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Specimen Improvisation Tests

Motivic Stimulus

for Trinity College London exams from 2017


Initial–Grade 8

Bass Clef

Copyright © 2016 Trinity College London


First impression, June 2016
Motivic stimulus
The motivic stimulus requires candidates to improvise unaccompanied in response to a short melodic
fragment. Candidates are given a notated melodic fragment which the examiner plays twice on the piano
for candidates’ reference (candidates are not required to play this back). Candidates are then given 30
seconds’ preparation time, during which they may prepare for their improvisation aloud if they wish. The
test then follows. Candidates should aim to improvise within the specified duration range and may begin by
quoting the stimulus directly, developing their improvisation from there. However, candidates are not
required to quote the stimulus directly, and may instead develop their improvisation from ideas taken from
the stimulus such as a small group of notes or an interval.

Initial
Example 1 Example 2
Use the stimulus below to improvise for 4–6 bars Use the stimulus below to improvise for 4–6 bars

?4 ˙ ˙ œ œ ˙ ?4 ˙ œ œ ˙ ˙
4 4

Grade 1
Example 1 Example 2
Use the stimulus below to improvise for 4–8 bars Use the stimulus below to improvise for 4–8 bars

?4 œ œ œ ˙ œ œ œ ˙ ? b4 ˙ œ œ œ œœ˙
4 4

Grade 2
Example 1 Example 2
Use the stimulus below to improvise for 6–8 bars Use the stimulus below to improvise for 6–8 bars

? 4 œ™ œ œ. œ. œ™ œ ˙ ? 4 œ œ œ ™ œJ
œ œ ˙
b4 J J 4

Grade 3
Example 1 Example 2
Use the stimulus below to improvise for 6–8 bars Use the stimulus below to improvise for 6–8 bars

? ## 3 œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ ? b4 œ œ œ œ ˙ œ œ. . .
4 4 œ œ

Grade 4
Example 1 Example 2
Use the stimulus below to improvise for 8–12 bars Use the stimulus below to improvise for 8–12 bars

? ## 2 j œ œ ? bb 3 œ œ œ œ œ œ œ
4œ œ 4 œ
J œ > > >œ

2
Grade 5
Example 1 Example 2
Use the stimulus below to improvise for 8–12 bars Use the stimulus below to improvise for 8–12 bars

? ### 2 . . ?b6
4 œ™ œ œ™ œ œ œ œ b b 8 œ ™ œ œ œ œJ œ ™ œ œ œ ™

Grade 6
Example 1 Example 2
Use the stimulus below to improvise for 12–16 bars Use the stimulus below to improvise for 12–16 bars

? bb 12 œ™ >œ > ? ### 6 œ œ œj œ™ œ œ


b8 œ œ œ™ nœ œ 8œ
J

Grade 7
Example 1 Example 2
Use the stimulus below to improvise for 12–16 bars Use the stimulus below to improvise for 12–16 bars

? bb b9 . œ. œ. j ? #### 12 j
b8œ œ.
œ. œ. œ œ 8 œ ™ #œ œ œ œ œj œ œj œ ™

Grade 8
Example 1 Example 2
Use the stimulus below to improvise for 12–16 bars Use the stimulus below to improvise for 12–16 bars

3
? ####9 œ œ. œ œ œ œj #œ ™ ? bb b 5 j œ œ œ. œ
8œ . #œ œ b4œ J œœœ
.
sfz