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Ease-Challenge Ratings of Choral Works
by Michael Reid Winikoff

"How easy or hard is this piece?"  See each work rated in the lists below.  How often it happens that singers and conductors impose limitations on what they think they might achieve, yet are pleasantly surprised at how much more skill they can muster when met with a higher musical challenge.  Such challenge is what leads to growth, both individually and as an ensemble - and by extension, for the wider musical culture of the community.  Embrace the challenge!

Any judgment of ease or difficulty is of course a relative one, depending on the experience and skill levels of the individuals and the community involved - one person's challenge may be a cakewalk for someone more experienced.

EASY  - Music that is relatively free of difficult intervals, chromaticism or intricate counterpoint, and/or with enough repetition and/or brevity to allow fast learning.  Easy vocal ranges.

MODERATELY EASY
- Presence of one or two passages offering a small but manageable amount of challenge.  Less repetition, slightly more lengthy works.  Occasional high or low notes (e.g., high G or A-flat for soprano, low F or E for bass).  Slightly longer rehearsal time.

MODERATELY TO HIGHLY CHALLENGING - requiring a higher degree of musical/vocal ability, and finer sense of ensemble.  Lengthy and complex works, involving more changes and subtlties in tempo and dynamics.  More frequent or extreme high or low notes.  Calling for longer, more meticulous rehearsal effort.

EASY
HASHKIVEINU Night Prayer
RATING :Challenge scale - 2 out of 6 stars

HAYOM T'AMTZEINU
RATING: Challenge scale - 2 out of 6 stars
HATZI KADDISH for Fri Eve
RATING: Challenge scale - 2 out of 6 stars
     
K'VAKARAT (excerpt from
Uv'shofar Gadol)
RATING: Challenge scale - 2 out of 6 stars
     
L'CHA DODI
RATING: Challenge scale - 2 out of 6 stars
     
MAGEIN AVOT
RATING: Challenge scale - 2 out of 6 stars
     
PSALM 117 (Hal'lu)
RATING: Challenge scale - 2 out of 6 stars
     
SHEHECHEYANU
(for High Holy Days)
RATING: Ease rating - 2 stars
     
UN'TA-NE TOKEF
RATING: Challenge scale - 2 out of 6 stars
     
V'SHAMRU (Duet/Choir/Cong.)
RATING: Challenge scale - 2 out of 6 stars
     


 MODERATELY EASY
ADON OLAM
RATING: Ease rating - 3 stars
     
A-DONAY RO-I ("The Lord My Shepherd Is")
RATING: Challenge scale: 3 out of 6 stars
     
AHAVAT OLAM
RATING: Challenge scale - 3 out of 6 stars
     
ALEINU "HAGADOL"
RATING: Challenge scale - 3 out of 6 stars
     
ANA TAVO
RATING: Challenge scale - 3 out of 6 stars
     
HAVEIN YAKIR LI (excerpt from V'al Y'dei Zichronot)
RATING: Challenge scale - 3 out of 6 stars
     
HATZI KADDISH - Musaf HH
RATING: Challenge scale - 3 out of 6 stars
     
KADSHEINU
RATING Challenge scale - 3 out of 6 stars
     
L'DOR VADOR
RATING: Challenge scale - 3 out of 6 stars
     
MA-OZ TZUR
RATING: Challenge scale - 3 out of 6 stars
     
PRAYER FOR THE STATE
OF ISRAEL (T'filah Lishlom M'dinat Yisrael)

RATING: Challenge scale - 3 out of 6 stars
     
PSALM 24
(L'david Mizmor)
RATING: Challenge scale - 3 out of 6 stars
     
PSALM 29
(Mizmor L'david)
RATING: Challenge scale - 3 out of 6 stars
     
SHALOM RAV
RATING:Challenge scale - 3 out of 6 stars
     
SHIVITI A-DONAY
RATING: Challenge scale - 3 out of 6 stars
     
V'SHAMRU (Motet)
RATING: Challenge scale - 3 out of 6 stars
     
YIGDAL for the
Days of Awe

RATING: Challenge scale - 3 out of 6 stars
     
YISM'CHU
RATING: Challenge scale - 3 out of 6 stars
     

BACK TO TOP

MODERATELY TO HIGHLY CHALLENGING
EIL MELECH YOSHEIV
RATING: Challenge scale - 4 out of 6 stars
     
HANEIROT HALALU -
(Chanukkah Meditation)

RATING: Challenge scale - 4 out of 6 stars
     
HAMA-AVIR BANAV
RATING: Challenge scale - 4 out of 6 stars
     
HASHKIVEINU (1989)
RATING: Challenge scale - 4 out of 6 stars
     
HAVIEINU - Motet
RATING: Challenge scale - 5 out of 6 stars
     
HAYOM HARAT OLAM (Anthem for SATB div & Soli)
RATING: Challenge scale - 4 out of 6 stars
     
HAYOM HARAT OLAM (Motet for SATB a cappella)
RATING: Challenge scale - 4 out of 6 stars
     
KI KH'SHIMCHA
RATING: Challenge scale - 4 out of 6 stars
     
MA TOVU
RATING: Challenge scale - 5 out of 6 stars
     
PSALM 113
RATING: Challenge scale - 4 out of 6 stars
     
PSALM 150
RATING: Challenge scale - 5 out of 6 stars
     
S'U SH'ARIM (Ps 24:7-10)
RATING: Challenge scale - 4 out of 6 stars
     
UV'SHOFAR GADOL
RATING: Challenge scale - 4 out of 6 stars
     
V'AL Y'DEI (Zichronot)
RATING: Challenge scale - 5 out of 6 stars
     
YA-ALEH
RATING: Challenge scale - 4 out of 6 stars