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Practice: Sight-sing phrases from real music
Neil Hawes Home Page
You should only come to this page if you are confident how to sight-sing both:
pitches on the
treble or bass clef
stave in a
simple major key
with a small number of
relatively straight-forward rhythms of
various note lengths and rests
simple time signatures
- because the exercises on this page require you to sight-sing short single-line phrases from real music that comply with these restrictions.
I have deliberately not picked well known examples - it's not sight reading if you already know the tune!
I have included a midi file of each tune, but try to only use this if you are unsure what it should sound like.
The exercises below start with easy ones and get more difficult. Each has specific hints, here are some general hints:
Always look at the
first, and notice how many beats there are per bar and what those beats are;
Next look at the general speed of the piece to find out how fast the beats should be:
Are there a lot of quick notes or is the movement generally slow?
Using this, guess a speed of beats, but err on the slow side to start with
Start counting bars to yourself to establish the beat and the speed.
Make sure the first beat of each bar is the strong beat.
Next look at the
and work out the key note.
Sing yourself a scale to establish the key.
Finally, look at the starting note and work out its relationship to the keynote:
It will noramlly be either the key note, or a note of the triad.
So establish the starting note in your head.
Count yourself in, and away you go.
The first one is quite easy. It is all step-wise movement except for the interval of a fourth at the end of the third bar.
This jump can also be thought of as going to the third note of the triad.
The only other pitch complication is the accidental in the fourth bar.
This is a natural instead of a flat in the key signature, so the note is sharpened by a semitone.
The rhythm is not difficult; you could try clapping it first.
This one starts with a rest, so you must count "1-2-3 1-" before starting on "2".
It starts on the the third notes of the scale.
There is a jump of a sixth down to the key note at the start of bar three.
The jump to the first note in bar five is also a sixth, to two notes below the key note - this may be tricky.
The last three bars are long dotted notes taking up a whole bar each - they are all notes from the triad.
Here's one in bass clef, which those with high voices might want to skip.
This also starts on the third note of the scale after one beat rest.
The jump up in bar three is to the key note, which is tied into the next bar.
Bar four is notes of the triad.
The best way to get the high note in bar five is to pitch one note above the key note in the previous bar.
Bar six then comes back to the note recently sung - memory is needed.
This introduces an accidental.
The jump up in bar three is to the key note.
This one has some tricky jumps.