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Encore! ABRSM publishes collection of best-loved piano exam pieces

4 years ago


ABRSM has launched Encore, a series of books featuring popular piano exam pieces from the last few decades. Each of the four books covers two grades and provides a source of appealing repertoire which can be used for lessons, recitals, and playing for fun.

The series was compiled with teaching and progression in mind – each piece introduces a new skill or technique, providing a bank of content to motivate students and help them prepare for the next level.

Encore, Grades 1 & 2

Encore, Grades 3 & 4

Encore, Grades 5 & 6

Encore, Grades 7 & 8

‘To choose the music for Encore, I initially drew on my own teaching experience and ABRSM exam statistics,’ said Karen Marshall, the series compiler. ‘The repertoire was then tested on students, as well as numerous teachers and music educators at conferences and workshops across the country.’

The books include footnotes to facilitate deeper understanding and engagement with the music, signposting the key skills each piece develops. They also provide background information and activity suggestions for exploring the music.

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.

‘These pieces are carefully chosen to be fun and enjoyable.’ said Martin Bartlett, BBC Young Musician 2014. ‘They are a great teaching tool and can also be used as preparation between grades. My favourites include the classic Top Cat!, the romantic, lyrical Grieg’s Arietta and the delightful, jazzy Blue Sky Blues.’

Encore is now available to purchase online at or from music retailers worldwide.

Notes to the editor

Additional quotes

Murray McLachlan, 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.’

Highlights from the books
  • Book 1 (Grades 1 and 2): Hook’s Gavotte and Wooding’s Vampire Blues.
  • Book 2 (Grades 3 and 4): Top Cat! and Burgmüller’s dramatic Ballade.
  • Book 3 (Grades 5 and 6): Satie’s Gymnopédie No. 1 and Haydn’s Vivace assai
  • Book 4 (Grades 7 and 8): Willie Wagglestick’s Walkabout and Allegro from Beethoven’s Sonata Op. 2 No. 1.
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