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The levels of difficulty

The levels of difficulty of the flute music published by G. Henle Publishers

“The task is easy - yet easy is difficult”
(„Zwar ist es leicht, doch ist das Leichte schwer“)

Goethe has Mephisto say this in “Faust II” and the categorizing of musical works according to their levels of difficulty is thus relative in the extreme! Relative – depending on the perspective of a teacher, a student or a performer; nevertheless using our Henle criteria we are trying to differentiate between works, grading them according to whether they are easy, medium or difficult. This classification system is intended as an orientation and a help for those trying to find a suitable work amongst all of the excellent Urtext editions. In order not to be daunted by pieces with the level of difficulty 9, perhaps we might somewhat subjectively claim that with practice Goethe’s quotation may be reversed: “The task is difficult, yet difficult [may become] easy [too]!”

András Adorján © 2013