ABRSM has released Encore, the official collection of favourite piano exam pieces.
The series includes four books of inspiring repertoire set on ABRSM syllabuses over the last few decades. It’s a great source of captivating and memorable music which can be used for lessons, recitals, and playing for fun. Encore is now available to purchase at www.abrsm.org/encore or from music retailers worldwide.
Murray McLachlan, Chair of EPTA, said ‘ABRSM piano pieces have proved time and time again to be pivotal building blocks in the musical development of thousands of young pianists in the world. This vibrant new Encore series brings together the most popular and frequently performed ABRSM grade pieces from recent years. The result is both extremely inspiring and useful.’
Pianists will find a wide variety of best-loved repertoire spanning Baroque to contemporary, from Beethoven to Bernstein. ABRSM grade markers give an instant indication of difficulty, which help inform recital planning, or players looking to discover new music.
The series has also been compiled with teaching and progression in mind – each piece introduces a new skill or technique, providing a great bank of content to motivate students and help them prepare for the next level. Concise footnotes facilitate deeper understanding and engagement with the music, signposting the key skills each piece develops. Footnotes also include background information and activity suggestions for exploring the music.
Each book covers two grades and the series opens with popular favourites like Hook’s Gavotte and Wooding’s Vampire Blues in Book 1. Book 2 covers Grades 3 and 4, with timeless classics like Top Cat! and Burgmüller’s dramatic Ballade. Satie’s Gymnopédie No. 1 and Haydn’s Vivace assai are just some of the well-known pieces in Book 3, while Book 4 presents advanced players with approachable challenges like Willie Wagglestick’s Walkabout and Allegro from Beethoven’s Sonata Op. 2 No. 1.
Karen Marshall, series compiler, said ‘To choose the music for Encore, I initially drew on my own teaching experience and ABRSM exam statistics. The repertoire was then tested on students, as well as numerous teachers and music educators at conferences and workshops across the country.’