Conall wrote: ↑
Sun Jul 08, 2018 10:25 am
Stephen Kenyon wrote: ↑
Sun Jul 08, 2018 7:15 am
As well as D05 its been a staple ABRSM Grade 5 for as long as I can remember and I think I did it for that......
Grade 5?! I seem to remember doing it for ABRSM in v late / v early 80s for grade 3!
So either I'm totally wrong or the ABRSM (& Trinity) levels have been dropping as part of the dumbing down / fall in general educational standards......
Getting back to Etude 3 - it's pleasantly chordal arpeggio & not too challenging nature along with it being a favourite teaching study among teachers (and very frequent inclusion in grade syllabi) explains it's popularity I'd say.
It's very useful for developing the strength of the a finger - learning to emphasize it in arpeggios by either pulling more into the palm (tirando) or for learning how to combine apoyando in the a finger with tirando in the others (and combining rest stroke a with free stroke p).
Well I am as sure as I can be without digging out loads of old syllabi, that when it was on the syllabus for AB it was always Grade 5. Can't say re Trinity.
Changes of educational standards, or approaches, are a complicated matter and not always as obvious as may seem. Once upon a time, Walton Bagatelles nos 1, and 2, were on the same Grade 8 syllabus, along with, at one time, Villa Lobos Etude 11. The huge disparity between Walton 1 and VL 11, and Walton 2, was never justified, was never a good idea, and the removal of that, to many, obvious error was not a dumbing down, it was a rationalisation of an extremely ill-judged selection. The point is intended to be illustrative; the way pieces were chosen in the past was not (still isn't) a very scientific process and the general direction of change has been an improvement.
The particular overall area one might consider in this has been that of parity with other instruments. There will always be some differences between the physical nature of different instruments and the physical development of players, especially young ones. The focus of change in the exam syllabus at least for ABRSM, in the 1990s, was to shift the earlier grades so that they were at least closer to the physical demands placed by the range of other instruments.
The biggest contrast tends to be between instruments like flute and clarinet, vs guitar and piano.
Students of the former not infrequently get to grade 1 within a year or two of starting as beginners (and I mean, beginners) and in doing so, are using the technical foundations that will carry them seamlessly onto the higher grades.
Students of guitar at least have often been at least two years behind that in getting to Grade 1. Part of the way to change this was to introduce the option of duets, in which the candidate plays a single line accompanied by guitar (or piano if necessary), and in so doing is playing something close to what a woodwind or string player would play. However the danger here is that the candidate gets into the grades at the expense of a properly foundational technique and to this end it has been required that at least one solo piece be performed, hence using technical foundations that will scale up. To be exact, for the duets a single-line apoyando - heavy technique can work well, but for the solo a properly solo-friendly tirando - based technique has to be used. Hence the development of the, I have to say, extremely fine Solo Now!
books which all promote tirando technique.
I have to point out that part of the sketchy nature of the above relates to the fact that the new ABRSM syllabus is awaiting release at the time of writing and so some further changes may be introduced, in either pedagogical direction, when it appears.
And I suppose for full disclosure I should add that I have a book in the ABRSM syllabus at present, on Grades 1 & 2. I have no pecuniary interest in Solo Now!
or the One+One
duet books. The point also there is that I write as one who has been, if tangentially, involved in the processes described above.
I'd like to respectfully add that Carcassi 3 is not really an arpeggio study (I know it wasn't described exactly such but nearly so and its a common mis-conception). It is a study in melody accompanied by a broken-chord texture. It is however extremely well observed that a question has to be asked about how the 'a' finger tackles this (and this is discussed in other posts to this thread) e.g. whether free or rest stroke. It really doesn't matter for most purposes how the composer would have considered the use of 'a'; in modern technique its what we do, and students 'should' use it for this piece, as they 'should' in Sor, unless and until they wish to delve into original 19th century techniques on an appropriate instrument etc.
As for the other point - chicken and egg? Is it popular because its used by teachers and syllabi, or is it used thus because its popular?