AP Music Theory

Advanced Placement examination includes a very much interesting course on the Music Theory. The course emphasises upon the theoretical background of Music. The course includes extensive readings on the specific terminology, certain phrases, compositions and elements, music history, the structure of the chords and several other music theories.


The examination is divided mainly in 2 sections: ‘Multiple choice questions’ and ‘Free response section’. These two sections are also divided into sub parts. The first section includes four multiple choice questions. The first half is based on the auditory stimulus. A cd will be played and the question will be based on that. The students must answer as many questions as possible. Each musical section will be played twice or thrice.

advanced placement program in AP music theory

The second part, as it seems is more interesting. It includes questions on listening theory; they also have to sing songs. In the listening based part, student has to answer a question based on melodic diction. Here one part of the melody is played twice or thrice and a time signature, starting pitch, key are given to the students. The student is supposed to record the two melodies accurately combining of major and minor notes. The second type of question includes harmonic dictation. Like earlier, the key, starting pitch and time signature will be given on the answer sheet. The students are supposed to dictate the bass and soprano lines and do an analysis of the chords and provide Roman numeral analysis. The third part or the writing part is based on the 18th century guidelines of musical composition. Questions can come on standard chord progress, Roman numerical notations and so on.  The students must be well acquainted with the classical theories of music.  

During the singing part, the student needs to analyse a performed melodic line and then perform it again as accurately as possible. The students get 75 seconds to practice the performed part. 

As it seems the students willing to take up this course must either be really passionate about music and hard working or must have fabulous knowledge about the music and must be well acquainted with the phrases related to classical music and musical instruments.

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