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NMP Grading System


Click here to download a printable copy of NMP Grading System
GRADE METER KEY TEMPO RHYTHM DURATION RANGE WHEN TO
PLAY
1/2 2/4, 4/4 Bb, Eb (concert pitch) SLOW TO MODERATE (but not too slow) WHOLE, HALF, DOTTED HALF, QUARTER (eighth notes for snare drum only) 1/2 to 2 minutes FLUTE: Bb-A
OBOE: Bb-A
CLARINET: LOW A-Bb
SAX: G-F
TRUMPET: C-Bb
HORN: C-A
TROMBONE & BARITONE: D-Bb
TUBA: D-Bb
MAY BE PLAYED AFTER ONLY 5 OR 6 LESSONS IN THE BEGINNER BOOK. HARMONIES MAY BE ALL THE CHORDS OF THE DIATONIC SCALE, BUT NO ACCIDENTS MAY BE USED.
1 2/4, 3/4, 4/4 Bb, Eb (related minor keys or modes , but very few accidentals should be used-closely related key changes may occur) SLOW TO MODERATE WHOLE, HALF DOTTED HALF, QUARTER, AND SOME EIGHTH NOTES MAY BE USED, BUT NOT TOO MANY. 1-3 FLUTE: G-C
OBOE: E-A
CLARINET: E-Bb (no clarinets may cross the break)
SAX: E-A
TRUMPET: C-C
HORN: A-A
TROMBONE & BARITONE: Bb-Bb
TUBA: Bb-C
THIS GRADE IS PLAYABLE WHEN STUDENTS HAVE REACHED THE 1ST HALF OF THE BEGINNER BOOK.
1 1/2 2/4, 3/4, 4/4, 6/8, CUT-TIME (very easy introduction for 6/8 or cut time) Bb, Eb, F, (rarely Ab) (related minor modes may be used. Related key changes may also occur) SLOW TO FAST, (slightly faster than Grade 1) SAME AS GRADE 1, PLUS DOTTED QUARTER NOTES, MORE USE OF EIGHTH NOTES. MAY INTRODUCE DOTTED 8TH NOTES/16TH PLUS VERY EASY SYNCOPATION. 1-3 1/2 FLUTE: F-D
OBOE: D-A
CLAR: 1ST MAY CROSS THE BREAK, 2nd PLAY BELOW BREAK.
SAX: D-B
TPT: B-D
HORN: A-B
TROMBONE & BARITONE: A-C
TUBA: Bb-D
MOST BAND MEMBERS WILL NEED TO BE ABLE TO PLAY ALL OF BOOK ONE.
2 2/4, 3/4, 4/4, 6/8, CUT-TIME (easy introduction, no compound rhythms) Bb, Eb, F, Ab, SOMETIMES C. (related key changes may be used) SLOW TO FAST, BUT NOT USUALLY pAST 126. SAME AS 1 1/2, BUT MORE COMPLEX RHYTHMS AT THE SAME TIME. 1-5 FLUTE: C-F
OBOE: C-B
CLAR 1: E-A
CLAR 2: (below break)
SAX: C-C
TRUMPET: A-E
HORN: G-C
TROMBONE & BARITONE: G-D
TUBA: A-D
STUDENTS SHOULD BE WELL INTO THE LEVEL INTRODUCED IN BOOK 2 OF MOST BEGINNER METHODS.
2 1/2 - EASY 3 SAME AS GRADE 2 POSSIBLY MORE KEY CHANGES SAME AS GRADE 2, BUT COULD BE SLIGHTLY FASTER OR SLOWER SAME AS GRADE 2 1-5 SAME AS GRADE 2, BUT MAY ADD A NOTE OR TWO AT THE END OF REACH RANGE (this would be extreme and should be used with caution!) SECOND YEAR RANGES AND RHYTHMS ARE USED, BUT WHEN PUTTING THE COMPOSITION TOGETHER FOR A GOOD PERFORMANCE, IT IS REALLY A GRADE 3 (play when your band is ready!)
3 2/4, 3/4, 4/4, 6/, 9/8, CUT TIME (easy compound) (easy change of meter is acceptable) (EASY ASYMMETRICAL-5/8, 7/8) UP TO 5 FLATS LARGO TO ALLEGRO, (not faster than quarter note equals 144) ALL RHYTHMS IN DUPLE, EXCEPT COMPLEX SYNCOPATION. EASY DUPLE & TRIPLE SYNCOPATION. 1-6 FLUTE: C-G
OBOE: B-D
CLARINET: E-G
SAX: B-E
TRUMPET: F#-G (avoid below B)
HORN: E-E
TROMBONE & BARITONE: F-F
TUBA: F-F (8A lower than trombones)
FOR MOST OF US, IT WILL BE AT LEAST THE 3RD YEAR BEFORE THIS LEVEL IS PLAYABLE. HOWEVER, EVERY NOW AND THEN, WE GET AN EXCEPTIONAL BAND!
4 2/4, 3/4, 4/4, 6/8, 9/8, 12/8 CUT-TIME, AND CHANGING METERS ANY ASYMMETRICAL UP TO 6 FLATS AND 1 SHARP LARGO-TO PRESTO (NOT FASTER THAN 168) ALL RHYTHMS EXCEPT COMPLEX COMPOUND OR COMPLEX 16TH NOTE SYNCOPATION 6 MINUTES PLUS, (AVOID DURATION OF LESS THAN 3 MINUTES) FLUTE: C-Ab
OBOE: D-D
CLAR: E-G
SAX: Bb-F
TPT: F#-C
HORN: LOW G-A
TBN-BAR.: E-G
TUBA: E-G
HIGH SCHOOL LEVEL MUSIC, THOUGH COLLEGES, COMMUNITY BANDS, AND SOME PROFESSIONALS WILL APPRECIATE THIS LEVEL.
5 ANYTHING! ANY AND ALL KEYS LARGO TO PRESTISSIMO (208 OR EVEN FASTER) ALL RHYTHMS INCLUDING COMPLEX AND COMPLEX SYNCOPATION ANY LENGTH FULL RANGE OF INSTRUMENTS INCLUDING EXTREME. FLUTE: C-C OBOE: B-D CLAR: E-G (OR HIGHER) SAX: Bb-F TRUMPET: F#-D HORN: C-A TROMBONE & BARITONE: E-G TUBA: E-Bb LEVEL FIVE IS TRULY A PROFESSIONAL LEVEL. MANY HIGH SCHOOL BANDS CAN PLAY THIS LEVEL, BUT THEY MUST PLAY WELL!

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