So i was wondering if i should take Grade 8 theory. (Has anyone actually taken it??). I went up to grade piano 7 last year and will probably do Grade 8 piano in 2020, atm im taking a break from the practical tests due to university (an unrelated subject) and i want to focus on other pieces. However the theory particularly interests me and i want to have a better understanding of Music as a whole. I am a quick learner and i am good at exams in general and i relish a challenge.

I cant find a single person online who has taken it haha but any insights would be very much appreciated.

closed as primarily opinion-based by Tetsujin, Richard, Tim, Doktor Mayhem Nov 16 '18 at 10:05

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 1
    This question is pretty much impossible to answer, because it's entirely subjective. – Scott Wallace Nov 15 '18 at 9:20
  • if you are serious about this do not skip grade 7, it is in the syllabus for a reason. – Neil Meyer Nov 16 '18 at 17:56

Yes you can take it, in that you are definitely allowed to. There are no prerequisites for sitting this exam. I am a music teacher and have put plenty of students in for grade 8 theory. It's quite tough, but worth the effort. You need to complete a trio sonata (Baroque style 3 part harmony mostly contrapuntal style), you need to fill in the skeleton of a keyboard piece in Classical or Romantic style, write a composition of 12 bars minimum based on a given opening, and answer analytical questions based on 2 scores, usually one chamber and one practical.

  • can the OP do this? anything is possible but to be clear this grade of theory is a requirement for the advanced diploma that ABRSM offers, this qualification the qualification board in the UK considers on the level of a Masters degree in music. Just to put it in perspective to as just how high this standard is. – Neil Meyer Nov 16 '18 at 17:54
  • Grade 8 theory itself is not Masters degree level though - it's around A level or 1st year undergraduate. It is impossible to say whether the OP can achieve this is as obviously it depends on their current level of knowledge/skills, but it is certainly possible assuming prior theory study. I would not recommend anyone attempt the exam without some input from a teacher however, as 50% of the paper is subjective. – Victoria Williams Nov 17 '18 at 19:13

Get the syllabus HERE, buy some past exam papers HERE. You'll be able to see if your skills and knowledge match the exam. If they don't, there are online courses.

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