Junior High Band
Study Guides

7th-Grade Study Guide 3

Download a Microsoft Word version HERE.

  1. The five musicianship skills are Tone, Intonation, Technique, Rhythm, and Interpretation.
  2. The six subheadings of interpretation are Dynamics, Balance, Tempo, Style, Phrasing, and Nuance.
  3. The word dynamics refers to the control of volume.
  4. The six dynamic levels are:
    • pianissimo (pp) very soft
    • piano (p) soft
    • mezzo piano (mp) medium soft
    • mezzo forte (mf) medium loud
    • forte (f) loud
    • fortissimo (ff) very loud
  5. The three elements of music are Melody, Harmony, and Rhythm.
  6. The word balance refers to the proper mixture of the elements of music.
  7. The key to good balance is LISTEN, LISTEN, LISTEN.
  8. To have good balance the melody must always be heard.
  9. Playing the written dynamics does not guarantee good balance.
  10. The word tempo refers to the speed at which a piece of music is played.
  11. A phrase is a musical idea of sentence.
  12. The most important note of a phrase is the last note. In most cases, it should be played full value and tapered off.
  13. A phrase should have the feeling that it was played from beginning to end without interruption.
  14. Bar lines are not breath marks.
  15. The word nuance refers to a subtle change in the music that adds interest, i.e., going a little slower or a little faster, playing a little louder or a little softer; things that are not written in the music.
  16. As the musical lines moves upward, increase the volume; and vice-versa.
  17. Watch for the climax note of a phrase to which there might be a drive rhythmically, harmonically or especially dynamically.
  18. Enharmonic tones are notes that have the same fingering, make the same sound, but have different names. Be able to provide two names for each black key and three names for each white key on the piano.
    Piano Key Names
  19. Be able to identify major scales that start on C, G, F, D, and Bb.
  20. Know which note to play for concert D, G, C, and F.
  21. Be able to tell when beats get faster, slower, stay the same, and disappear.
  22. Know the following words that modify other words:
    • listesso the same
    • piu more
    • molto very much
    • poco a poco little by little
  23. Know the following words that indicate a change in dynamics:
    • crescendo gradually louder
    • decrescendo gradually softer
    • diminuendo gradually softer
  24. Know how the following tempo markings relate to each other, i.e., which is faster, slower, etc.:
    • presto very fast
    • vivace or vivo faster than allegro
    • allegro fast
    • allegretto a little slower than allegro
    • moderato moderately
    • andante moderate walking tempo
    • adagio not as slow as lento
    • lento slow
    • largo slower than lento
    • grave very slow
  25. Know the following road signs:
    • da capo (D.C..) repeat from the beginning
    • dal segno (D.S..) repeat from the sign
    • fine finish or end
  26. Know the following words that indicate a change in tempo:
    • accelerando (accel.) gradually faster
    • stringendo gradually faster
    • ritardando (rit.) gradually slower
    • rallentando (rall.) gradually slower
    • allargando gradually slower, louder, and broader
  27. Know the following words that indicate style:
    • dolce sweetly
    • expressivo with expression
    • legato smoothly, evenly
    • leggiero easily, lightly
    • maestoso majestic, stately, dignified
    • marcato marked, accented
    • marziale in a march style
    • meno mosso less motion, slower
    • morendo dying away in tone and time
    • pesante heavy with emphasis
    • rubato robbed, not in a strict time
    • sostenuto sustained, prolonged
    • subito suddenly, immediately
    • tacet be silent, do no play.
  28. Be able to determine on which beat any given note is to be played.
  29. Be able to recognize by sight and sound the following rhythm patterns:
    Rhythm Patterns

Video Disclaimer

The attached videos are not perfect examples of how each tune should be played. They are recordings of junior high students, some of whom have had their instruments for only a few months. Also, they are not professional recordings. They were taken by band parents using home equipment and naturally focusing on their own children.

I include them for two reasons: (1) To give you an idea of what the arrangements are like, and (2) To illustrate the kind of performance you can expect from your junior high students.