What is the course about?
A course for those with good knowledge of the basics of music theory who wish to build on their knowledge. Using the ABRSM/Trinity Grade 4 syllabus, you will develop your understanding of rhythm, melody and simple harmony, and start to learn about different instruments and ornaments and embellishments.
This course may be used as preparation for an ABRSM music theory exam. Please contact the music office (email@example.com) if you would like to sit your exam at City Lit, which is an ABRSM Theory exam centre. ABRSM theory exam dates/fees are published online here: https://gb.abrsm.org/en/exam-booking/exam-dates-and-fees/ all grade exams are available three times per year, and it is usual to sit your exam the term after your course finishes.
This is a live online course. For more information please see our guide to online learning.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
- all regular simple and compound metres
- more complex rhythmic patterns using double dots, duplets and the breve
- alto clef (used by the viola) and transcribing music between the three clefs
- major and minor keys up to five sharps/flats, including root position primary triads (chords on 1st, 4th and 5th scale degrees)
- double sharps / flats and their cancellation
- the principle of enharmonic equivalence
- technical names for scale degrees
- quantity and quality of all intervals up to an octave
- the chromatic scale
- terms and signs for melodic decoration and their application in instrumental music.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- read, write, hear, clap and play/sing complex rhythms in any regular metre
- read and write in alto clef, and transcribe music between clefs
- read, hear and write music in major and minor keys up to five sharps / flats, including using double sharps / flats where needed
- read and write root position primary triads
- technical names for scale degrees
- read, write, hear and sing/play intervals up to an octave
- understand terms and signs for melodic decoration and their application in instrumental music
- answer questions on a Grade 4 theory music exam paper.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
- You need to have completed Music theory: grade 3 or equivalent, and have good knowledge of rhythm, simple and compound metre, melodic structure, and tonic triads.
- You will need to follow written and verbal instructions in English, engage in class discussion and practical exercises, take notes in English and write staff notation.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
This is an online course you will need your own copy of the course text-book (see below) and a computer or tablet with a webcam, microphone and reliable internet connection to take this class. We use GOOGLE CLASSROOM to share messages, documents, audio and video files and for you to submit any homework tasks. We use GOOGLE MEETS for live classes via webcam.
Your tutor will use a variety of techniques:
- tutor explanation and demonstration via webcam / shared screen
- short revision videos and/or audio files (posted in Google Classroom)
- worksheets (posted in Google Classroom)
- group performing and individual demonstration tasks (e.g. clapping rhythms).
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
You will need manuscript paper, pencil and eraser, notebook and pen.
Please buy and bring to class:
ABRSM Guide to Music Theory Part I (covers Grades 1–5) (c.£7) [external website].
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
This course leads to Music theory: grade 5
For more details about musicianship and music theory please visit our blog: Musicianship and music theory at City lit which lists our full sequence of musicianship and music theory classes.