There are four tests:
3.1 – 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 3 time or 4 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 3 time or 4 time.
3.2 – Major or minor key?
Say whether the melody was is a major key or a minor key.
The best way of knowing if music is in a major or minor key is to listen to lots of examples. Music in a major key is often cheerful sounding, but it could still be quite gentle and plaintive. Music in a minor key often sounds sad or gloomy, but it could still be lively.
Listening carefully to the different sound of major and minor arpeggios is a good idea – it is the third degree of the scale that makes the difference eg the F in D major is sharp but the F in D minor is natural.
This piece is in a major key:
This piece is in a minor key:
3.3 – Describe the interval between two notes
The examiner will play the first two notes of the melody and you have to describe the interval between them as a 2nd, a 3rd, a 4th, a 5th or a 6th.
An interval in music is the distance in pitch between two notes. You count both notes, for example from G to F involves two notes, so it is called a 2nd.
Here are the intervals you need to know:
- C – D is a 2nd
- C – E is a 3rd
- C – F is a 4th
- C – G is a 5th
- C – A is a 6th
An easy way of remembering intervals is to play two notes, lowest first, on your instrument (use a piano or keyboard if you are a singer). Sing the notes back and think of a song that starts with these two notes. Remember which song goes with which interval!
Listen to the examples of each interval:
3.4 – Changes in rhythm or pitch
This time the examiner will give you a printed copy of a short piece of music. The first time the examiner plays the piece it will be correct in notes and rhythms but the second time there will be one change in either pitch or in rhythm.
First you have to say in which bar the change happened. In the exam you could point to the bar where the change happened or say the bar number. In your E-MusicMaestro Aural Test Training you need to tell us the number of the bar where the change happened.
Then you will say whether the change was in pitch or rhythm. A rhythm change is an alteration that you could show by clapping because it does not affect how high or low a note sounds.
If there is a rhythm change, the pitch will stay the same. This tune has a rhythm change the second time it is played:
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 pitch change, the rhythm will stay the same. This tune has a pitch change the second time it is played: