Music Theory Grades 1 to 5 – syllabus summary

Select your grade below for a summary of what we assess at each grade or download the complete syllabus for Music Theory Grades 1 to 5.

Online exams

We assess Music Theory at Grades 1 to 5 with an online exam. Before booking or taking an exam, make sure you read our online Music Theory guidelines and requirements and try our free sample papers and practice exams.

  • Basics of notation in treble and bass clef
  • Some simple time signatures
  • Some major keys and scales
  • Terms and signs
  • More basics of notation including triplets and triplet notes groups
  • Grouping of notes and rests
  • More simple time signatures
  • Extension of the stave up to two leger lines
  • Some relative major and minor keys
  • More terms and signs
  • Compound time signatures and the grouping of notes and rests
  • The demisemiquaver (32nd note) and its equivalent rest
  • Extension of the stave up to three ledge lines
  • Transposition at the octave between treble and bass clefs
  • Scales and key signatures of all major and minor keys up to and including four sharps and flats, in both forms of minor scales
  • Naming of intervals including type and number
  • Further terms and signs
  • All simple and compound time signatures and the grouping of rests and notes
  • The breve and its equivalent rest, double dotted notes/rests and duplets
  • The alto C clef and its transposition between clefs
  • Enharmonic equivalents, double sharp and flat signs
  • Scales and key signatures of all major and minor keys up to and including five sharps and flats, and the construction of the chromatic scale
  • Technical names (tonic, supertonic etc,)
  • Intervals between any two diatonic notes
  • Triads and chords in root position
  • More terms and signs including some French terms
  • Irregular time signatures and the grouping of notes and rests
  • The tenor C clef
  • Transposition at the octave between clefs and transposition to concert pitch of instruments in Bb, A or F
  • Scales and key signatures of all major and minor keys up to and including six sharps and flats
  • All diatonic and chromatic intervals, and compound intervals
  • Root position, 1st inversion and 2nd inversion forms of the tonic, supertonic, subdominant and dominant chords in any of the keys set for the grade
  • Identification of perfect, imperfect and plagal cadences
  • More terms and signs including Germans terms

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