Dictation - cannot distinguish melody and chords

When I do the Dictation challenges (particularly Advanced), I often cannot distinguish the top note of the chord (harmony) from the melody itself. This is because they are played around the same register of the same instrument (piano) with no difference in dynamics.

I don’t think this is because my aural skills aren’t strong enough - I really believe it is impossible to get 100% on (say) today’s Advanced challenge without either knowing the tune beforehand, or with lucky guessing.

Please consider changing the Dictation test melody to a different instrument (e.g. clarinet sound) or always ensure the top note of the chord voicing does not go higher than the melody note.

1 Like

I agree with you! Most of my mistakes in the advanced dictations have this cause. It’s really difficult to distinguish melody notes from the chord notes. They should either change the timbre or volume…

Having a different volume is not enough—the melody and chords need to have a different timbre. Anyone who has taught aural skills at a high enough level can tell you that any possibility of getting the voices confused will make the task seem unfair and arbitrary to students.