The ABRSM Grade 1 Aural Tests will take a very short time at the end of your exam. The examiner will ask you four questions and they account for 18 marks out of a total of 150. Good aural skills benefit your playing.They also help you enjoy your music.

Test A The examiner will ask you to clap in time to a short piece of music. You will need to join in, clapping each beat, as soon as possible. Then you will be asked whether the music was in 2 time or 3 time.

Test B You will be asked to sing three short musical phrases, in time, after the examiner has played them.

Test C The examiner will play a short phrase twice, with one note different the second time. You will be asked whether the change was near the beginning or near the end.

Test D You will be asked questions about two features of a short piece of music: The two features are dynamics (sudden or gradual changes), and articulation.

Hofnote will help to prepare you for these with exercises you can practise.

All the exercises which start with the same grade number and letter will help you to prepare for the same question. For example 1-B1, 1-B2 and 1-B3 will all help to prepare you for Grade 1 Question B. Hofnote exercises will do more than just help you get the most marks for your aural tests, they are designed to develop your aural skills so that your musicianship shows in all your playing. This will help you score better in the rest of the exam too.

Use the demos further down this page to try out our exercises.

What is ABRSM Aural

About ABRSM Aural

What is ABRSM Aural?

ABRSM's core activity is the operation of an authoritative and internationally recognised system of exams and assessments. These are designed to encourage and motivate players and singers at all levels through the provision of goals and the measurement of progress. In addition to graded examinations, ABRSM publishes many collections of music, and provides training and workshop events for students and teachers.

Click here to visit ABRSM's own site

Price What you get
£8.00
1-A1 : Get the Beat!
Demo
This section contains exercises to get you to recognise the beat - 2 or 3 beats per bar. Music has a number of underlying beats, or counts, in each bar. You can learn to recognise how many beats in a bar by listening for the first beat, which is slightly more stressed than the other beats. Listen to the stressed beat - that's No 1. Then count up the remaining weaker beats. Don't confuse the number of notes you hear with the number of beats. A beat can contain two or more actual sounds.
 
1-A2 : Get the Beat - with video
Demo
If you're not sure about counting the beats in the bar, this exercise includes a trainer in the second part of each question to show you how.
 
1-B1 : Which Notes?
Demo

When music is made of the notes of a particular scale, we say it is in that key. For example, if a tune is made of the notes of the scale of C major, then the tune is in the key of C major. In the exercises the key chord sets the scene - it gives you an idea of the key the exercises are in. The key note is the first note of the scale. When you hear a musical phrase, and sing it, the most important thing is to get the intervals (gaps) between the notes exact. This exercise is a vital step in training yourself to do just that.

Exercises have been included for practice purposes in keys which are not used at Grade 1. 

 

 
1-B2 : Get that Rhythm!
Demo
Here you can get to grips with hearing rhythm and recognising the detail. By choosing the correct score in the exercises, you will be showing that you can hear small detail in the rhythm , very important for being able to reproduce the rhythm accurately.
 
1-B3 : Singing Practice
Demo
In this section, you get to put what you have learned with Exercises 1-B1 and 1-B2 all together. Sing each of the three phrases as an echo in the two-bar gaps. You will need to sing exactly at the same speed as the music you hear for it to fit in the two-bar gaps provided
 
1-C1 : Spot the Difference
Demo

PLEASE NOTE: The updated version for the 2011 changes to the syllabus has been added at the bottom. You might still want to use this exercise as further, more detailed practice.

This section contains exercises to get you to recognise changes to the rhythm of a two-bar phrase. You will hear clicks to give you the number of beats per bar and the speed of the beat, then you will hear the example. As you listen, count the beats - this will help you to recognise changes in the changed version. Now listen to the second version. Which bar does the change occur in? How is the rhythm different from the first version? Here are the some differences you might hear: - Some notes might move quicker than in the original version - Some notes might move more slowly - A dotted rhythm might be introduced - A dotted rhythm might be evened out - A rhythm pattern might be reversed

 
1-D1 : Quiz Time!
Demo
There are three things to focus on in this section: recognising changes in dynamics (piano to forte or vice versa); recognising gradual changes in tone (crescendo or diminuendo); and recognising whether a piece is played mainly staccato (detached) or legato (smooth).
 
1-C2011 : Spot the Difference
Demo
Update for January 2011.
Listen to the original and the changed version of the music. Where is the change - near the beginning or near the end?