How do exam boards (ABRSM, rock school, etc) supply set pieces for vocalists given that individual singers' rangers vary so much? In my experience for instrument gradings you get a list of pieces in set keys. Is it the same for singing?

  • A very quick google came up with syllabi and the info you need. – Tim Dec 16 '16 at 7:35
  • I found some PDFs with syllabi but didn't spot this point being addressed. – Mr. Boy Dec 16 '16 at 11:41
  • Page five I think. – Tim Dec 16 '16 at 12:22

"All items may be sung by any voice and in any key, published or transposed, suited to the compass of the candidate’s voice, except for those items from operas, operettas, oratorios, cantatas and sacred works in Grades 6–8 (Lists A and D) where a particular voice and key are specified (although original pitch may be adopted in Baroque pieces, if appropriate)."


  • Language, also, can be changed. – Tim Dec 16 '16 at 14:19
  • I was looking at the RockSchool stuff and didn't see specific mention of this aspect (except it mentions you may pick which key to use for scales, etc). I know they provide backing tracks but not whether they provide them in several keys – Mr. Boy Dec 16 '16 at 14:27
  • Looking at Rockschool (now RSL) syllabi, readily available on the net: at grade V there are free choice songs, which presumably means choose a key that suits also. Sight singing is only an octave range - most singers will manage two with no difficulty. The telephone no. is there - why not get the info. straight from the horse's mouth? Marked down, as the information is easy to find. – Tim Dec 16 '16 at 22:39
  • Given you said "presumably" then the information clearly isn't readily available in the syllabus. Having to phone someone up (which costs money) is more effort than many questions here which can readily be answered by looking in a book. Whereas anyone who has done the exams could answer from their personal knowledge which was the whole point of the question. – Mr. Boy Dec 19 '16 at 11:21

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