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    Aural Skills

    Dear Collective Wisdom,

    I'm designing a new aural skills portion in a larger course for second year music majors. As I haven't taught aural skills in a few years, could anyone recommend an affordable sight-singing text, preferrably one under $50? The preferred text would feature sight-singing exercises organized by interval and examples from 'the literature' - including both classical and popular musics.

    The class will only meet 1-2 times per week and singing will be balanced with dictation and other ear-training exercises.

    All advice is welcome!


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    • 5 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
    • Hello,

      We have used this book with very good results:

      Music for Sight Singing 8th Edition

      by Robert Ottman , Nancy Rogers

      This goes for about $55.

      There is a newer edition that is much more expensive, but this is still available.




    • A few years ago I put together a sight singing book that has 500 great melodies from folk and classical sources. It is divided into four semesters and runs from Pop Goes the Weasel to Stravinsky.

      Molto Cantabile! published by Kendall Hunt. The eBook sells for $42.81.

      If you write to me at jablonsky@optimum.net I will send you the introductory package. Be prepared to be amazed.

      My All-Star Rhythm & Pitch Book is designed to introduce students to the complete world of rhythm from rags to rhumbas. It is comprised of rhythmic compositions, not excercises and is very popular with students.

      Professor Stephen Jablonsky

      The City College of New York


    • I used David Damschroeder's Listen and Sing for many years before switching to Jones/Shaftel/Chattah. The Damschroeder book only has classical examples for dictation and sight singing, while Jones/Shaftel/Chattah draws on a much broader repertoire. Although new copies of Damschroeder are pricey, there has only ever been one edition (1995), so used copies can be found as low as $20.

      Best wishes,

      Robert Kelley

      Lander University

    • I read with great interest your interest in selecting a book costing under $50.  I have used several sight-singing books, including the Rogers book, that I like very much, but which cost upwards of $90 and want to share how I have dealt  with that expense--which students can resent for a one-hour, once-a-week class.  First I allowed students to share or co-own books, which had mixed results;  some student pairs worked out sharing arrangements very well, while other pairs did not, to the detriment of one of the students in the pair.  I now do this: with apoplogies to authors and publishers,  I specify not the most recent edition, but the previous edition or even the one before that.  Students can obtain the books at a much lower cost.  For books now having multiple editions, the difference between the newest and preceding editions is not significant enough to warrant the additional cost for my students.   I am glad also to read in this thread the recommendations of sight-singing books with modest prices, which I am going to be happy to look into.


      Karen DeMol

      Dordt College

      Sioux Center, Iowa

    • Hi all,

      Thanks very much to those who recommended texts.

      It seems that balancing between cost and quality can be done, but not without some leg work. In the past weeks since posting here I've been taking time to come up with my own examples, but my feeling is that a common text helps the students coordinate with one another and plan ahead. I won't have time before the spring term to come up with my own text, but hope to have something affordable for them in the mean time, so I'll be looking into your suggestions - I welcome more!

      Enjoying the last bits of summer,