That useful ASTA repertoire list

February 21, 2007 at 06:31 AM · Greetings,

thought I`d just republish the link for the ASTA graded syllabus. Its a very useful document that answers many questions people have about their level and the kinds of pieces they might be playing. It is sometime said to be hard to find but prunes are always helpful.



Replies (13)

February 21, 2007 at 02:16 PM · Thanks for the link! I've been looking for something like this (w/out purchasing the whole syllabus) for a while.

February 21, 2007 at 04:18 PM · Thanks for the link,'s very useful, and I like how they list specific skills and goals instead of just ranking the pieces (which, as we've seen, can be quite subjective). There must be a difference between ASTA Levels and Grades, though; Shar lists up to only six grades for pieces.

February 21, 2007 at 04:10 PM · The ASTA syllabus was invaluable to me when I started teaching. The ABRSM and RCM (Canada) syllabi are good too. I found the Canadian one especially interesting.

A bit off topic, but I read in my latest ASTA Journal that there are noises being made to move to a graded exam system modeled on ABRSM or RCM...I already passed on my AJ to one of my students, and I can't remember what was stated...does anybody have any information?

March 18, 2007 at 12:25 PM · I have a question - I noticed that the suggested pieces have a specific publisher associated with the piece. (like the Peters edition for that piece, Schirmer for that, etc.) If I use an edition that's different from the one suggested for a particular piece, would that make a significant difference? i.e. If I use, say, Schirmer edition instead of International edition for Bach Sonatas & Partitas, what difference does it make?

March 18, 2007 at 06:30 PM · is there just ten levels?

March 18, 2007 at 07:02 PM · Yes it would Philip. Let's take the Bach Sonatas and Partitas for example. In the International Music Company edition, Galamian (and both delay and sally thomas helped in the editing process) edits the Bach S&P's in compliance with his style of play and interpretation. Now lets look at the Szeryng Edition in which we can find a whole different way of looking at the S&P's! The bowings are completely different and then stylistically, you can tell how they differ from each other. Then if you take a look at another edition (I forget the name at the moment, i'll edit this post later) which has a blank Bach S&P, it really allows you to create your own individual interpretation. Without all the edited bowings and fingerings, you can provide your own way of looking at the Bach.

For an example, if you take a look at the Fugue from Sonata No.1, Galamian say to play the fugue motive (up-down-up-down-up-down-up-down-up) whereas Szeryng edits this as (up-down-up-down-up-up-down-updown)

Hope that answers your question

March 19, 2007 at 05:56 PM · Yes, Patrick, thank you for ur answer.

February 9, 2011 at 03:18 AM ·

The link doesn't work for me!

February 9, 2011 at 03:31 AM ·

Try this link

February 9, 2011 at 01:35 PM ·

Thanks Smiley!

I compared with my conservatory.  The peices are similar but the scales are more challenging at the conservatory I attend (for all the levels).  We also have 2 studies unstead of just one.

I am grade 9 ASTA for the peices but more than grade 10 ASTA for the scales.  How weird?

Of course, I know that it fluctuates within these levels as many students me included could not do things like Mendelshon well...  We pick in the other peices "acceptable" for that level... : )  At Mc Gill, Tartini Devil trill is in the list, no way I could ever do the fast parts even in my dreams!   

For scales, per example, at our conservatory (which is good but not at all a prodigy "place"), we are asked at grade 9-10 to do:

Scales 3 oct in all keys major, minor melodic and harmonic. (two different bowing patterns)

Arpegios 3 oct all keys major and minor (two different bowings)

7th dominant and diminished 3 oct in all keys (two different bowings)

Two chromatic scales (2 imposed keys) 3 oct (two different bowings)

Double stops (they chose the keys):

An Octave scale 2 oct major and minor

A Thirds scale 2 oct major and minor

A Sixths scale 2 oct major and minor


It's quite much scales... 

But ASTA looks like a very good program too!  It's always fun to see where schools and students rank on other teaching requirement charts! 

I imagine though that places like Julliard must have higher standards than both ASTA and a normal conservatory like I attend???



February 9, 2011 at 01:52 PM ·

 I'm not sure if it applies so much in conservatories, Anne-Marie, but in other academic areas, quite often the "top" schools are less rigourous than more 'normal' institutions; as if the 'lesser' places have to show how really tough they are to look better.  It's always seemed very peculiar to me, but I see it over and over again in the requirements for faculty at my univ. compared with those at more prestigious institutions.  Reputations are made from very odd things sometimes.

February 9, 2011 at 03:12 PM ·

Marjory perhaps that's true...

There are more scales required to learn and play at the Mc Gill conservatory collegial 2 exam (which is an exam for amateurs or the "community" as they tell) (the scales are those I described above)  than to enter at Mc Gill University in music! 

They don't even have double stops, chromatics or 7th dominants/diminished...  (but of course they can play show off things if they want.  But many teacher tell that scales are actually harder than peices and that the typical student plays better his peices than scales...) 

Sometimes life is ironic and I don't understand? : )

But sometimes it's not ironic.  Here, some universities really have easier entrence requirements than the top ones.  Just as I doubt that Julliard program is easier than a normal music school?

But I'm guetting off topic here!

February 9, 2011 at 05:02 PM ·

 And I am totally off the scaling system, since I am only playing and performing pieces that I like...(which in principle is only romantic sonatas; now one can argue if I play anything enough well).

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