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About examinations

Examiners

Regulations for examinations

Examination requirements
Criteria for assessment

About the Board

 

Examination requirements

General information about examination requirements

According to the Icelandic curriculum and syllabus requirements, examination requirements are defined for each individual instrument. The respective weighting (marks) for different examination requirements are also given. At the key stage examinations of Elementary, Intermediate and Advanced levels, pupils attainment is assessed for each individual part of the examination and marks are awarded from the total marks allocated for each of those parts. The total number of marks available for all parts of the examination is 100. Only whole numbers may be used. Additionally students receive written comments for each part of the examination.

In most instrumental examinations pupils perform 3 pieces and 1 study. Other requirements are scales and arpeggios, elective/option and unprepared performance at sight (sight-reading). Additionally marks are awarded for overall impression.

The following is a short description of examination requirements common to most instruments (teachers and students must however refer to individual instrumental syllabuses for specific requirements):

Pieces and studies

Pieces and studies selected for the examination must be consistent in level of difficulty with the requirements stipulated in individual instrumental syllabuses. Students should present a varied programme with pieces from differing musical periods.

Scales and arpeggios

Individual instrumental syllabuses state specifically the scales and arpeggios which students are required to prepare for respective examinations. Additionally details are provided with regard to speed, range and articulation. In the examination itself the examiner selects scales and arpeggios for the candidate to perform. Given the different nature and traditions of various instruments, requirements for scales and arpeggios are not identical between instrumental groups, nor can they be.

Orchestral abstracts

Where individual instrumental curriculum require the study of orchestral abstracts, their performance shall be part of Advanced level examination. Abstracts are taken from orchestral works where the instrument is question plays a key role. Students should prepare at least 3 orchestral abstracts from 3 seperate works. Examiners select in the examination itself, which extract shall be performed for assessment.

Elective/Option - Elementary level examination

For Elementary instrumental/vocal examinations pupils select one of the following options.

  1. Pupils improvise from a given opening phrase, simple harmonic progression or melody. Pupils may choose whether they improvise with or without accompaniment and it is expected that pupils should prepare this option in advance of the examination and in conjunction with their teacher.
  2. Pupils perform an original composition or arrangement. The work does not have to be notated. The work may be for more than one instrument as long as the examination candidate himself performs a major role in the piece
  3. Pupils harmonise a short melody. This option is only available for candidated playing instruments that can provide harmonic accompaniment
  4. Pupils perform a short popular or folk piece which they have learnt by ear. The range of the piece should be consistent with that expected at Elementary level. Melodies should be performed in unison, with or without accompaniment. Song candidates must perform without accompaniment.
Elective/Option - Intermediate level examination

For Intermediate instrumental/vocal examinations pupils select one of the following options.

  1. Pupils perform a piece of their own choice. The peice should be of a similar level of difficulty as those stipulated for Intermediate examinations. This option is similar to Part 1 of the examination, but give students the possibility of displaying their ability in the performance of a wider range of musical styles.
  2. Pupils improvise from a given opening phrase, simple harmonic progression or melody. Pupils may choose whether they improvise with or without accompaniment and it is expected that pupils should prepare this option in advance of the examination and in conjunction with their teacher.
  3. Pupils perform an original composition or arrangement. The work does not have to be notated. The work may be for more than one instrument as long as the examination candidate himself performs a major role in the piece
  4. Pupils harmonise a short melody. This option is only available for candidated playing instruments that can provide harmonic accompaniment
Elective/Option - Advanced level examination

For Advanced instrumental/vocal examinations pupils select one of the following options.

  1. Pupils perform a piece of their own choice. The peice should be of a similar level of difficulty as those stipulated for Intermediate examinations. This option is similar to Part 1 of the examination, but give students the possibility of displaying their ability in the performance of a wider range of musical styles.
  2. Pupils perform a leading role in an ensemble piece consistent in terms of difficulty with Advanced Level requirements
  3. Where individual instrumental syllabuses allow, students may perform a piece on a related instrument from the same instrumental group as their main instrument.
Unprepared performance at sight (Sight-reading)

Pupils are allowed one minute to read in silence a short piece and should then perform the piece. Where individual instrumental syllabuses stipulate that candidates should transpose at sight, sight-reading and transposition tests are allocated half ot the total available marks for this part of the examination (5 marks each/total 10). Candidates are allowed one minute to prepare in silence for transposition tests. Pieces for sight-reading and transposition are short and consistent with requirements stipulated in respective, individual instrumental syllabuses.

Overall impression

At key stage Elementary, Intermediate and Advanced Level examinations marks are awarded for presentation and deportment, artistic interpretation, confidence and general impression.

Examination requirements for individual instruments

Keyboard
Piano - Harpsichord - Organ - Piano Accordian

Woodwind instruments
Recorder - Flute - Oboe - Clarinet - Bassoon - Saxophone

Brass instruments
Trumpet - Horn - Tenor horn - Trombone - Baritone euphonium - Tuba

Bowed stringed instruments
Violin - Viola - Violincello - doublebass

Others
Percussion - Solo singing - Gitar - Harp

 

 

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