Thoughts on ABRSM Diploma List?

September 1, 2018, 9:15 PM · Hi guys:

ABRSM has three levels of diploma, DipABRSM, LRSM and FRSM, and at each level they have compiled a relatively comprehensive repertoire list. But it can be quite puzzling at times -- for example, Saint-Saens' Violin Concerto 3 Movt 1 is listed as DipABRSM level, whereas Bruch's Violin Concerto 1 Movt 1 is listed as LRSM level. Also, Sarasate's Romanza Andaluza and Malaguena are ranked at FRSM level even though they are technically easier than most LRSM pieces. Any ideas on how they rank it?

You can find the full lists here:

https://www.abrsm.org/fileadmin/user_upload/diplomas/performance/performanceInstruments.pdf

Replies (1)

September 3, 2018, 6:06 AM · I took the DipABRSM a couple of years ago and am working towards the LRSM, so have looked over this in a lot of detail.

So far as I can tell, they assess the overall technical and musical challenge of a piece. The early Beethoven Sonatas are nowhere near as difficult as the first movement of the Bruch concerto, for instance, but they are both LRSM level. And that's just one example, there are probably dozens.

At DipABRSM level it is possible to create a programme that isn't particularly challenging. A Telemann fantasia, a movement from a Beethoven sonata and Dvorak's Four Romantic Pieces and you're almost there.

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