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Does it matter that the folk song my dd has chosen for her Grade 1 singing exam...

(14 Posts)
seeker Tue 09-Sep-08 10:20:16

....turns out not to be a folk song at all, but written by Hugh Roberton, of Glasgow Orpheus Choir fame in 1930s (ish)

AMumInScotland Tue 09-Sep-08 10:29:08

I would imagine if it's in the style of a folk song, they wouldn't be worried. Do they have to choose things from a list of categories?

Marina Tue 09-Sep-08 10:31:53

Her music teacher should be able to check that with the Examining Board
If they do not have a syllabus/approved works list, then they can hardly blame candidates for being adventurous
Anyway, what makes a folk song? wink. Who's to say Roberton was not doing a RVW and transcribing/arranging an ancient melody...?

seeker Tue 09-Sep-08 10:35:58

She's got to choose a song each from two lists and then she has a free choice of an unaccompanied folk song.

Marina Tue 09-Sep-08 11:17:24

But it doesn't say "traditional folksong" or anything like that?

Many C20 songs are considered folk songs already (Sandy Denny's Who Knows Where the Time Goes for example), if Roberton wrote in the folk idiom I am sure they will not object.

islandofsodor Tue 09-Sep-08 11:28:23

Is it ABRSM, the unaccompanied folk song option? What is the song? I'm failry certain it will be OK. They are really looking to see that she can sing unaccompanied in that style as it is a different skill to sing without the back-up of the piano.

The syllabus actually states "traditional song" rather than folk song.

Candidates are required to perform an unaccompanied traditional song of their own choice in all grades.
It should be at least one minute in duration and last no longer than two minutes in Grades 1–4 and three
minutes in Grades 5–8, and should be sung in its traditional version. Ashort translation should be provided
for the examiner when words other than English are used.

To be honest I would have thought that her teacher would have given her some guidance as to which song to choose.

seeker Tue 09-Sep-08 11:52:11

It's the Mingulay Boat Song - our standard family lullaby! The teacher asked her to look for a song over the summer holidays - she hasn't had a lesson yet since she's been back. I only discovered that it wasn't traditional when I was hunting for some sheet music for it.

islandofsodor Tue 09-Sep-08 13:03:36

If she hasn't started learning it yet then I shouldn't worry (I thought her exam was very close and she only just found out).

I would pick something else to be honest. Althout it is based on a traditional tune it isn't a traditional song as such.

Do you particularly want something Scottish?

georgiemum Tue 09-Sep-08 13:05:21

Well I always thought 'Scotland the Brave' was a traditional folk song. I suppose you can have new folk songs.

islandofsodor Tue 09-Sep-08 13:06:44

The tune is Creag Guanach which was a pipe tune which Robertson put words to.

seeker Tue 09-Sep-08 13:12:18

No - doesn't have to be Scottish. It's just that she knows it already and loves it. We were trying to make things easier for her blush

Bizarrely, she has chosen a Hugh Roberton song from one of the other categories as well!

islandofsodor Tue 09-Sep-08 13:29:09

She definately needs to change then. You shouldn't really do 2 songs from the same composer even if there is a chance the examiner doesn't know it isn't traditional.

The Ash Grove is quite popular but that might be a bit hard for Grade 1. I know someone who did Kum by Ah. Skye Boat Song?

seeker Thu 11-Sep-08 13:52:49

Ok - the second song isn't by the same composd after all - that was another one that se rejected because it was too soppy and had the word "eventide" in it which for some reason is completely unacceptable.

Do people think she could get away with the non-folk folksong? islandofsodor, if you're around, do you think differently now that she's not doing two by the same composer?

islandofsodor Thu 11-Sep-08 18:06:05

I asked dh's professional opinion (he is a singing teacher) and after a bit of a lecture on what is a folk song and at what point does it become traditional!!! he said that as that composer is on the syllabus quite a bit, dh mentioned a few songs of his, he would personally go for another and play safe.

However that part of the exam is purely to assess skill at singing in tune, unaccompanied.

The AB has just brought out a brand new set of graded songbooks with suggested folksongs in.

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