How I categorize the songs posted on this site.
A Note on Difficulty:
The easy category is suitable for beginning players. Generally these contain only a melody line and are rhythmically and melodically simple. Perfect for elementary students, basic classroom use, or an end of class activity for advanced players.
This category is for players with some experience, but who still are developing their musical skills. These arrangements will generally still be rhythmically simple, but may contain either a direct harmony to the melody or may contain a melody above a simple ostinato.
This category is suitable for more mature players. There may be a melody and countermelody or a melody and reduced accompaniment. Perfect for high school-level players that are strengthening their music reading skills.
This category is best suited to college ensembles or community ensembles. These melodies are generally more rhythmically complex and the accompaniments may be more advanced as well.
When I arrange or compose a professional piece, I assume that this group is capable of playing anything.
A note on setup suggestions
I generally include suggestions for setup, particularly for the developing and above levels. Keep in mind this is just a suggestion, and that you can create your own setup based on the needs of your group. Most of the time, I simply group like parts together. At times I will also give suggestions for a “condensed performance” which I define as any time it would work well to have one player holding multiple tubes.