“英皇考級”其實是個不准確的簡稱，容易誤以為是英國皇室或英國皇家音樂學院的考級。其全名The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music，於1889年由皇家音樂學院( Royal Academy of Music) 校長 Alexander MacKenzie 爵士和皇家音樂學校( Royal College of Music) 主任George Grove 爵士共同創建。
其成員是英國的四家音樂院校:英國皇家音樂學院(Royal Academy of Music)、皇家音樂學校(Royal College of Music)、英國皇家北方音樂學院(Royal Northern College of Music)和蘇格蘭皇家音樂戲劇學院(Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama)，總裁是威爾士王子——即後來的英皇愛德華七世。
英皇考級（ABRSM）的考試分為演奏（包含樂曲，音階，視奏，聽力）和樂理（筆試）兩大塊，它們的最高級別都是8級。而實際上，英皇考級還設有文憑類考試，它們是 DipABRSM (初級文憑），LRSM（高級文憑），FRSM (院士文憑），文憑有三種，分別是教學，演奏和指揮。這是非常專業的考試，只有取得8級證書的人才能申考文憑類考試。
6. 英皇系統教學 VS 傳統鋼琴教學
英皇考級的演奏是如何打分的？官方的五個標準是：音準 Pitch，時值 Time，音色 Tone，形態 Shape，表演 Performance。特別需要說明的是，這五項標準的字面含義應以英文原文為準。
Music is the sound of thinking.
The Emperor's Grading Exam is known as an international exam. More and more domestic teachers and students are actively applying for the exam. Let's take a look at the Emperor's Grading Exam.
1. What exactly is the Royal Examination?
"Emperor's Examination" is actually an inaccurate abbreviation, and it is easy to mistake it for the examination of the British Royal Family or the Royal Academy of Music. Its full name, The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, was founded in 1889 by Sir Alexander MacKenzie, Principal of the Royal Academy of Music, and Sir George Grove, Director of the Royal College of Music.
Its members are four music schools in the UK: the Royal Academy of Music, the Royal College of Music, the Royal Northern College of Music and the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama), the president is the Prince of Wales – the future King Edward VII.
Therefore, the Imperial Examination is actually a consortium, which was originally named only "Joint Committee", and now the official Chinese translation name is: British Royal Academy of Music Joint Committee (ABRSM).
2. What does the King's Examination Certificate look like?
The picture below is a scanned copy of the student certificate, which is the certificate cover and performance and music theory score sheets. The names have been coded to protect the privacy of students.
The full score of the performance test is 150 points, 100 points are qualified, and 130 points or more are excellent. The certificate includes scores and handwritten comments on music, scales, sight-reading, and listening tests.
The full score of the music theory test is 100 points, 66 points are qualified, and 90 points or more are excellent. The certificate will not be introduced in detail because of the Chinese translation.
3. What is the Imperial Examination?
The ABRSM test is divided into two parts: performance (including music, scales, sight-reading, listening) and music theory (written test), and the highest level of them is 8. In fact, there are also diploma exams in the King's Examination, which are DipABRSM (primary diploma), LRSM (advanced diploma), FRSM (academician diploma). There are three kinds of diplomas, namely teaching, performance and conducting. This is a very professional exam and only those with a Level 8 certificate can apply for the Diploma exam.
4. What are the requirements for taking the King's Examination?
This is a question that is often mentioned.
The official answer is given first. Candidates who take the Emperor's examination are not divided into nationalities, ages and music learning backgrounds. Everyone can choose the examination items that suit their own circumstances. To give a personal and sincere answer, you need a good teacher, a persevering parent or persevering student, and that’s enough.
5. I passed level 5 of the domestic examination. What level should I apply for?
This is another frequently mentioned issue, and its subtext is to homogeneously convert the domestic grading system and the Emperor's grading system. Unfortunately this problem is unsolved. Due to well-known reasons, sight-reading and listening tests are generally not set in domestic performance examinations, and these two are difficult for candidates to rely on auditory imitation and muscle memory to attack through a large number of mechanized training. Therefore, although the emperor's examination allows skipping grades, it is actually very difficult. "Quick" class candidates.
6. Emperor System Teaching VS Domestic Piano Teaching
What is the difference between the teaching of the Emperor's Grading System and the domestic piano teaching? Touching the artistic conscience, I said that there should be no difference between them. As long as you are studying classical music and piano, you should learn basic music theory and harmony knowledge, and you should learn the basic skills solidly. Neither can nor understand symphony and chamber music. The piano, especially the classical piano, is not a disguised "whack-a-mole" keyboard game, a game of hitting the right keys at the right time. If that was the only requirement, the robot would have already replaced the pianist. Students need to control the sound quality to be stable, and deconstruction works need to change the sound quality. This is not just "playing right".
Learning classical piano has always been a long and arduous process, limited by the students' ear development and finger function, it is impossible to "quick". The instant students passed the domestic tenth grade, but they were "white Ding" in terms of musical literacy. He can only play a limited number of pieces, and they are often the ones specified in the grading test. Usually, it is impossible to tell what period they are works, their style and structure, their creative background, and their understanding of the works. Some students don't even know the genre and author of the work.
Therefore, the listening sight-reading and music theory settings of the Emperor's Grade Examination force the teaching to be done according to the original rules of music education. This is what the author said, "there should be no difference".
7. What is the grading standard for the King's Graded Performance Test?
How is the performance of the King's Examination graded? The five official standards are: Pitch, Time, Tone, Shape, and Performance. It should be noted that the literal meaning of these five standards should be based on the original English text.
Timbre does not refer to the quality of the piano's acoustics, but the changes in the touch of the piano keys and the sound feedback brought by them under the consideration of the harmony color and emotional expression of the work.
Form does not refer to the physical movements of students, but refers to the interpretation of various aspects such as phrases, parts, and structure of the work, which is the "shape" of music.
Performance refers not only to the students' stage performance, but also to the interpretation of the style of the work period.
For example, a candidate played the music of Bach and Chopin, two composers separated by hundreds of years, in the high-level examination of the King's Examination, that is, the Tone, Shape, and Performance in the ABRSM scoring standard. Three items, then even if the pitch and timing are correct, that is, the accuracy rate of the disguised "whack-a-mole" written by the author is 100%, it will not be recognized by the examiner.
8. What is the gold content of the ABRSM certificate?
It may be the most concerned about the gold content of the certificate, that is, the application of extra points and scholarships for studying abroad. If there is a study abroad plan in the future, the certificate of the Emperor's examination will be available in the Commonwealth (and some non-Commonwealth Western countries, such as the United States/France/ Germany) national, amateur music examination certificate in almost the world's highest potency and credibility. Universities in the Commonwealth of Nations have a bonus of 120 points, and there are relatively few countries outside the British system. The specific bonus points or scholarship application policies vary by country (or region) and school. Take the UK as an example, please refer to the table below.
It should be noted that the application can only be submitted if the Emperor's Examination has reached Level 6 or above. The quality of the score is also a reference standard. A high-level low score (such as 105 points in the eighth level) may not give the admissions better impression than a relatively low-level high score (such as 135 points in the seventh level).
Music is the sound of thinking.