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I was just browsing through ABRSM syllabus and found two different things, as mentioned in the title.

What is the difference?

The syllabus is here: https://in.abrsm.org/fileadmin/user_upload/PDFs/Piano_Syllabus_2019___2020_complete.pdf. And the page number is 27.

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    Please add a link to the syllabus and page references. The likely answer is that "scales in thirds" is referring to playing both notes with the same hand, while "scales a third apart" refers to playing the upper line with the right hand and the lower line with the left. – user48353 May 7 at 3:56
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    @replete - why a comment but not an answer? A good one too. – Tim May 7 at 6:37
  • @Tim - I guess I'm a pedant, I don't want to answer an underspecified question so I ask to make sure. It comes to the same thing for the OP! – user48353 May 7 at 7:36
  • @replete - fair enough. Although a far better place to ask this question ought to be ABRSM, would you agree? Yours pedantically... – Tim May 7 at 7:39
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    @replete: thank you for your help. All the more for being exacting on the correct ways of posting a question. :-) – Subir Nag May 9 at 3:49
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I guess:

Regarding the piano

scale-in-thirds

will mean thirds played with one hand

scales-a-third-apart

played with both hands.

  • Makes you wonder: in the syllabus why not simply write "scale in thirds in one hand" and "scales in each hand a third apart?" – Michael Curtis May 7 at 13:27
  • @Michael Curtis - I kind of agree to what you said. But I guess everybody gets used to conventions and prevalent understanding. – Subir Nag May 9 at 3:50
  • @Albrecht Hügli - Thank you. – Subir Nag May 9 at 3:51
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In addition to other ways of separating the two, I've also heard guitarists playing scales in thirds, playing (C-E-D-F-E-G-F-A... one after the other). They seem to call that playing the C major scale in thirds, but I'm not sure exactly how widespread that phrasing is.

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