Australian Music Examinations Board WA

Recorded Accompaniments

Beginning 2015, AMEB began releasing Recorded Accompaniments for use in study and examinations in early grades. Where AMEB Recorded Accompaniments are available, candidates may perform with those recordings in examinations.

These piano accompaniments have been recorded as practice tools and for use in early grade AMEB examinations. They feature performances of the accompaniment part for pieces in the corresponding AMEB grade books and we hope that they prove to be a valuable resource for students and teachers around the country. AMEB encourages candidates and teachers to rehearse and perform with accompanists wherever this is possible.

Recorded Accompaniments are available in hardcopy CDs from AMEB's Online Shop and AMEB Preferred Retailers OR as individual or album downloads from major digital music outlets like iTunes, Google Play and Spotify.

The first release of Recorded Accompaniments includes Flute Series 3 (Preliminary - Third Grade), Violin Series 9 (Preliminary - Third Grade) and Percussion Series 1 (Preliminary - Fourth Grade) with technical exercises. AMEB will continue to release Recorded Accompaniments for all relevant instrument syllabuses.

AMEB's new practice app MyTempo corresponds to the release of the Recorded Accompaniments, allowing users to speed up, slow down and loop any Recorded Accompaniment, backing track or recording through their smartphone or tablet at any speed they choose.

Why Recorded Accompaniments?

You may choose to use the Recorded Accompaniments as a practice tool and use your own accompanist in the exam room. AMEB strongly encourages playing with an accompanist whenever this is possible, however, we are aware that not everyone has immediate access to an accompanist. Availability of accompanists has become more and more of an issue - particularly in regional areas in recent years - and the overall cost of music education and exams has become an economic issue for many families. These are among the reasons AMEB has allowed for this alternative from 2015.

Bernard Depasquale, General Manager (AMEB) answers common questions regarding the AMEB's Recorded Accompaniments project in The Case for Recorded Accompaniments.

Using Recorded Accompaniments

The Recorded Accompaniments can be used as a practice tool and in the examination room as an alternative to an accompanist. If you choose to use the Recorded Accompaniment in the examination room then you must use the '100% tempo' or 'performance' tempo. If you intend to use the Recorded Accompaniments in your exam in WA, it is important to read the Recorded Accompaniments Policy. This details the expectations associated with the provision and operation of your own equipment.

For practice purposes, the Recorded Accompaniments may be used in conjunction with the AMEB MyTempo app, available for Apple and Android devices.

There are certain practical considerations when working with a pre-recorded accompaniment, which have been addressed in the following ways:

Starting to play

We have included a longer silence than usual at the beginning of each track so that students have time to prepare themselves at their instrument after starting the track. If there is no piano introduction for the work, or if the tempo is unclear by the time the student is to come in, there is a two-bar click count-in to bring the player in.

Fermatas and cadenzas

In general, fermatas (pauses) are held for one-and-a-half to two times the duration of the note to which they apply. There are exceptions to this where it would be impractical or musically inappropriate. AMEB recommends that students and teachers familiarise themselves with these moments in the recordings so that there is absolutely no doubt as to how long a particular fermata will be held. In some instances, a click count-in has been included to assist in this regard. Similarly, where brief cadenza-like figures occur, there has been a reasonable amount of time allowed for the figure and then a click count-in to indicate when the accompaniment will go on. Students and teachers should familiarise themselves with these moments so that the cadenza figure can be played comfortably and naturally in the time allowed.

Unaccompanied passages

A click count-through may be included where necessary to allow secure navigation of unaccompanied passages.

MyTempo app

AMEB is proud to announce the launch of its very first practice app, MyTempo, with the release of the Recorded Accompaniments.

MyTempo allows students to speed up, slow down and loop any recording through their smartphone or tablet. MyTempo corresponds to the release of the Recorded Accompaniments, allowing users to practise with the Recorded Accompaniment at any speed they choose. MyTempo is available for both Apple and Android smartphones.

The MyTempo app will allow you to purchase individual tracks from within the app. Alternatively, if you buy a hardcopy CD, you can transfer the tracks onto your device in order to play them through the app. While the app's main feature is to speed up and slow down the recording, it has some other features such as a 'loop function' that will allow you to practise the same passage time after time and a metronome function that will allow you to check the speed you are playing the recording.


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Last updated:
Wednesday, 13 May, 2015 12:20 PM