Student Prep

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Studying for music theory exams (harmony, musicianship, composition, etc.)

As you begin to prepare for the exam, it helps to have a good theory book handy, such as the Basic Music Theory Text or the Music Theory Harpercollins College Outline. Any simple outline of harmony and theory will work; it just needs to provide reference material for you to review.

Preparation Sections:


On any music theory test, most of the questions deal with your ear--can you write down a melody that is played? Can you recognize intervals? Can you sing on pitch? Don't worry if you're not very good at this yet--after doing some of the ear training exercises in this section it will become easier. Besides, ear training is required coursework all four years at any decent music school!

The rest of the test examines your knowledge of theory on paper. This section deals with chords, scales, musical terms, and notation.

A third major exam area is part-writing, the study of writing in the style of Bach's chorales. You'll be given two voices of a four-voice composition. You must fill in the other two voices by following the proper rules.

For more AP Music Theory Exam Information, visit the College Board's website, which contains sample questions, a test outline, and study materials you can buy.



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