There are four tests:
2.1 – 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.
2.2 – Dynamics and legato or staccato?
Listen again to the melody and then describe how it was played:
Firstly – How did the dynamics change?
Dynamics means whether the piece was played loudly or quietly and also describes changes in loud and quiet.
Listen to this piece – it changes from forte 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:
2.3 – Higher or lower pitch?
Listen again to the melody and then say whether the last note was higher or lower than the first note.
Remember that higher or lower means the pitch of the note, not whether the volume is loud or quiet. High is like bird song or the voice of a child and low is like a lion's roar or the voice of a man.
Listen to this tune. The last note is lower than the first note.
2.4 – Hear a change
Now you will hear the melody played once as before, then played again with one change.
In your E-MusicMaestro Aural Test Training, say whether the change happened near the beginning, near the middle or near the end. In the exam you’ll raise your hand to show where it happened.
There will only be one change and you then have to say whether the change was in rhythm or pitch – it will not be both.
Rhythm means the pattern that a sound makes in timing. Rhythm, like pitch, changes often and helps us to recognize a tune or song that we know. It is possible to clap your hands to show the rhythm of a tune.
Rhythm should not be confused with the pulse of the music. The pulse can be clapped or tapped, but it is regular and therefore does not help you to recognize a particular tune or song.
Pitch means how high or low a sound is. Remember that high is like bird song or a child's voice and low is like a lion's roar or a man's voice and it's nothing to do with volume.
If there is a rhythm change, the pitch will stay the same. This tune has a rhythm change the second time it is played:
If there is a pitch change, the rhythm will stay the same. This tune has a pitch change the second time it is played: