I have a grade 6 ABRSM piano exam in about 1 hour. What does clap back the rhythm mean? Is it a memorizing one or clapping the strong beat?


1 Answer 1


The examiner will play you a short (~10 seconds) line of music. You need to 'clap back' the rhythm he just played - so in the terms you used above, 'memorizing', not 'clapping the strong beat'.

This is based on my own exams which were 5-10 years ago now, but I doubt it will have changed.

From the specification on ABRSM's website:

To clap the rhythm of the notes in an extract from the same piece, and to identify whether it is in two time, three time or four time. The examiner will play the extract twice (unharmonized), after which the candidate should clap back the rhythm. The examiner will then ask whether the music is in two time, three time or four time. The candidate is not required to state the time signature.

  • So basically I need to memorize it and then clap every note back? Commented Mar 24, 2015 at 14:13
  • Yes, I believe so.
    – Chris
    Commented Mar 24, 2015 at 14:14
  • Yes, that's exactly what they mean. I took my grade 6 recorder a few years ago and it has the same aural module in it (naturally). They want to test if you can hear and memorise rhythm. Commented Apr 30, 2015 at 14:26

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