piano pieces rated by difficulty many moons ago, and was hoping that someone here may be able to point me towards something similar. The list that I remember had them rated from 1-10 with a few levels beyond 10 for those extra difficult pieces.

Thanks!

Toman

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#1187674 - 04/26/09 12:52 PM Re: Pieces Ranked By Difficulty [Re: Toman]
Spotnik Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/02/09
Posts: 20
Loc: Washington, IL
I saved the PDFs of those lists to another machine, and unfortunately there are no guides or indexes on the Piano World site showing anyone where to find them. The links have been posted on various messages, but I really think the site owners need to ceate a "resources" page and post the links there. It's as if you have to know some "secret handshake" to get at them.

There are two files--one by level and the other by composer.

The list is quite interesting, but there are some odd omissions. For example, the first movement of the Moonlight Sonata isn't listed (the second movement is given as a level 8), which was a disappointment to my wife who played it many years ago. And the Clementi Sonatina 36/1 isn't listed either, although maybe it's so obviously a level 2 (or whatever) that the compilers didn't see any point in including. it. Nonetheless, it's a very interesting reference, and I hope someone will make the link public and permanent so that we don't have to keep recreating forum searches we made months ago to find them the first time.
_________________________
Current Pieces:
Clementi--Sonatina in C (op.36, no.1)
Lynes--Sonatina (op.39 no.1)
Burgmuller--"L'Harmonie des Anges"
Bach--Prelude No. 1 (WTC Book 1)

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#1187682 - 04/26/09 01:12 PM Re: Pieces Ranked By Difficulty [Re: Spotnik]
DragonPianoPlayer Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/12/06
Posts: 2368
Loc: Denver, CO
Here is the file I think you are talking about.

Pieces by difficulty

There are also a handful of books out there that have this information. One of them is available for free online viewing (although a couple of people reported they had problems getting their password from the website).

http://www.iupress.indiana.edu/iol/

Rich
_________________________

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#1187823 - 04/26/09 05:18 PM Re: Pieces Ranked By Difficulty [Re: DragonPianoPlayer]
Strings & Wood Offline


Gold member until Dec. 2012


Registered: 05/22/08
Posts: 1836
Loc: USA
Thanks for posting the file. That will come in handy.
_________________________







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#1187829 - 04/26/09 05:42 PM Re: Pieces Ranked By Difficulty [Re: Strings & Wood]
rustyfingers Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/17/05
Posts: 788
Loc: Massachusetts
I agree that this should be in the important topics post. I guess the moderators don't agree, but we can keep asking. wink

I notice that some of the other forums (Piano, Pianist Corner) have an FAQ just for that forum. Maybe that would be a good place to sticky a post referring to this list.


Edited by rustyfingers (04/26/09 05:45 PM)
_________________________
If I had ever learnt, I should have been a great proficient.

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#1187951 - 04/26/09 09:16 PM Re: Pieces Ranked By Difficulty [Re: DragonPianoPlayer]
Scruffies Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/21/09
Posts: 58
Loc: California
DPP:

What's the significance of the little piano and "martini glass" looking symbols below your name in your signature?
_________________________
/Scruffies

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#1188061 - 04/27/09 12:30 AM Re: Pieces Ranked By Difficulty [Re: Scruffies]
DragonPianoPlayer Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/12/06
Posts: 2368
Loc: Denver, CO
Scruffies,

The "martini glass" looking symbol is a red dot medal awarded to participants in the ABF quarterly recital. I'll post links to the images after the recital for any new participants. I have one for each recital I entered. There is also a gold medal symbol that stands for 10 recitals. It's hard to believe that in just a couple of weeks I'll be able to upgrade to a gold medal. Yippee.

The pianos are for live recitals I've performed in. (These were under my teacher.) I won't be adding one this spring, as he has decided not to hold a recital.

Rich
_________________________

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#1188068 - 04/27/09 12:57 AM Re: Pieces Ranked By Difficulty [Re: DragonPianoPlayer]
Toman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/24/09
Posts: 164
Thank you for the links, Dragon. :]

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#1188167 - 04/27/09 08:53 AM Re: Pieces Ranked By Difficulty [Re: Toman]
HomeInMyShoes Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/17/09
Posts: 495
Maybe we need to create our own list as the one list just seems crazy in its omissions and in its ratings in some cases.

Schumann Arabeske -> 6
Schumann Pleading Child Op 15 No 4 -> 6

No way are those two on the same level. While there are subtleties in interpretation in Pleading Child, it doesn't seem to be technically on the same planet as Arabeske, I've seen Arabeske on British Columbia's repetory at grade 10. I don't think it's grade 10, but it's a bit more than 6. Probably 8 just given the length and fingering issues. I would rank Pleading Child around 2 given that Opus 15 No 1 is 4 and No 2 is 6 on that list.

I'd be willing to mock up some HTML or just straight text and dump it on box.net if people want to send me what they know. Maybe the composer, title, opus and number, grade and the reference for the grade?

We could split composers by starting letter to keep the lists shorter as it gets longer.

As mentioned, these are questions that get asked a lot and the sources around are pretty varied and the grades vary a lot in some cases.


Edited by HomeInMyShoes (04/27/09 08:53 AM)

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#1188386 - 04/27/09 02:05 PM Re: Pieces Ranked By Difficulty [Re: HomeInMyShoes]
NancyM333 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/06
Posts: 1547
Loc: Roswell, Georgia
I'll be happy to send you what I know. I looked at this list after reading the posts here, and there are quite a few rankings I don't understand. Plus, I would think it would make more sense to rank the movements of sonatas separately. I am playing both the Revolutionary Etude and Mozart's Sonata K. 332 right now, and I can attest that they should not be ranked the same. Movement 3 of the Mozart might be close, but movements 1 and 2 are probably 5 or 6. I guess they've given the sonatas the ranking of the most difficult movement.

Nancy
_________________________

Estonia 168, Yamaha UX3

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#1188426 - 04/27/09 02:43 PM Re: Pieces Ranked By Difficulty [Re: DragonPianoPlayer]
Scruffies Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/21/09
Posts: 58
Loc: California
Thanks for the explanation DPP... well earned indeed!
_________________________
/Scruffies

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#1188453 - 04/27/09 03:36 PM Re: Pieces Ranked By Difficulty [Re: Scruffies]
HomeInMyShoes Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/17/09
Posts: 495
@NancyM333: sure, send them my way. I can piece together what everyone knows or thinks and just post a link to box.net for now.

Here's a trial sample with a few pieces pushed in. At least it would be on-line searchable and not PDF.

graded pieces list

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#1188485 - 04/27/09 04:34 PM Re: Pieces Ranked By Difficulty [Re: HomeInMyShoes]
timmyab Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/15/08
Posts: 452
Loc: Bristol, UK
That pdf list is frankly ludicrous.I've just finished Chopin op 9 no 3 which it grades 10 wheras Beethoven's Hammerklavier, which is so scary that I've never even looked at it, it grades an 8.In my judgement op 9 no 3 should be about 7 or 8 and the Hammerklavier should be a 10.The whole list is riddled with anomalies.

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#1188500 - 04/27/09 04:52 PM Re: Pieces Ranked By Difficulty [Re: timmyab]
HomeInMyShoes Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/17/09
Posts: 495
^Partly why I'd like to get everyone who knows some stuff to try to piece some stuff together. Especially for those who have the ABSR or other country equivalent grade books. It would be a useful resource for us looking for similar graded stuff or stuff that's a just a little more effort than what we're comfortable with. Personally, I'm comfortable around the 6-8 range depending on the style. Some things are just a struggle for me regardless. I'm sure I'd have problems with a grade 2 Bach piece for instance. Apologoies to Johann. I love the music. I just can't play it to save my life.

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#1188788 - 04/28/09 01:56 AM Re: Pieces Ranked By Difficulty [Re: HomeInMyShoes]
GYABEAUX Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 133
Loc: Canada
Very tired at the moment but I'm currently aiming for RCM's grade 6 exam. Will compare RCM's list to the list in the PDF when I have time. If I'm not mistaken, I think I saw Debussy's Arabesque No. 1 under grade 6 while RCM lists it under grade 10 or some other grade beyond my reach right now.

Thanks for the links! My knowledge is limited but I'm also interested in making our own list (if our forum didn't come up with that list in the PDF in the first place).
_________________________
Bach - BWV847 P&F in Cm
Bach - BWV861 P&F in Gm
Mozart - K397 Fantasia in Dm
Mozart - K475 Fantasia in Cm
Chopin - Nocturne in C#m
Debussy - La fille aux cheveux de lin
Debussy - Golliwogg's Cakewalk
Hofmann - 37-1 To the Lute
Gade - 19-2 Scherzo
Chopin - 25-12 Ocean
Chopin - 25-1 Aeolian Harp

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#1188816 - 04/28/09 04:37 AM Re: Pieces Ranked By Difficulty [Re: GYABEAUX]
Ejay Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/24/09
Posts: 216
Loc: U.K.
Thanks for the links

Here is the ABRSM's current syllabus
http://www.box.net/shared/1eesnozxyg


Edited by Ejay (04/28/09 04:41 AM)
_________________________
Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness.
Maya Angelou


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#1189027 - 04/28/09 11:48 AM Re: Pieces Ranked By Difficulty [Re: Ejay]
HomeInMyShoes Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/17/09
Posts: 495
^I'm looking through the ABRSM list right now and trying to merge it in. I updated the document with most of the lists from the three older books I've got from the RCM (Royal Conservatory, Toronto, Canada.) I don't think Chopin Op. 28 No. 6 is Grade 8. Maybe Grade 6.5, but 8 it is for now. I think it's 6 in the unknown origin .pdf file.

I also shoved a link to the document into my signature.

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#1189039 - 04/28/09 12:03 PM Re: Pieces Ranked By Difficulty [Re: GYABEAUX]
Spotnik Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/02/09
Posts: 20
Loc: Washington, IL
Originally Posted By: GYABEAUX

Thanks for the links! My knowledge is limited but I'm also interested in making our own list (if our forum didn't come up with that list in the PDF in the first place).


The source of those lists is a bit sketchy--they seem to have been posted during an earlier stage of this site's development, but as I pointed out earlier, there is just a link to the file--no page explaining who compiled it, and by what criteria etc. That would be helpful, along with formal avenue for user contributed input (such as this thread!) I think you can find out who posted them by searching the posts, but that would take some time.

So, I too like the idea of a user contributed/edited/compiled grade list, using ABRSM or other standard grade assignments as a guideline for well known pieces. For one thing, it would show how real players (and teachers) perceive the relative difficulty of pieces often encountered in the most commonly available classical collections. For example, I was surprised when my teacher told me that many of these so-called "easy" collections often underestimate the challenges of many baroque period pieces (e.g. Bach/Anna Magdalena pieces--"those books are not edited by teachers!" she says) Indeed, I have found that the more modern "easy" pieces, for example, in the Young Pianist's Library (Agay, ed.) are in fact easy for me, while the baroque era pieces which feature more independent lines are not so easy! Evidently, teachers know that counterpoint is more of a challenge for players at my level, whereas editor seem to just count the number of notes per bar. I'm glad the challenge is there, but it can be discouraging when you find yourself struggle with a piece that some editor says is "easy!"
_________________________
Current Pieces:
Clementi--Sonatina in C (op.36, no.1)
Lynes--Sonatina (op.39 no.1)
Burgmuller--"L'Harmonie des Anges"
Bach--Prelude No. 1 (WTC Book 1)

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#1189215 - 04/28/09 04:01 PM Re: Pieces Ranked By Difficulty [Re: Spotnik]
HomeInMyShoes Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/17/09
Posts: 495
Where are my manners? Thanks for the link NancyM333. smile

If anyone's interested I think the pieces listed here for the certificates for the British Columbia Conservatory of Music seem fairly reasonable, but I think there are some issues in the comparison from RCM and BC to ABRSM.

It's the main reason I list the source for the grade level in the file. That way, when someone thinks BC is a grade or a grade and a half too high they can adjust on their own knowing the source.

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#1189286 - 04/28/09 05:47 PM Re: Pieces Ranked By Difficulty [Re: HomeInMyShoes]
Toman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/24/09
Posts: 164
I have to say that this is a much more enthusiastic response than I had anticipated. When I have some spare time, may I alphabetize each grade as well? I presume that the preferred method would be alphabetical by composer?

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#1189308 - 04/28/09 06:24 PM Re: Pieces Ranked By Difficulty [Re: HomeInMyShoes]
Ejay Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/24/09
Posts: 216
Loc: U.K.
Thanks for all this work you are putting into this homeinmyshoes.
_________________________
Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness.
Maya Angelou


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#1189382 - 04/28/09 08:38 PM Re: Pieces Ranked By Difficulty [Re: Toman]
HomeInMyShoes Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/17/09
Posts: 495
I was thinking about alphabetizing. I'm just trying to shove as much in as I can find right now (outside of the suspect PDF list) and then I'll sort it and work on some consistency of naming. I am not overly impressed with the HTML formatting coming out of box.net so I am working in good old notepad. :P

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#1189608 - 04/29/09 05:45 AM Re: Pieces Ranked By Difficulty [Re: HomeInMyShoes]
HomeInMyShoes Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/17/09
Posts: 495
@ejay: thanks for the input. I'ts now alphabetized.

It's probably past the editing window, but could a moderator edit Toman's first post and put all the links there? It would be a starting point for a graded piece At least we'd have a starting point for a compiled area of useful links for piano grades.

Here's what is around so far:
ABRSM
pieces by difficulty
IU Press Online Music Library
British Columbia Conservatory of Music
pianoworld forumers pieces by grade list

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#1189811 - 04/29/09 12:27 PM Re: Pieces Ranked By Difficulty [Re: HomeInMyShoes]
Toman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/24/09
Posts: 164
You're correct, I can not edit my original post. We'll either need a moderator or a new thread.

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#1189852 - 04/29/09 01:44 PM Re: Pieces Ranked By Difficulty [Re: Toman]
HomeInMyShoes Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/17/09
Posts: 495
^I stuffed the links (well some of them into the document). At some point , I'll stick the rest there too so there's hopefully a one-stop-shopping concept.

On my to do list:
- BC -> grades 1 to 7
- ABRSM -> grades 1 to 4
- put the other links in
- spend some time practicing? smile

Integrate the unkonwn sources PDF stuff.

Anyone know what to do in cases where they list two parts of a given sonata at a certain grade? There's some grade 10 cases where they are asking the student for movement 1 and 2 or movement 2 and 3 from a sonata. Someone had mentioned that grades for the individual movements would be nice and I agree.

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#1190287 - 04/30/09 12:53 AM Re: Pieces Ranked By Difficulty [Re: HomeInMyShoes]
cscl Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/13/07
Posts: 255
Loc: Suburban Boston
It's a lot more flexible to use the original Excel file of the graded pieces. I use this all the time when I come in contact with new music. Not everything is here of course and the ratings probably have to be taken with a grain of salt, but it's a good starting place.

Try here:
http://www.pianostreet.com/Graded_Pieces_All.xls

posted in these threads too:
here and here.


Edited by cscl (04/30/09 12:55 AM)
_________________________
cscl
Estonia 190 Satin Ebony
ABF Recitals: x9 — Studio Recitals: x17
*

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#1192991 - 05/04/09 09:01 AM Re: Pieces Ranked By Difficulty [Re: cscl]
HomeInMyShoes Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/17/09
Posts: 495
in Excel format

It's pretty easy to generate the html off the excel. I still have a few grades to integrate from ABRSM and BC, but it's a starting point.

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#1193097 - 05/04/09 12:55 PM Re: Pieces Ranked By Difficulty [Re: HomeInMyShoes]
Scruffies Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/21/09
Posts: 58
Loc: California
HomeInMyShoes:

Thanks very much for your work on this, along with the other contributors!

Ive saved the excel spreadsheet and now can very easily locate a composer and find the piece and it's approx. level.

Good Stuff!
_________________________
/Scruffies

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#1195038 - 05/07/09 12:26 PM Re: Pieces Ranked By Difficulty [Re: Scruffies]
Toman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/24/09
Posts: 164
That is epic, HomeInMyShoes. Is it possible to go from HTML to Excel as well?


Edited by Toman (05/07/09 12:28 PM)

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#1195052 - 05/07/09 12:49 PM Re: Pieces Ranked By Difficulty [Re: Toman]
HomeInMyShoes Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/17/09
Posts: 495
^I'm sure it's possible, but I haven't written any transformation code for that process. You'd think for someone with a Computer Science degree I'd generate something technologically savvy. Not.

It's easier to just create a concatenate field in Excel to generate the table row definitions for the pieces. It's a pretty low-tech solution, but it works and most people want Excel or maybe a delimited file which I could generate as well if someone needs one. I just copy and paste from the lists I've gotten. It's all very scientific.

Which reminds me that I should finish up mushing in the BC lists for Grades 1 to 4.

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