In every respect, all keyboard candidates must satisfy the requirements of reading 4 parts or more music in two staves. The use if inbuilt rhythms, 'play overs' etc is permitted ADDITIONAL to manual playing but NOT to replace any performance. Put another way, if a candidate were performing at a venue where a power cut took place, they would be able to continue a performance using a piano.
The requirements include:
- All parts are written/printed (where appropriate) on Treble and Bass staves. Indicated chordage is permitted as an additional constituent.
- Fingering techniques must be thoroughly grounded on accepted scale techniques and similar to that used for organs and pianos.
- MEDLEYS Bridging gaps between pieces in a melody are to be based on either the HARMONIC or MELODIC structure of preceding OR ensuing the piece BUT may be freely extemporised by the candidate. There is no objection to these 'bridges' being 'written' out in manuscript form and used during the assessment. The 'bridges' should also by stylistic which should also reflect the tempi and any rhythmical changes.
- ACTUAL TRANSPOSITION - At least one piece (or TWO sections in the case of a medley) are to be transposed UP or DOWN - the choice of the transposing interval is left to the discretion of the candidate BUT MUST be in keeping with the work being performed. The candidate will need to be willing to justify their choice of interval in the viva voce. Stating "because I like it" is not an acceptable answer. "As it reflects the words" etc and with some further justification, change of mood would be acceptable. The transposition should be a feature of any 'bridges' (see 3 above). Candidates are also permitted to change the key into Major OR minor if they wish. Again they would have to justify their reasons for doing so.
- EXTEMPORISATION - There is an option to replace a piece OR medley with an extemporisation. Where a candidate elects for this option FOUR themes (melodic lines) will be sent to the candidate FOUR weeks in advance (prior to) the assessment. Once this option has been elected the process must form [part of the assessment (NO REVERSION to a piece/medley). Then candidate selects ONE theme from those sent and is permitted to pre-programme the keyboard in accordance with the Regulations @ 3 & 4 (above). This may also include Transposition and would be acceptable as the Transposition element for the entire assessment. Candidates are permitted to play from 'sketches/cartoons' which they have developed BUT NOT form manuscripts or they have 'composed' on the themes sent. Copies of any 'sketches/cartoons' must be supplied to the assessors unless the candidate is performing from memory. Any incidental likeness to printed works etc should be avoided though we accept that some phrases may have vague similarities. The maximum length of any 'replica' must not exceed TWO bars.
- The assessors will be looking for the candidates ability to use the keyboard expressively with reference to the selected theme and demonstrate their ability to develop the thematic material notationally and musically.