Preferred Name

Ross Ahlhorn

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation

Spring 2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)


School of Music


Christopher Carrillo

Andrew Lankford

David Stringham


This research organizes a sample of solo trumpet literature, selected from state music educators associations’ repertoire lists, into a bi-level, skills-based grading system. At the first level of classification, each work is assigned an overall difficulty rating of 1, 2, or 3, with the latter being the most demanding category. The second level of classification evaluates the requirements of each work in six particular skill areas: range, rhythm and meter, articulation, flexibility, endurance, and phrasing. The rating scale for these parameters ascends from 1 to 5, where 1 represents beginner-level skills and 5 connotes virtuoso-caliber challenges.

The goal of this research is to explore possibilities for a rating system that offers more detailed information about challenges of important solo literature so that teachers may more easily locate repertoire that matches their students’ particular developmental needs.



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