There are four tests:

1.1 – Clap the pulse

You will hear a short melody played three times on the piano. Listen to the melody the first two times, then clap the pulse the third time it is played, stressing the strong beat.

Stressing the strong beat means that you have to clap louder when you hear the first beat of each bar, which has a stronger sound than the other beats.

Stressing the strong beat is really important because it shows the examiner that you can hear whether the music is in 2 time or 3 time.

Listen to the example in 2 time:

Listen to the example in 3 time:

E-MusicMaestro Aural Test Training asks you whether the music was in 2 time or 3 time after you have clapped the pulse so that you know whether you were stressing the strong beat correctly. The examiner will not ask if it was 2 time or 3 time.

1.2 – Forte or piano? Legato or staccato?

The examiner will play the same melody again and you have to say how it was played.

Firstly, was it forte or piano?

Forte and piano are Italian words that musicians use to describe music as loud (forte) or quiet (piano). The full name for a piano is really pianoforte but it is usually shortened to piano.

Secondly, was it played legato or staccato?

Legato means smoothly, with the notes sounding joined up. Staccato is 'jumpy' sounding, with detached notes.

Here’s an example of legato playing:

Here’s an example of staccato playing:

1.3 – Higher or lower pitch?

You will hear the first two bars of the melody again, but this time you have to say if the last note was higher or lower than the first note.

Higher or lower means the pitch of the note, not whether the volume is loud or quiet. High is like bird song or a child's voice and low is like a lion's roar or a man's voice.

Listen to these tunes. The first tune is higher pitched than the second tune.

1.4 – Hear a change

This time the examiner will the melody just as you heard it before and then once again, with one change. You have to spot where the change was made on the second playing. In the exam you raise your hand the moment you hear a change.

In your E-MusicMaestro Aural Test Training practice you will choose whether you thought the change was near the beginning, near the middle or near the end.

Here is an example of a change: A melody is played twice. On the second playing, there is a changed note.

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