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Music: Special Topics: Aural skills

Aural skills

Aural skills are gifts, still can be obtained through trainings. The following materials may help you to enhance your aural skills. You are encouraged to broaden your musicianship and aural skills, not limit to the scope of melodic dictations. It is also very significant to have the ability in recognizing different instruments, various styles of Western music and East Asian music, as well as unique features of some regional music.  



Many ear training apps, either free or not, are available in Android and iTunes, which are interval training, pitch identification and melodic dictation, etc.   



Online ear training exercises

Dolmetsch Online is a directory of ear training resources.

Ear Training exercises covers melodic dictation, intervals recognition and chord types, from beginner to advanced learners. iOS and Android apps are also available. includes lessons and exercises as well as interactive tools to calculate intervals and chords in a specific key.

Music Training Games provides a wide range of ear training and music theory games, from chord progressions, rhythm to tuning & pitch.

Teoría includes intervals, rhythmic dictation and interactive chord-building exercises. Augmented chords and chords for Jazz are featured in the exercises.



Listening Online

When you listen more, you'll learn more.

Music Online features audio and video collections of classical music, jazz, opera and world music captured on video through live performances.

Specific collections include:

Classical music library contains recordings from Gregorian Chant to contemporary composers’ works.

Contemporary world music highlights the sounds of all regions from every continent.

Jazz music library features albums of jazz artists and ensembles.

Opera in video features staged productions and interviews.

American song contains different periods of American history.

Smithsonian global sound for libraries provides the world’s musical traditions in collaboration with Smithsonian Folkways Recordings.


Instructional resources

   Benward, Bruce, and J. Timothy Kolosick.

   Ear Training: A Technique for Listening.

   Boston: McGraw-Hill, 2000.

   Call number: Music 781.424 B4 and CD

   Brief instructions and hands-on exercise with accompanying CD




   Cleland, Kent D., and Mary Dobrea-Grindahl.

   Developing Musicianship Through Aural Skills: A Holistic Approach to Sight Singing and Ear Training.

   New York: Routledge, 2010.

   Call number: Music 781.424 C62

   The book provides instructions and a variety of exercise for practicing. A companion website is available for online exercises.       




   Éthier, Glen Edward

   Ear training & sight singing : a developmental aural skills text.

   Don Mills, Ont. : Oxford University Press, 2013.

   Call number: Music 781.424 E84

    In addition to sight-singing and ear training materials and exercises, the book provides concepts of music theory to help students build both     skills. A companion website includes online exercises and audio files can be downloaded.



   Jones, Evan Allan, Matthew R. Shaftel, and Juan Chattah.

   Aural skills in context: a comprehensive approach to sight-singing, ear training, keyboard harmony, and improvisation.

   New York: Oxford University Press, 2014.

   Call number: Music 781.424 J76

   The book uses familiar music, i.e. art music or folk music, both vocal and instrumental to teach you aural skills.




Scholarly studies

   Karpinski, Gary S.

   Aural Skills Acquisition: The Development of Listening, Reading, and Performing Skills in College-level Musicians. 

   New York: Oxford University Press, 2000.

   Call number: Music 781.42 K18 a  

   The book explores the relationship of aural skills, music theory, cognitive psychology and pedagogy.



   Wright, Colin R.

   Aural and the university music undergraduate. 

   Newcastle upon Tyne : Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2016.

   Call number: Music 781.424 W94  





Musumeci, Orlando. “The Cognitive Pedagogy of Aural Training

It is a paper of the relationship between psychology and aural training.