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Strings: Bowed Strings & Harp

Our Strings syllabus offers the choice and flexibility to allow candidates to play to their strengths, enabling them to gain recognition for their own unique skills as performers.

Specifications for aural tests and improvisation tests are changing for all instruments. The changes apply to all exams taken from 1 January 2017 onwards.

See the supporting tests page for new test specifications and information about sample materials.

Please note that there is no overlap for supporting tests, and the previous aural tests and improvisation tests can therefore no longer be used.


Strings syllabus

The Strings syllabus is valid from 1 January 2016 to 31 December 2019. The syllabus contains full details of our grade exams for Violin, Viola, Cello, Double Bass and Harp.

This latest syllabus features brand new repertoire lists for violin, viola and harp, and updated repertoire lists for all other instruments covering a wide range of styles and genres.

New technical work includes newly commissioned studies at Grades 1-5 and newly selected orchestral extracts at Grades 6-8 for all bowed strings, as well as refreshed scales and arpeggios requirements for all instruments.


You should read the syllabus requirements carefully before your exam. If you do not meet all the relevant requirements, the examiner may refer your exam result to Trinity’s London office for review and marks may be deducted.

Please see Information and Regulations and Syllabus infringements for more information.


Supporting publications

A new range of publications to support our Strings syllabus is available to order now from your local music retailer and our online shop:

  • A brand new set of repertoire books and high quality exemplar recordings on CD for violin (Initial to Grade 8) containing a wide range of pieces covering a variety of styles and periods.
  • Brand new technical work books for violin, viola, cello and double bass containing all the scales, arpeggios, studies and exercises featured in the technical work section of the exam.

Order now 

Sound at Sight books are also available now for ViolaCello, and Double Bass.

Syllabus support

A range of support resources are available on our online learning platform.

Further information

Full details of entry procedures and exam regulations can be found in our Information & Regulations booklet

Enter for an exam

To enter for an exam, download an entry form and send it with the full fee to your local representative. Find out more and enter for an exam

Register your interest

To be kept up to date with news about our syllabuses, publications and professional development programmes, as well as competitions and offers, register your interest.

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