Band Grades Guide

Photo by martinwimmer/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by martinwimmer/iStock / Getty Images

As a band director choosing music for my ensembles, I have found it very confusing to understand the Band Grading System and what it means. Part of the problem is the inconsistency between Publishers, who use different grading systems and terms.
Here in Sydney, most directors seem to use the Grade 1 - 6 system. I recently discovered Belwin (Alfreds) have a good summary on their website. While this may not represent the thinking of each publisher, it is a very good starting point to understand the ranges written for and rhythmic complexity.

Belwin Concert Band Series GuidelineS

A big thank you to Belwin for providing this resource and making Grading a little more transparent.


Belwin Concert Band Series Guidelines.PNG

Belwin JAZZ Band Series GuidelineS

Belwin Jazz Band Series Guidelines.PNG

The FJH Music Company Series Guidelines Overview and selection criteria

I also found this useful guide. While a bit messy, (it's obviously a scan from a printed document) it is fairly thorough.

The American Band College Music Grading Chart

Rates each grade a little more difficult than the others. Very clear table layout.

Finally, here is a good brief description for Parents and Students