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Accompaniment Policy

Revised ARCT Diploma Requirements

Grade 10 Piano Candidates

Candidates with Small Hands

Accompaniment Policy

In order to provide the most consistent approach and ensure a satisfactory experience for our candidates, please be advised of the following policy statements:

  1. All selections requiring accompaniment must be performed with piano accompaniment only. No other instruments are permitted. Recorded accompaniment is not permitted.

  2. Candidates must provide their own collaborative pianist. Collaborative pianists are permitted in the examination room only during the accompanied portion of the examination.

  3. Candidates who do not provide a collaborative pianist will not be examined.

The Royal Conservatory Syllabi outline the most current guidelines and policies on accompaniment requirements.  You can also read more about the Accompaniment Policy here

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Revised ARCT Diploma Requirements

As of September 1, 2012, candidates who successfully complete History 3: 19th Century to Present and any two of the three senior-level harmony stream courses (Counterpoint, Advanced Harmony, and Analysis) will have satisfied the theoretical requirements for the ARCT diploma.

Previous ARCT Theory Requirements

Revised ARCT Theory Requirements

History 3: 19th Century to Present History 3: 19th Century to Present
All of: Any two of:
Advanced Harmony or Advanced Keyboard Harmony Advanced Harmony or Advanced Keyboard Harmony
Counterpoint Counterpoint
Analysis Analysis

These requirements applied to all candidates who graduated in the 2012-2013 academic year, as well as to those who are currently working toward the ARCT diploma.

This change in requirements comes in response to the recommendations of teachers of practical and theoretical subjects. The theory requirements of The Royal Conservatory are intended to support practical studies and to enrich candidates’ understanding of Western art music traditions. With the revised ARCT diploma requirements, future graduates will continue to acquire a secure understanding of theoretical concepts, structures, and compositional devices.

In addition to History 3: 19th Century to Present, candidates are encouraged to complete all three senior-level harmony stream courses. Those who do will receive the special History and Theory: Advanced Certificate in addition to their ARCT diploma.

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Grade 10 Piano Candidates

Splitting the Grade 10 Piano Examination

Effective Date: September 2010

Beginning with the January 2011 examination session, candidates may choose to perform their Grade 10 piano examination in two separate sittings:

  • one consisting entirely of the candidate's repertoire;
  • one consisting of technical requirements, studies, ear tests, and sight reading. Although the division of material in split examinations cannot be altered, candidates will be able to schedule the two sittings in either order.

Please note the following regulations concerning Grade 10 piano that will apply to the split- examination option:

  • Candidates for the complete Grade 10 piano examination and the split Grade 10 examination must finish their practical examination requirements within two years of the first successful complete or partial Grade 10 examination.
  • Candidates for the split Grade 10 piano examination may schedule their sittings within the same examination session or in different sessions, but both portions of the Grade 10 piano examination and any supplemental examinations must be completed within the two-year period.
  • Grade 10 candidates who complete their examination in two sittings must complete both parts, with a minimum total mark of 65 percent, before registering for any supplemental examinations.
  • All theoretical co-requisites must be completed within five years of the first successful complete or partial Grade 10 piano examination.
  • Candidates in Grade 10 may repeat, as a supplemental examination, any two sections of a practical examination, including repertoire.
  • Candidates must complete the Grade 10 piano examination in one sitting in order to be eligible to receive a gold medal.
  • The Grade 10 split examination option is currently available to piano candidates only.

Additional information on the Grade 10 split examination can be found in the September/October 2010 edition of Music Matters.

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Candidates with Small Hands

Effective Date: September 1, 2002

Piano examination candidates are no longer exempted from playing octave scales and solid four-note chords on the basis of having small hands.

Candidates will be required to prepare all Technical Tests as described in the Piano Syllabus, 2015 Edition for their grade. For all four-note tonic chords and octave scale s, candidates may choose one of the options outlined below. The chosen option need not be indicated in advance to the examiner and will be evaluated on the same merit as all other technical tests for that grade. No prior approval is required from RCM Examinations.

Solid four-note chords:

  • Chords may be played in a rapidly rolled manner (must be quite distinct from the additional requirement of evenly broken chords in sixteenths) OR
  • The lowest note of the chord may be played alone followed very quickly by the upper three notes in solid form (played like a grace note to the upper three notes played in solid form) OR
  • The lower three notes of the chord in solid form may be played as a "grace chord" to the single upper octave note (the reverse of the above second option).

In all cases, use of pedal may be applied to enhance the "solid" effect. Regular four-note chord fingering should be used in all cases.

Solid octaves:

  • Solid octaves may be substituted with broken octaves beginning on the lower note, either in even sixteenths, or with the lower note played as a rapid grace note to the upper octave note

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