The redesigned handbook is packed with all the material candidates need for each component of the exam. Each handbook includes musical pieces for every taste from a diverse group of composers, past and present.
Baroque and Classical favourites by Vivaldi, Bach and Beethoven sit alongside contemporary and twentieth century treasures by Walton, Hovhaness and Hindson. Traditional Greek, Klezmer and contemporary Chinese styles also find their way into the mix amongst a variety of Romantic era gems.
Each piece has been handpicked to develop and test skills whether it be a specific technique, a cantabile tone or the ability to inhabit a musical style.
Updates to scales and arpeggios include changes to slurred bowing requirements, new double stopping tests and the introduction of broken third scales at all grades. Candidates can also choose the study option, an appealing alternative to scales and arpeggios, which has been carefully selected to demonstrate the same technical demands in a different context.
The discussion component has been tailored more closely to violinists, to include topics about instrument care, tuning, specific techniques and the development of the instrument through history. These topics encourage a deeper understanding of the instrument, which is essential to evolving as a performer.
Alongside the specimen tests, the handbook now also offers greater guidance for candidates (and their teachers) around the sight reading part of the exam, with the inclusion of a new set of parameters.
The 2021 syllabus provides a well-rounded programme of study that allows performers to play to their musical strengths, whilst encouraging them to explore repertoire they might not otherwise have encountered.