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Beethoven: Für Elise

The graceful, meandering simplicity of this slightly melancholy music makes it a favorite with the public. The piece was composed in Beethoven’s middle period, around 1810. However, it was not published until 1865, several decades after the composer’s death. Read more >>

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Author Topic: How to determine what grade level I am  (Read 15709 times)
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« on: October 27, 2004, 06:33:15 PM »

Hello.  I took lessons as a child for approx. 6 years.  Stopped when I was 13 and really never stayed with the piano until a couple years ago.  (I am 41).
I have been practicing a myriad of songs for the last year and a half and would like to know what grade level I currently reside at, if that's possible.   Here's a short list of the current songs I have down pat, not memorized, but can play almost to perfection.  Based on this list, could you tell me what grade level of music I am playing?

Waltz Eb major
Waltz C# minor
Waltz Db major
Waltz B minor
Waltz Gb major
Mazurka Bb major
Mazurka A minor
Etude E major
Prelude E minor
Prelude Db major
Nocturne Eb major
Nocturne G minor
Nocturne E minor
Nocturne F minor
Nocturne C# minor

Clair de Lune
Arabesques #1
Arabesques #2
La Fille aux Cheveux de Lin

Sonata C major K.545
Alla Turca from Sonata K.331
Fantasy in D minor K.397
Rondo in D K.485

Moonlight Sonata  (just the slow movement)
Fur Elise
Rondo Cappricio  (not quite there yet speedwise)

Gypsy Rondo

Currently working on Lizst's Liebestraum.  What a beautiful song.  If only I can figure out how to stress the melody as the right and left hand share it's responsibility.

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« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2004, 07:58:52 PM »

It's not easy to say what grade you are
Grades are more based on tecnique and musicality development than mastering of certain piece
So for example you could well master a Beethoven sonata working with it for six month and yet still be at a level of grade 2 or 3
By just the pieces you're playing you could be on grade 7/8 but then you didn't mention certain staples of lower grades such as scales, arpeggios, polyphonic pieces, indispensable Bach pieces like Inventions and Sinfonias, English and French Suites, Well Tempered Clavier
To be on grade 7 you don't only need to be able to play pieces from that grade but also to have a well rounded knowledge of all the lower grades and the tecnique studied in them

Anyway, congratulation... you're doing very good even though you don't have a teacher

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"Sometimes I lie awake at night and ask "Why me?" Then a voice answers "Nothing personal, your name just happened to come up.""
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« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2004, 11:44:20 PM »

Waltz Eb major (there are three - no. 19 – no op. no. – grade 8 – No. 18 no op. no. – grade 5 – op. 18 – grade 8 )
Waltz C# minor (op. 64 no. 2 - grade 7)
Waltz Db major ( There are two: Op. 64 no. 1 and op. 70 no. 3 – both grade 7)
Waltz B minor (op. 69 no. 2 – grade 6)
Waltz Gb major (op. 70 no. 1 – grade 8+)

Mazurka Bb major (there are five: no. 5 – grade 6 - no. 10 – grade 8 - no. 51 – grade 6 - no. 55 – grade 7)
Mazurka A minor (there are seven: no. 6 – grade 6 - no. 13 – grade 7 - no. 36 – grade 8 - no. 45 – grade 6 - no. 47  grade 6 - no. 52 – grade 7 - no. 53 – grade 8 )

Etude E major (grade 8+)

Prelude E minor (grade 4)
Prelude Db major (grade 7)

Nocturne Eb major (There are two: op. 9 no. 2 – grade 7 and op. 55 no. 2 – grade 8+)
Nocturne G minor (There are two: op. 37 no. 1 and op. 15 no. 3 – both grade 7)
Nocturne E minor (Op. 72 no. 1 – grade 7)
Nocturne F minor (op. 55 no. 1 – grade 7)
Nocturne C# minor (there are two: op. 27 no. 1 – grade 8+; no. 20 – no op. no.- grade 7)

Clair de Lune (grade 7)
Arabesques #1 (Grade 8 )
Arabesques #2 (grade 8 )
La Fille aux Cheveux de Lin (grade 5)

Sonata C major K.545 (grade 4/6)
Alla Turca from Sonata K.331 (grade 6)
Fantasy in D minor K.397 (grade 6)
Rondo in D K.485 (grade 7)

Moonlight Sonata  (just the slow movement) (grade 6)
Fur Elise (grade 4)

 Can you give a bit more detail for the two below? (Op. or Hob. number?)

Rondo Cappricio 
Gypsy Rondo

I hope this helps.

Best wishes,
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The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side. (Hunter Thompson)
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« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2004, 03:18:49 AM »

Thanks for your replies Daniel and Bernhard. 
Aww doggonit, if I had some spare spending money, it would be on a teacher.  I could probably have been at least twice as far as I've come in these last 2 years on my own, if I did have steady instruction.  No, I don't really practice scales, arpeggios, etc,etc,......
I did play around with some Czerny but eventually lost interest in the pursuit of perfecting those little gems in lieu of getting to the real stuff as I don't have the opportunity to sit down more than 1 hour per day.  I am making efforts to become more rounded also.  I also know a couple of Tchaikowsky's, Brahm's, Grieg's, and Field's.  This is my first stab at a Liszt.  I do really want to get some Bach music soon (i do have CPE Bach's Solfeggietto down, that one's fun to do!),  but I want to get this Liebestraum down first, ( I know, big project). So these pieces I listed, among others, are the things I have been working on recently. 
And my apologies Bernhard,  I had just cut and pasted this song list from another document and I neglected to properly identify for all, the correct songs.
Waltz Eb major 18 1
Waltz Db major 64 1
Mazurka Bb major 7 1
Mazurka A minor 68 2
Nocturne Eb major 9 2
Nocturne G minor 15 3
Nocturne C# minor  (posthumous)

Beethoven's Rondo Cappricio is also known as "Rage Over a Lost Penny" from Op 129.   This one still needs speed work.

Haydn's Gypsy Rondo, also known as Rondo all' Ongarese, is from the Keyboard Trio in G, Hob.XV:25
This song also needs much speed work. 

I find the hardest stuff to master is anything that requires too damm much Presto!!!!   Fingers don't want to cooperate with brain!!!  Smiley

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