Our Band Difficulty Gradings

To help you with our grading we have put together this list to facilitate your decision on music that is appropriate for your student's grade level.

Six Notes Series (Very Easy) Level 6
In this series pieces are based the first six notes and rhythms students learn on their instrument. Notes Bb to G Concert in whole, half, quarter and eighth note beats and rests. This grade level is indicated in the catalouge pages with the blue icon shown above. To-date, all of this level is in the Concert Series.

Level 1 (Easy) Band music that has a rating of 1 is for 1st year beginner players. Arrangements have very basic rhythms with restricted ranges. These pieces are for undeveloped playing technique.

Level 1.5 (Easy) Arrangements still have simple rhythms and ranges and plenty of doubling. There is still a lot of uniformity in the rhythms from one instrument to the next.

Level 2 (Easy) Arranged for 2nd-3rd year players with semi-fluent technique, these pieces have intermediate rhythms with some syncopation, duplet and triplet rhythms. The ranges are less restricted, and some changing meter work may be introduced.

Level 2.5 (Easy-Medium) Geared more toward 3rd year players, these pieces require a more fluent technique. Rhythms vary more as do the ranges that will be played. Changing meters may also be more frequent.

Level 3 (Medium) Fourth year players, or junior high-level students who may require arrangements to be properly challenged. These generally have free use of syncopation as well as section and solo scoring. Cues and cross cues will also be used less.

Level 3.5 (Medium) The more advanced 4th year and some 5th year players will find this level to be more suitable to their playing technique with some extreme ranges being used.

Level 4 (Medium) A level 4 difficulty rating brings very challenging rhythms to the piece. Syncopation will be freely used, as will the more key changes and extreme ranges for all instruments.

Level 4.5 (Medium-Hard) Taking full advantage of syncopation and solos, this difficulty rating is recommended for students in the 6th year of playing, or reasonably advanced ensembles.

Level 5 (Hard) Arrangements with a difficulty 5 begin to introduce polyrhythm’s and asymmetrical meters. Solo writing,changing meters are much more frequent and instrumentation may be more diverse.

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