Music Contact Info

Director of Music:
Dr. Bradley Kent

Department Email:
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Department Phone:
512-471-5883

Department Fax:
512-471-5908

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Choir Sight-Reading Criteria

Preface: Choir Sight-Reading Music

The choral sight-reading evaluation encourages the extension of knowledge in basic fundamentals of music and rewards the consistent use of a systematic approach to sight-reading. The level of difficulty for each grade or class will allow for the demonstration of musicality as well as for technical accuracy.

The primary purpose of the commissioned sight-reading music is to test musical literacy at specific levels. The guidelines stated for the sight-reading material provide the composer with a parameter of difficulty in composing music for each specific classification. All of the elements need not be used in each composition. Harmonic, rhythmic or textual ideas whose primary purposes are to create special effects appropriate for concert performance would best not be used in graded instructional sight-reading materials.

Other general considerations for composers are:

  • Avoid using texts with unfamiliar words such as foreign or mythological terms or limericks.
  • Ensure that a tonal center is evident throughout the piece.
  • Return to the original key following a modulation.
  • Music for treble and men’s choirs should to be of equal difficulty to that of mixed choirs in the same classification.
  • Avoid introducing more than one rhythmic or harmonic problem at a time.
  • Remember that it is unnecessary to employ all of the allowed elements in a single piece

Conference C Middle School Varsity and B Junior High Varsity and ALL Middle School and Junior High Non-Varsity

Meter

Meter 3-4

No meter change

Key

Major keys: F, C, G

No modulations

Consider range and tessitura of voices

Texture

Homophonic, with unison passages allowed

Harmony

No altered chords

Melodic skips within the I, IV, V chords only, to include all thirds and perfect fourth, "sol-do" (5-1)

Cadences

No use of the deceptive cadence

Authentic and plagal cadences only

Rhythm

Basic patterns using eighth, quarter, half, and whole notes and corresponding rests

Dotted half notes

No ties across the bar line

No excessive use of rests

In addition, the dotted quarter note eighth note rhythm may be used for varsity groups.

Length

24 measures

Form

Recurring motives; strophic; ABA

Voicings

Mixed: SAB and SATB; Treble: SA/SSA; Tenor-Bass: TB/TTB

Text

Choir may use the printed text or their preferred method of reading on both readings.

Ranges

Sop. I Sop. II Alto
Ten. I Ten. II Bass Baritone for SAB

Conference 2C, 3C Middle School Varsity and 2B Junior High Varsity and 1A, 2A, 3A Non-Varsity

Meter

Maximum of one meter change and return

Key

Major keys: F, C, G

No modulations

Consider range and tessitura of voices

Harmony

No altered chords

Melodic skips within the I, IV, V chords only, to include all thirds and perfect fourth

Texture

Homophonic, with unison passages allowed

Cadences

No use of the deceptive cadence

Authentic and plagal cadences only

Rhythm

Basic patterns using eighth, quarter, half, and whole notes and corresponding rests

Dotted half notes

No ties across the bar line

No excessive use of rests

In addition, the dotted quarter note eighth note rhythm may be used for varsity groups.

Length

24 to 32 measures

Length of piece can be different for each classification, thus, one piece could be written for three classifications

Form

Recurring motives; strophic; ABA

Voicings for 2C, 3C Middle School Varsity and 2B Junior High Varsity 

Mixed: SAB and SATB; Treble: SA/SSA; Tenor-Bass: TB/TTB

Voicings for 1A, 2A, 3A Non-Varsity

Mixed: SAB and SATB; Treble: SSA; Tenor-Bass: TBB

Text

Choir may use the printed text or their preferred method of reading on both readings.

Ranges

Sop. I Sop. II Alto
Ten. I Ten. II Bass Baritone for SAB

Conference 3B Junior High Varsity

Meter

Maximum of one meter change and return

Key

Major keys: B-flat, F, C, G, D

No modulations

Harmony

No altered chords

Melodic skips within the I, IV, V and V7 (re-fa only) chords only, to include all thirds, perfect fourth, and perfect fifth

Texture

Homophonic, with unison passages allowed

Cadences

No use of the deceptive cadence

Authentic and plagal cadences only

Rhythm

Basic patterns using eighth, quarter, half, and whole notes and corresponding rests

No dotted patterns except dotted half notes and dotted quarter notes

No ties across the bar line

No excessive use of rests

Length

32 to 36 measures

Form

Recurring motives; strophic; ABA

Voicings

Mixed: SAB and SATB; Treble: SSA; Tenor-Bass: TTB

Text

Choir may use the printed text or their preferred method of reading on both readings.

Ranges

  Sop. I Sop. II Alto
 
  Ten. I Ten. II Bass Baritone for SAB
 

Conference 1A, 2A, 3A Varsity and 4A, 5A, 6A Non-varsity

Meter

Maximum of one meter change and return

Key

Major keys: B-flat, F, C, G, D

No modulations

Harmony

No altered chords

Melodic skips within the I, IV, V and V7 (re-fa only) chords only, to include all thirds, perfect fourth, and perfect fifth

Cadences

No use of the deceptive cadence

Authentic and plagal cadences only

Texture

Homophonic, with polyphonic sections

No more than 20% polyphony

Rhythm

Basic patterns using eighth, quarter, half, and whole notes and corresponding rests

No dotted patterns except dotted half notes and dotted quarter notes

Length

32 to 36 measures

Voicings

Mixed: SAB and SATB; Treble: SSA; Tenor-Bass: TBB

Text

Choir may use the printed text or their preferred method of reading on both readings.

Ranges

Sop. I Sop. II Alto
Ten. I Baritone Bass

Conference 4A Varsity

Meter

Maximum of one meter change and return

Key

Major keys: B-flat, E-flat, F, C, G, D, A

No modulations

Harmony

Melodic skips within the I, IV, V, V7 and VI chords, except the tritone

Texture

Homophonic, with polyphonic sections

No more than 20% polyphony

Rhythm

Basic patterns using eighth, quarter, half, and whole notes and corresponding rests

Dotted values using eighths or longer values

Length

36 to 40 measures

Voicings

Mixed: SAB and SATB; Treble: SSA; Tenor-Bass: TBB

Text

Choir may use the printed text or their preferred method of reading on both readings.

Ranges

Sop. I Sop. II Alto
Ten. I Baritone Bass

Conference 5A Varsity

Meter

Maximum of one meter change and return

Key

Major or minor keys up through four sharps and four flats

Possible modulation to relative major or minor keys

Harmony

Simple altered chords with the altered tone approached and left step-wise

Voice leading in all parts should be logical and should avoid leaps of the major 7th and the tritone

Texture

Homophonic, with polyphonic sections

No more than 25% polyphony

Rhythm

Dotted patterns

Simple syncopations

Tied notes across bar lines

Sixteenth note patterns

Eighth note triplets spanning no more than two beats may be used for necessary text accommodations

Length

36 to 40 measures

Voicings

Mixed: SAB and SATB; Treble: SSA; Tenor-Bass: TBB

Text

Choir may use the printed text or their preferred method of reading on both readings.

Ranges

Sop. I Sop. II Alto
Ten. I Baritone Bass

Conference 6A Varsity

Meter

Maximum of one meter change and return

Key

Major or minor keys up through four sharps and four flats

Possible modulation to relative major or minor keys

Harmony

Simple altered chords with the altered tone approached and left step-wise

Voice leading in all parts should be logical and should avoid leaps of the major 7th and the tritone

Texture

Homophonic, with polyphonic sections

No more than 30% polyphony

Cadences

Authentic and plagal cadences only

Rhythm

Dotted patterns

Simple syncopations

Tied notes across bar lines

Sixteenth note patterns

Eighth note triplets spanning no more than two beats may be used for necessary text accommodations

Length

40 to 44 measures

Voicings

Mixed: SAB and SATB; Treble: SSA; Tenor-Bass: TBB

Text

Choir may use the printed text or their preferred method of reading on both readings.

Ranges

Sop. I Sop. II Alto
Ten. I Baritone Bass

 

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Tel: (512) 471-5883 | Fax: (512) 471-5908