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RSV books give you full vocal score but I've found trying to be 100% exact to the score greatly detracts from my performance, especially if I try to emulate the original artist. Their nuances of expression don't work when I try to copy them, their performance isn't 100% exactly what the score notates anyway, etc.

However I've never done anything like this before, in fact the only singing from score I've done is Christmas carols where you do try to be very precise, but that's different to covering another artist's song. So I've no idea to what degree the examiner is marking me on performance Vs exactly getting every semi-quaver exactly perfect?

Can anyone who has taken, or been an examiner, answer this? I'm not talking about changing the melody line, just nuances of inflection as I sing the song to suit my own voice and style... would a drab but technically note-perfect performance with a dull tone score better or worse than an authentic, emotive one where I stretch the timing slightly on some notes for emphasis (as an example)?

  • Interesting slant. Have you engaged any Rockschool examiners in this concept? I've had many discussions along the same lines with RGT examiners, with interesting points made. – Tim Feb 4 '17 at 23:44
  • I don't have any direct experience of Rockschool myself, but according to the syllabus Musical Interpretation is allowed at all grades in both the Grade Exam and Performance Certificate. Rockschool encourages individual musicality, articulation, expression and use of dynamics when performing. This applies anywhere in the exam other than the technical exercises – Bob Feb 5 '17 at 14:09
  • @Bob yeah I've seen this but I don't know, as a new singer, how far that extends. Does it mean the score is viewed as just a lead-sheet guideline far more flexibly than if you were playing an instrumental piece? – Mr. Boy Feb 6 '17 at 13:04
  • @Bob - I believe that the line from the syllabus is simply a caveat to say, "No written exam form can truly capture musicianship, so we leave discrepancies to the judgement of the examiner." – SpiderShlong Sep 27 '17 at 17:17
  • I did grades 1-8 with the Rockschool exam board (albeit for electric guitar and not voice). From what I've gathered from taking these exams and smalltalk with the examiners, there seems to be room for adding your own flare to the pieces, as long as you're not replacing the written music with your own (eg playing/singing something different because you find a particular phrase difficult - this is obvious to them). You still need to be able to perform the piece as it is written, but as long as you can demonstrate that you know the piece there seems to be flexibility for things like musicmanship – James Whiteley Mar 26 '18 at 12:26

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