Publishers’ instrument groupings with range limiters

• May 27, 2022 - 23:16

When writing for concert band with the intent to publish, it would be really helpful to have defined instrument sets and range limiters for grade levels. Many publishers demand strict instrumentation and range limits per each level, ie .5, 1, 1.5, 2, 2.5 etc up to level 6. I would love to write with limiters that prevent me from trying to write outside the range of instruments for the level I wish to publish for. I know instrument range limits are coloured now, but what 10 year old can play high C? I would be happy to collect and collate a set of limits from multiple publishers if this becomes a project.

Here’s what I envision: If you are setting up a score, have as an option: ‘graded concert band’ , ‘by publisher’ or ‘by grade level’. (There should be an option to change the assigned grade level or publisher after starting the score just in case you change your mind). When I compose, notes would become red when approaching publisher’s grade level range limits, and won’t let you write above (or below) them.

There are other limitations like rhythms, dynamics, awkward fingerings and note values that could be added at some point in the future using the same note colouring system.


You can set up a blank score, set the range limits per stave and then save that as a template and call it whatever you want. You can also make style adjustments. Analysis of rhythm, fingerings etc. would be more tricky.

What is a high C? I ask because I started playing Bb cornet age 9 and "high C" was C5 and "top C" C6 (sounding Concert Bb5). E, F, G between the two was easily achieved by myself and other 9, 10 year-olds after a few months' practice and A, Bb maybe after a year of playing. "Top C" was less predictable and often resulted in a Bb being hit.

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