Accompaniment for video instrumental and vocal examinations

Where a work requires accompaniment, it must be presented with the published accompaniment, otherwise the musical performance will lack coherence and stylistic integrity. It is important that a suitably skilled associate artist is employed, and a suitable accompanying instrument is used, particularly at higher grades.

Providing the candidate complies with the Commonwealth and State Government’s current health directives about gatherings, physical distancing, home confinement and visitors to a household, a live accompaniment is permitted. The accompanist may be part of the same household as the candidate. The supervisor of the examination may also be the accompanist.

In 2020, because of the physical distancing restrictions, pre-recorded accompaniments may be used for Video Repertoire examinations up to Grade 8, where required, subject to certain restrictions.

The use of a recorded accompaniment in an examination is strictly regulated under Australian Copyright Law as licenced by APRA/AMCOS.

(1) Where an official AMEB accompaniment is available, only the official AMEB recording may be used in the examination.

Using official AMEB recorded accompaniments in examinations

When performing in examination with an official AMEB recorded accompaniment on CD candidates must use the tempo provided on the CD. When performing in examination using an app that slows down or speeds up tempo without affecting pitch, the candidate may choose a tempo commensurate with their ability and interpretative judgement in demonstrating the technical, musical and artistic objectives for the level.

(2) Where a commercially recorded accompaniment is not available, a teacher or candidate may engage the services of a professional accompanist to record the accompaniment part, for the sole purpose of rehearsal and examination.

Recordings of both public domain and licensed works must adhere to the following conditions:

  • the accompaniment recording must be audio only;
  • the recording must not be used in a public performance;
  • the recording must remain ‘unlisted’ or ‘private’ on YouTube;
  • the recording must not be posted to the internet;
  • the recording must not be sold commercially.

Candidates preparing for Level 2 examinations are encouraged to allow their accompanist to hear their performance, prior to recording the accompaniment, so necessary nuances of interpretation can be incorporated into the accompaniment.

If a candidate intends to use a non-AMEB Recorded Accompaniment, the accompanist could be asked to include a couple of tuning notes at the beginning of each piece. If a piece begins with an anacrusis initiated by the candidate or there is no piano introduction, the accompanist should provide a sufficient recorded ‘count­-in’.

Engaging an accompanist and negotiating a professional fee is a matter for the candidate and the accompanist, as the examining body AMEB is not able to provide advice on these matters. Lists of accompanists may be found on the following websites:

Click here for a list of the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music list of approved accompanists.

The VMTA has a list of accompanists on their website:

Click here to about Video Repertoire exam preparation.

Click here to read how to record a Video Repertoire performance.

Click here to watch the AMEB Federal Office’s Guide to AMEB Recorded Video Exams in 2020.