Arab States
Africa
America
Australasia
South East Asia
Southern Asia
Caribbean
Europe
FINLAND
Cello Grade 3 Cello

Cello Grade 3 exams consist of three pieces, scales and arpeggios, sight-reading, and aural tests.

Total marks in all individual Practical exams are 150. You need 100 marks to achieve Pass, 120 marks to pass with Merit and 130 marks to pass with Distinction.

Cello Grade 3 (2020–2023)

Pieces

Musicians learn to play an instrument to explore and perform repertoire, which is why pieces are at the core of the exam – candidates are asked to present three at each grade. The syllabus repertoire is organised into three lists which explore different traditions and styles, dating from the Renaissance period to the present day.

Choosing one piece from each list gives candidates the opportunity to play a balanced selection and demonstrate a range of skills. In this syllabus, the pieces are broadly grouped into lists by the characteristics of the music:

  • List A pieces are generally faster moving and require technical agility
  • List B pieces are more lyrical and invite expressive playing
  • List C pieces reflect a wide variety of musical traditions, styles and characters.

Most of the pieces require an accompaniment, as interacting with other musicians is an important musical skill, but there are also opportunities to choose solo pieces and develop confidence with unaccompanied playing.

We hope that by offering this variety in the syllabus, candidates will find music that inspires them and that they enjoy learning and performing.

Grade 3 Pieces

Candidates choose three pieces, one from each list (A, B and C) – 30 marks each. The full requirements and information for the pieces are explained after the lists.

List A

No. Composer Piece information Publication(s)
1 Aubert
arr. Blackwell
Forlane
from La reine des Péris
(with 1st repeat)
Cello Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 3 (Part)
ABRSM

More details
Cello Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 3 (Score & Part)
ABRSM

More details
Cello Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 3 (Score, Part & CD)
ABRSM

More details
2 Beethoven
arr. Bullard
Contredanse
No. 3 from 12 contredanses, WoO 14
Cello Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 3 (Part)
ABRSM

More details
Cello Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 3 (Score & Part)
ABRSM

More details
Cello Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 3 (Score, Part & CD)
ABRSM

More details
3 Anon.
arr. Blackwell
Musette
BWV Anh. II 126
Cello Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 3 (Part)
ABRSM

More details
Cello Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 3 (Score & Part)
ABRSM

More details
Cello Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 3 (Score, Part & CD)
ABRSM

More details
4 Anon. English
arr. Huws Jones
Watkin's Ale (PF/VC)
(cello melody)
The Fiddler Playalong Cello Collection, arr. Huws Jones
Boosey & Hawkes (BH 11784)

More details
5 Anon. French
arr. Doflein
Provençal Dance (DUET)
(upper part)
Cello Method: Tune Book 2, arr. Koeppen
Schott (ED 22505)

More details
6 Cirri Menuetto
3rd movt from Sonata in C
Cirri: Cello Sonata in C
Schott (CB 192)

More details
No. 1 from Cirri: Three Sonatas for Cello
Heinrichshofen (N1283)

More details
Cellissimo: Arietta
Schott (ED 22353)

More details
7 D. Gallo
arr. Bruce and Wells
Moderato
More Time Pieces for Cello, Vol. 1, arr. Bruce and Wells
ABRSM

More details
8 Gossec
arr. Suzuki and Mooney
Gavotte (PF/VC)
No. 11 from Suzuki Cello School, Vol. 2
Alfred (0481S)

More details
No. 11 from Suzuki Cello School, Vol. 2, Piano accompaniment
Alfred (0482S)

More details
No. 12 from Suzuki Ensembles for Cello, Vol. 2, arr. Mooney
Alfred (0298S)

More details
9 Mozart
arr. Baechi
Contretanz in D
Melodien Grosser Meister, arr. Baechi
Hug Zurich (G. H. 9224)

More details
10 Trad. Scottish
arr. Huws Jones
De'il Among the Tailors (SOLO or PF ACCOMP.)
Jigs, Reels & More, arr. Huws Jones
Boosey & Hawkes (BH 1200524)

More details

List B

No. Composer Piece information Publication(s)
1 Arlen and Harburg
arr. Galliford and Neuburg
Over the Rainbow
from The Wizard of Oz
Cello Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 3 (Part)
ABRSM

More details
Cello Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 3 (Score & Part)
ABRSM

More details
Cello Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 3 (Score, Part & CD)
ABRSM

More details
2 Rainer Mohrs Arietta 2015
Cello Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 3 (Part)
ABRSM

More details
Cello Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 3 (Score & Part)
ABRSM

More details
Cello Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 3 (Score, Part & CD)
ABRSM

More details
3 Tchaikovsky
arr. Blackwell
Mélodie antique française (Old French Melody)
No. 16 from Album pour enfants, Op. 39
Cello Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 3 (Part)
ABRSM

More details
Cello Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 3 (Score & Part)
ABRSM

More details
Cello Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 3 (Score, Part & CD)
ABRSM

More details
4 Carse
trans. Max
Afloat
from The Fiddler's Nursery
Carse: The Fiddler's Nursery for Cello, trans. Max
Stainer & Bell (H434)

More details
5 Katherine Colledge and Hugh Colledge Miles Away
No. 17 from Shooting Stars
No. 17 from Katherine Colledge and Hugh Colledge: Shooting Stars for Cello
Boosey & Hawkes (BH 13545)

More details
6 Grechaninov On Winter's Eve
Op. 126b No. 6
Cellissimo: Arietta
Schott (ED 22353)

More details
7 Holst
arr. Lanning
Jupiter
No. 4 from The Planets, Op. 32
The Classic Experience for Cello, arr. Lanning
Cramer (90537)

More details
8 Edward Jones
arr. Huws Jones
Glwysen (The Fairest One) (PF/VC)
(cello melody)
The Fiddler Playalong Cello Collection, arr. Huws Jones
Boosey & Hawkes (BH 11784)

More details
9 Schumann
arr. Suzuki and Mooney
The Two Grenadiers (PF/VC)
No. 10 from Suzuki Cello School, Vol. 2
Alfred (0481S)

More details
No. 10 from Suzuki Cello School, Vol. 2, Piano accompaniment
Alfred (0482S)

More details
No. 11 from Suzuki Ensembles for Cello, Vol. 2, arr. Mooney
Alfred (0298S)

More details
10 Smetana
arr. Bruce and Wells
Vltava
More Time Pieces for Cello, Vol. 1, arr. Bruce and Wells
ABRSM

More details

List C

No. Composer Piece information Publication(s)
1 Kathy Blackwell and David Blackwell Wild West
Cello Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 3 (Part)
ABRSM

More details
Cello Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 3 (Score & Part)
ABRSM

More details
Cello Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 3 (Score, Part & CD)
ABRSM

More details
2 Pam Wedgwood Hungarian Stomp
No. 2 from Jazzin' About
Cello Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 3 (Part)
ABRSM

More details
Cello Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 3 (Score & Part)
ABRSM

More details
Cello Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 3 (Score, Part & CD)
ABRSM

More details
3 Monty Norman
arr. Iles
The James Bond Theme
Cello Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 3 (Part)
ABRSM

More details
Cello Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 3 (Score & Part)
ABRSM

More details
Cello Exam Pieces 2020–2023, Grade 3 (Score, Part & CD)
ABRSM

More details
4 Katherine Colledge and Hugh Colledge Stiffkey Blues
No. 15 from Shooting Stars
No. 15 from Katherine Colledge and Hugh Colledge: Shooting Stars for Cello
Boosey & Hawkes (BH 13545)

More details
5 Thomas Gregory Vamoose
No. 33 from Vamoosh Cello, Book 2, arr. Gregory
Vamoosh (VAM22)

More details
No. 33 from Vamoosh String Book 2, Piano accompaniment, arr. Gregory
Vamoosh (VAM52)

More details
6 Roy McCormack Take It Easy
No. 4 from Let's Swing
No. 4 from Roy McCormack: Let's Swing for Cello
Spartan Press (SP893)

More details
7 Sheila Nelson Toad in the Hole (PF/VC)
(upper part; without improvisation)
Technitunes for Cello, arr. Nelson
Boosey & Hawkes (BH 1200162)

More details
Technitunes, Piano accompaniments, arr. Nelson
Boosey & Hawkes (BH 1000394)

More details
8 Satie
arr. Black and Harris
Chez le docteur
Time Pieces for Cello, Vol. 2, arr. Black and Harris
ABRSM

More details
9 Ros Stephen Transylvanian Stick Dance (PF/VC)
No. 11 from Cello Globetrotters
No. 11 from Ros Stephen: Cello Globetrotters (piano accomp. printable from companion CD)
OUP

More details
10 J. Strauss II
arr. Huws Jones
Russian March (PF/VC)
(cello melody; with grace notes in b. 40)
The Fiddler Playalong Cello Collection, arr. Huws Jones
Boosey & Hawkes (BH 11784)

More details

Cello requirements and information: Pieces

Programme planning: Candidates must choose one piece from each of the three lists (A, B and C). In the exam, candidates should tell the examiner which pieces they are performing, and they are welcome to use the Exam programme & running order form for this.

Every effort has been made to feature a broad range of repertoire to suit and appeal to candidates of different ages, backgrounds and interests. Certain pieces may not be suitable for every candidate for technical reasons or because of wider context (historical, cultural, subject matter of the larger work from which it is drawn, lyrics if an arrangement of a song etc.). Pieces should be carefully considered for their appropriateness to each individual, which may need consultation between teachers and parents/guardians. Teachers and parents/guardians should also exercise caution when allowing younger candidates to research pieces online (see www.nspcc.org.uk/onlinesafety).

Accompaniment: A live piano or string (where the option is listed) accompaniment is required for all pieces, except those which are published as studies or unaccompanied works (these are marked SOLO in the lists above).

At Grades Initial–3, candidates may perform some or all of their pieces with a string accompaniment. Pieces that are published as duets (or with string accompaniment only) are marked DUET in the lists above. Pieces that are published with piano and string accompaniment options are marked PF/VC in the lists above, and may be performed with either accompaniment in the exam.

Candidates must provide their own accompanist(s), who can only be in the exam room while accompanying. The candidate’s teacher may accompany (examiners will not). If necessary, an accompanist may simplify any part of the accompaniment, as long as the result is musical. Recorded accompaniments are not allowed.

Exam music & editions: Wherever the syllabus includes an arrangement or transcription (appearing as ‘arr.’ or ‘trans.’ in the syllabus list), the edition listed in the syllabus must be used in the exam. For all other pieces, editions are listed for guidance only and candidates may use any edition of their choice (in- or out-of-print or downloadable). For full details on sourcing exam music, see Obtaining exam music.

Interpreting the score: Printed editorial suggestions such as fingering, bowing, metronome marks, realisation of ornaments etc. do not need to be strictly observed. Whether the piece contains musical indications or not, candidates are encouraged to interpret the score in a musical and stylistic way. Examiners’ marking will be determined by how control of pitch, time, tone, shape and performance contributes to the overall musical outcome.

Vibrato: The use and control of vibrato, and its effect on tone and shape, will be taken into account by examiners, who will be assessing the overall musical outcome. Pieces that are heavily reliant on vibrato for their full musical effect tend not to appear in the syllabus before around Grade 5.

Repeats: Unless the syllabus specifies differently, all da capo and dal segno indications should be followed but other repeats (including first-time bars) should not be played unless they are very short (i.e. a few bars).

Cadenzas & tuttis: Cadenzas should not be played unless the syllabus specifies differently. Accompanists should cut lengthy orchestral tutti sections.

Performing from memory: Candidates may perform any of their pieces from memory; if doing so, they must make sure that a copy of the music is available for the examiner to refer to. No extra marks are awarded for playing from memory.

Page-turns: Examiners will be understanding if a page-turn causes a lack of continuity during a piece, and this will not affect the marking. Candidates (and accompanists) may use an extra copy of the music or a photocopy of a section of the piece (but see ‘Photocopies’ below) to help with page-turns. Candidates and accompanists at Grades 6–8 may bring a page-turner to the exam if there is no solution to a particularly awkward page-turn (prior permission is not required; the turner may be the candidate’s teacher). Examiners are unable to help with page-turning.

Photocopies: Performing from unauthorised photocopies (or other kinds of copies) of copyright editions is not allowed. ABRSM may withhold the exam result where it has evidence of an illegal copy (or copies) being used. In the UK, copies may be used in certain limited circumstances – for full details, see the MPA’s Code of Fair Practice at www.mpaonline.org.uk. In all other cases, application should be made to the copyright holder before any copy is made, and evidence of permission should be brought to the exam.

Cello Grade 3 Cello

Cello Grade 3 exams consist of three pieces, scales and arpeggios, sight-reading, and aural tests.

Total marks in all individual Practical exams are 150. You need 100 marks to achieve Pass, 120 marks to pass with Merit and 130 marks to pass with Distinction.

Cello Grade 3 (2016–2019)

Pieces

Three pieces: one chosen by the candidate from each of the three Lists, A, B and C - 30 marks each

List A

No. Composer Piece information Publication(s)
1 Anon. English
arr. Huws Jones
download download Watkins' Ale
(cello melody)
 
The Fiddler Playalong Cello Collection, arr. Huws Jones
Boosey & Hawkes

More details
2 Beethoven
arr. Erhart-Schwertmann
download download Deutscher Tanz
WoO 8/4
 
P. 10 from Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven for Cello, arr. Erhart-Schwertmann
Doblinger (DOBL 33756)

More details
3 Cirri download download Menuetto
3rd movt from Sonata in C
 
Cirri: Cello Sonata in C
Schott (CB 192)

More details
No. 1 from Cirri: Three Sonatas for Cello
Heinrichshofen (N1283)

More details
4 Corelli
arr. East
download download Gavotta
from Violin Sonata, Op. 5 No. 10
(observing both repeats)
 
Play Baroque!, arr. East
Stainer & Bell (H479)

More details
5 D. Gallo
arr. Bruce and Wells
download download Moderato
from Trio Sonata No. 1
 
More Time Pieces for Cello, Vol. 1, arr. Bruce and Wells
ABRSM

More details
6 B. Marcello download download Largo
3rd movt from Sonata in E minor, Op. 2 No. 2
 
B. Marcello: Sonata in E minor
Stainer & Bell (H436)

More details

List B

No. Composer Piece information Publication(s)
1 Brahms
arr. Black and Harris
download download St Anthony Chorale
 
Time Pieces for Cello, Vol. 2, arr. Black and Harris
ABRSM

More details
2 Alan Gout download download Barcarolle
 
First Repertoire for Cello, Book 1, arr. Legg and Gout
Faber

More details
3 Holst
arr. Lanning
download download Jupiter
from The Planets
 
The Classic Experience for Cello, arr. Lanning
Cramer

More details
4 Edward Jones
arr. Huws Jones
download download Glwysen (The Fairest One)
(cello melody)
 
The Fiddler Playalong Cello Collection, arr. Huws Jones
Boosey & Hawkes

More details
5 Smetana
arr. Bruce and Wells
download download Vltava
from Má vlast
 
More Time Pieces for Cello, Vol. 1, arr. Bruce and Wells
ABRSM

More details
6 Trad. North American
arr. Waterfield and Beach
download download Simple Gifts
 
O Shenandoah! for Cello, arr. Waterfield and Beach
Faber

More details

List C

No. Composer Piece information Publication(s)
1 Carey Cheney download download Budapesto
 
Solos for Young Cellists, Vol. 1
Alfred–Summy-Birchard (20810X)

More details
2 M. Simons
arr. Bruce and Wells
download download The Peanut Vendor
 
More Time Pieces for Cello, Vol. 1, arr. Bruce and Wells
ABRSM

More details
3 Ros Stephen download download 'Hole in My Shoe' Blues
No. 10 from Cello Globetrotters
 
Ros Stephen: Cello Globetrotters (piano accomp. printable from companion CD)
OUP

More details
4 Trad.
arr. Legg and Gout
download download Hungarian Folksong
 
First Repertoire for Cello, Book 1, arr. Legg and Gout
Faber

More details
5 Tim Wells download download Melancholy Waltz
from Cello Scenes
 
Tim Wells: Cello Scenes
Cramer

More details
6 John Williams
arr. Galliford and Neuburg and Edmondson
download download Hedwig's Theme
from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
 
Classic Movie Instrumental Solos for Cello, arr. Galliford and Neuburg and Edmondson
Alfred (35131)

More details
Harry Potter Instrumental Solos for Cello, arr. Galliford and Neuburg and Edmondson
Alfred (39241)

More details

Cello requirements and information: Pieces

Programme planning: Candidates must choose one piece from each of the three lists (A, B and C) in each grade. In the exam, they should inform the examiner which pieces they are performing, and they are welcome to use the Exam programme & running order form (PDF) for this purpose.

Accompaniment: A live piano accompaniment is required for all pieces, except those which are published as studies or unaccompanied works. Candidates must provide their own accompanist, who may remain in the exam room only while accompanying. The candidate’s teacher may act as accompanist (examiners will not). If necessary, the accompanist may simplify any part of the piano accompaniment, provided the result is musically satisfactory.

Exam music & editions: Wherever the syllabus includes an arrangement or transcription, the edition listed in the syllabus must be used in the exam; in all such cases the abbreviation ‘arr.’ or ‘trans.’ appears in the syllabus entry. For all other pieces, the editions quoted in the syllabus are given for guidance only and candidates may use any edition of their choice (in- or out-of-print or downloadable).

Interpreting the score: Printed editorial suggestions such as fingering, bowing, metronome marks, realization of ornaments etc. need not be strictly observed. Whether the piece contains musical indications or not, candidates are always encouraged to interpret the score in a stylistically appropriate manner. Ultimately, examiners’ marking will be determined by consideration of pitch, time, tone, shape and performance, and how control of these contributes to the overall musical outcome.

Vibrato: The use and control of vibrato, and its effect on tone and shape, will be taken into account by examiners, who will be assessing the overall musical outcome. Pieces whose full musical effect is heavily reliant on vibrato tend not to appear in the syllabus before around Grade 5.

Repeats: All da capo and dal segno indications should be observed but all other repeats (including first-time bars) should be omitted unless they are very brief (i.e. of a few bars) or unless the syllabus specifies otherwise.

Cadenzas & tuttis: Cadenzas should not be played unless the syllabus specifies otherwise. Lengthy orchestral tutti sections should be cut.

Performing from memory: Candidates are free to perform any of their pieces from memory; in such cases they must ensure that a copy of the music is available for the examiner to refer to if necessary. No additional marks are awarded for playing from memory.

Page-turns: Examiners will be understanding if a page-turn causes a lack of continuity during a piece, and this will not affect the marking. A variety of solutions for awkward page-turns exists, including the use of an additional copy of the music or a photocopy of a section of the piece (but see ‘Photocopies’ below). In cases where candidates believe there is no solution to a particularly awkward page-turn, they may apply to bring a page-turner to the exam. The request must be made to the Syllabus Department no later than the closing date for entry, and details of the piece, edition and nature of the difficulty should be given. If permission is granted, a confirmation letter will be issued which must be taken to the exam as verification. Examiners are unable to help with page-turning. In a Grade 8 exam, a candidate’s accompanist is permitted to bring a page-turner to assist with page-turns in the piano part (prior permission is not required).

Photocopies: Performing from unauthorized photocopies (or other kinds of copies) of copyright editions is not allowed. ABRSM may withhold the exam result where it has evidence of an illegal copy (or copies) being used. In the UK, copies may be used in certain limited circumstances – for full details, see the MPA’s Code of Fair Practice at www.mpaonline.org.uk. In all other cases, application should be made to the copyright holder before any copy is made, and evidence of permission received should be brought to the exam.

Publications & audio

Supporting applications

Violin Practice Partner

Violin Practice Partner is a simple way to make practising pieces for your ABRSM exam more musical, enjoyable and fun.

Scales Trainer

Scales Trainer helps increase fluency with ABRSM scales and arpeggios requirements.

 

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. By using our website, you are agreeing to our cookie policy and consent to our use of cookies. Find out more.

closer Close this message