Wisconsin Music Teachers Association

Affiliated with the Music Teachers National Association

Choosing Repertoire

WMTA Composer List Information

Composers – Listed by Time Period
Composers – Listed by Last Name

Historical Periods: (all years approximate)

Renaissance                        1450-1600        (i.e. William Byrd, Thomas Morley)
Baroque                                1600-1750       (i.e. J.S. Bach, Handel, Scarlatti, Telemann)
Classical                                1750-1825       (i.e. Beethoven, CPE Bach, Haydn, Mozart)
Romantic                              1825-1900      (i.e. Brahms, Chopin, MacDowell, Schumann)
Impressionist                       1890-1910      (i.e. Debussy, Faure, Ravel, Satie)
Classic 20th Century          1900-1975      (i.e. Bartok, Joplin, Rachmaninoff, Villa-Lobos)
Trans 20th/21st                  1960-Today    (i.e. Bober, Gillock, Mier, Rollin, Vandall)

The Composer Lists above designate musical historical periods. Depending on what track a student enters, the pieces performed may be required to be from different historical periods.  This requirement is in place to have the student demonstrate his or her ability to perform material written in different styles.  Therefore, the teacher must use discretion in choosing audition repertoire to be sure that this goal is met.  Please refer to the “Repertoire and Memory Requirements” tab for specific requirements for each track/level entered.

The WMTA Composer list is to be used as a historical guideline to assist teachers in finding a composer’s time period.   Not all composers are on this list (especially Classic 20th Century and Trans 20th/21st Century) due to the ever-changing and growing number of composers and compositions.  Most commonly performed composers are listed in the Ovation database system, already in their correct historical period.

Many composers’ works are transitional in nature and could be included in more than one period.  In the interests of consistency, decisions have been made based upon the most commonly agreed upon determination for each composer.  When a composer is listed as being in two different periods, each specific composition by this composer is already listed in Ovation under the period they best fit.  Pieces by that composer no longer count toward both periods. Any duplicates in Ovation under multiple time periods will be deleted.

ANY reputable published composer/composition that clearly falls into a specific time period is allowed – including “anonymous”.  “Anonymous” refers to a composition in which the original manuscript exists, but there is no composer attributed to it.

For any composers not listed in the Ovation composition database, please contact your local district chair or the composition chair at: WMTACompositionHotline@gmail.com (Due to the large number of Classic 20th Century and Trans 20th/21st  Century piano/instrumental composers, only 20th century percussion composers are specifically included in the composers list.)


Recent Additions

BEFORE ENTERING NEW COMPOSITIONS INTO OVATION:
Always check the database to make sure the piece has not been already entered, and search carefully. For instance, Debussy’s “Clair de lune” appears as “Suite bergamasque, III. Clair de lune.”

Arrangements:
Always cite the arranger for all arrangements, such as “Tchaikovsky, arr. Matz” and “Folk Song, arr. Faber”.

Instrumentalists:
Always cite the instrument for all non-piano pieces in the title, such as “Minuet in G, for violin”. Otherwise, the piece will be assumed to be a piano solo, be subjected to piano solo rules for compositions, and possibly deleted.

Duets:
Always note if the piece is a duet. Otherwise, the piece will be subjected to rules for solos on that instrument and possibly deleted.

Composers in two different time periods:
When a composer is listed in two different periods, each specific composition by this composer is already listed in Ovation under the period they best fit under. Pieces by that composer no longer count toward both periods. Any duplicates in Ovation under multiple time periods will be deleted.

There is a reference list of examples of ineligible pieces for piano solo provided on the “Help” page of Ovation. This will give examples of pieces that are not eligible to be performed by students in the WMTA District Auditions or Badger Competition. 

For any questions on composition rules, or entering compositions into Ovation, contact the composition chair, Emily Schultz, at wmtacompositionhotline@gmail.com.

Choosing Repertoire/Memorization Requirements

CHOOSING REPERTOIRE
Grade and
Division
1-6
District 2
7-12
District 2
7-12
Dist 2-NM
7-12
District 3
1-12
State
Requirement 2 Pieces 2 Pieces 2 Pieces 3 Pieces 3 Pieces
Contrasting Historical Periods Required? No Yes Yes Yes Yes
MEMORIZATION REQUIREMENTS
Grade and
Division
1-6
District 2
7-12
District 2
7-12
Dist 2-NM
7-12
District 3
1-12
State
Piano 2 Pieces 2 Pieces None 2 out of 3 Pieces 3 Pieces
Organ 1 Piece 1 Piece None 1 Piece 1 Piece
Instrumental Optional Optional N/A Optional 1 Piece
Vocal 2 Songs 2 Songs None 2 out of 3 Songs 3 Songs
Duet Not required for either of 2 pieces Not required for either of 2 pieces N/A Not required for any of 3 pieces Not required for any of 3 pieces*

 

Historical Periods: (all years approximate)

Renaissance                        1450-1600        (i.e. William Byrd, Thomas Morley)
Baroque                                1600-1750       (i.e. J.S. Bach, Handel, Scarlatti, Telemann)
Classical                                1750-1825       (i.e. Beethoven, CPE Bach, Haydn, Mozart)
Romantic                              1825-1900      (i.e. Brahms, Chopin, MacDowell, Schumann)
Impressionist                       1890-1910      (i.e. Debussy, Faure, Ravel, Satie)
Classic 20th Century          1900-1975      (i.e. Bartok, Joplin, Rachmaninoff, Villa-Lobos)
Trans 20th/21st                  1960-Today    (i.e. Bober, Gillock, Mier, Rollin, Vandall)

*Only pianists, grades 7-12, enrolled in the duet category are eligible for state. Singers and instrumentalists may earn points, but will not advance to state.

Repertoire Note:  Musical Theater is a separate historical/style period from Classic Twentieth Century, available only to vocal students.  This means a student could sing a Classic 20th Century piece (i.e. John Duke, Samuel Barber) AND a Musical Theater piece (i.e. Sondheim, Rodgers, Porter).

REPERTOIRE ALLOWED

 Piano Organ Instrumental Vocal Duet
Arrangements No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Transcriptions Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Student Compositions
No No No No No
Folk/Spiritual Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Popular/ Classical Pop
No No No No No
Musical Theater No No No Yes No

 

  1. Selections chosen be contrasting in nature (mood, tempo, character, articulations etc.)  Please see other information in the tables above.
  2. Arrangements are defined for the purpose of WMTA events as such:
    -Allowed for all instruments and ensembles, except for piano solo, in WMTA student events.
    -The original may or may not be from a master composer (Bach, Mozart, Tchaikovsky).
    -The arranger is NOT a master composer (usually working on behalf of a major publishing house).
    -An arrangement IS any combination of: shortened, simplified, or in a different key from the original piece.
    -In the latest editions of Faber’s Piano Adventures, for example, the pieces that are arranged are clearly differentiated from those in their original form in that piece’s byline.
  3. Transcriptions are defined for the purpose of WMTA events as such:
    -Allowed for all instruments and ensembles in WMTA student events.
    -The original IS from a master composer.
    -The transcriber IS also a master composer, who may be the same or different master composer.
    -There may be many transcriptions for different instruments/ensembles of the same piece.
    -Some examples of common transcriptions include Bach-Busoni and Glinka-Balakirev.
  4. Student compositions are not allowed in any instrument or ensemble in WMTA Auditions.
  5. Folk Songs/Spirituals are defined for the purpose of WMTA events as such:
    -A folk song or spiritual is any song that is not attributed to any specific composer or composers throughout history, lyrics notwithstanding, or an original manuscript does not exist.
    -When using a folk song, it must be categorized into the period of the arranger, not the approximate period of the song. For non-piano instruments, please note that this is different protocol than the typical use of arrangements for audition pieces.
    -Arrangements of hymns are not acceptable for piano.
    -The composer “Anonymous” is used for original manuscripts that exist, where the composer has not been attributed or has been lost to time – these pieces do NOT fall into the category of “folk”.
  6. Popular, or “pop” music, is defined for the purpose of WMTA events as such:
    -Any music originally written for film, television, animation, or video games.
    -Any music that is labeled as “pop”, “classical pop”, or “classical crossover”.
    -Pop music is not allowed for any instrument or ensemble in WMTA events.
  7. Multi-Movement Pieces:
    -Pieces must be 16 measures in length, excluding repeats. Two pieces by the same composer that are each shorter than 16 measures may be grouped together as a “suite”.
    Suites may be performed with one or more movements, from the same work.
    Sonatas/Sonatinas may be performed with one or more movements, from the same work.
    Theme and Variations may be performed with any selection of variations, or in its entirety.
    Minuet and Trios must be performed together in their entirety.
    Preludes and Fugues: Either the prelude or fugue may be performed alone, or both together.
    -The teacher and student need to be mindful of the other piece(s) that will be performed, with consideration to the total number of minutes allowed for the audition (which includes time for warming up and judge’s comments). The judge will be advised to adhere to the schedule by stopping the student during their audition if the performance goes over the time allotted.
  8. If you have any questions about exceptions or clarifications on pieces in “gray areas”, please ask your district chair at least six weeks before the application deadline.  In any dispute over repertoire, the district chairperson may consult the state auditions chairperson and/or composition chair.  The decision of the state auditions chairperson is final.
  9. Repertoire changes to meet requirements may be allowed only up to the application due date via the Ovation online registration program.  Changes made after the due date will not be accepted.

Maximum scheduled performance time: 

Depending on grade level, each student is given 8-15 minutes with the judge (see the table below).  Choose pieces that will fit this time frame, considering that a short warm-up and the judge’s time for writing comments is also included in this short period.

Grades 1 – 6 7 – 9 10 – 12
PIANO/ORGAN:
District 2 8 10 12
D2NM (District 2 Non-Memorized) NA 10 12
District 3 NA 12 15
State Track 10 12 15*
VOCAL/INSTRUMENTAL
District 2 10 12 12
D2NM (District 2 Non-Memorized) NA 12 12
District 3 NA 15 15
State Track 12 15 15*

 

*Juniors and seniors entered in state track are able to request extra audition time (max: 20 minutes) if preparing for college auditions.  Teachers should contact their district chair with this request before the application due date.  District chairs are unable to make changes after the application due date has passed.

 

Other notes about choosing repertoire and general reminders:

(Not following these guidelines could result in a disqualification)

1. A Baroque-style piece by a 20th or 21st-century composer is considered a Trans 20th/21st composition. It should not be coupled with a piece from the original historical period (Baroque, in this example).

2. Compositions must be published unless the unpublished composition is by a recognized composer.  Permission for its use must be obtained from the district and/or state auditions chairperson before the freeze date/entry deadline.  Student compositions are not allowed.

3. Every attempt should be made to perform music written specifically for the instrument. See the page of “Repertoire Allowed” for more details.

4. Compositions should show as much contrast as possible. Consider differences in tempo, mood, articulation, dynamics, technical demands, etc. It is not acceptable to perform 2 compositions in a jazz, blues, or rock style – even though one might be a slow blues and the other a fast boogie.

5.  Remember to write numbers in the measures of the music that is provided to the judge.  Students in grades 7-12 must number their measures, or else a point will be deducted from the student’s performance score.

6. Compositions must be at least 16 measures long, EXCLUDING REPEATS. Two or more shorter pieces by the same composer may be grouped together as a “suite” to meet this requirement.

7. Avoid possible disqualification by choosing pieces that are not questionable. If uncertain, contact the district chairperson at least six weeks before application deadline.  In any dispute over repertoire, the district chairperson may consult the state auditions chairperson and composition chair.  The decision of the state auditions chairperson is final.

8.  Disqualification is defined for the purposes of WMTA events as follows:  The student will not receive points for the piece, but will still be able to play for comments.

9.  Repertoire changes to meet requirements are allowed only up to the application due date via Ovation, WMTA’s online registration program.  After the application due date, no changes will be accepted.