Habs & Prendergast Music Aptitude Test: Is the Instrument the same or different?


In the Music Aptitude Test  for Prendergast and Haberdashers, you will have to listen to two differing notes of music and identify whether the second instrument is from the same music family or different. This section of the test is relatively simple once you know all the different sounds of instruments, so have a good listen to our clips below to help you navigate your way around the orchestra! Look out for Part 2 where we cover strings, percussion and keyboard instruments. You may also be interested in an article about the Habs/Prendergast Auditions Round (part 2 of the Music Scholarship admissions test)

Brass and woodwind are easily confused so I have focussed this blog post on these two families of instruments. Remember even though an instrument may be made from metal (such as the saxophone) it is considered part of the woodwind family as the mouthpiece requires a reed. Brass instruments are only made of metal. Listen to a lot of YouTube clips to tune your ear to the different quality of sound between brass and woodwind instruments.

Woodwind instruments such as piccolo and flute have a breathier sound as you blow across a hole in the mouth piece and often you can hear an oscillating quality to the sound (known as vibrato). Oboes and bassoons use a double reed where you purse your lips to create the sound. This creates a harsher sound without the breathy quality of the flute. Also note the recorder is a woodwind instrument, see clips below. Brass instruments have a bold, brighter sound.


Here is a list of common woodwind and brass instruments and sound clips. We have covered the main instruments in each section, not the variants such as Piccolo Trumpet/Bass Trumpet; Bass Trombone/Contrabass Trombone; Contrabass Tuba/Wagner Tuba etc.

BRASS INSTRUMENTS: Note the common theme of these instruments sounding ‘metallic’.

TRUMPET:
The trumpet’s sound is metallic, bright, intense, brilliant, powerful and stately.


HORN:
Full, warm, velvety, clear, distant, mellow, noble, metallic.


TROMBONE:
Brassy, brilliant, powerful, overpowering, dramatic.


TUBA:
Low, smooth, robust. Tubas, despite their size and bass register are capable of playing softly.


WOODWIND INSTRUMENTS:

FLUTE:
Airy, light, mellow, wafting, ethereal, graceful, clear, shrill, silvery, wind-like, whistling, whispering, humming, sighing, aspirate (breathy!).


OBOE:
Clear, bright, penetrating, rasping, reedy, powerful, robust.


CLARINET:
Rich, mellow, warm, gentle, melodic, reedy.

BASSOON:
Mellow, velvety, picturesque, plaintive, reedy!


SAXOPHONE:


Finally, here’s a compilation of some unusual instruments. Don’t look at the screen when listening to this and see how many you can identify correctly.


If you’ve got this far, then here’s something fun!

Click on the links below to read our articles to help you succeed with the Music Aptitude Test & Scholarship:
Should I Prepare for the Music Aptitude Test?
How To Succeed at the Music Aptitude Test
Download Training Test Materials


With over a decade of experience preparing students for music scholarships, Lorraine Liyanage can tell you everything you need to know about state school music scholarships.
With over a decade of experience preparing students for music scholarships, Lorraine Liyanage can tell you everything you need to know about state school music scholarships.

1-to-1 Music Aptitude Test and Scholarship training is available with Mirna at the SE22 Piano School in London.

To book a session:
musicaptitudetests@gmail.com / Book Online

1-to-1 Music Aptitude Test and Scholarship training is available with Mirna at the SE22 Piano School in London.

Buy Music Aptitude Tests for SW Herts Consortium Dame Alice Owens Schools

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