Music theory: grade 5
Time: 19:40 - 21:10
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
What is the course about?
This course covers the syllabus for ABRSM Grade 5, the grade required to take practical music exams at higher levels. Develop an understanding of complex rhythm and metre, melody writing and basic diatonic harmony and learn about the use of instruments and voices.
This course may be used as preparation for an external ABRSM music theory exam.
- Music theory grades 1-5 are available as online examinations only
- Music theory grade 6 and upwards are available as paper-based exams at ABRSM exam centres
For latest information from ABRSM, including theory exam dates/fees, please click: https://gb.abrsm.org/en/exam-booking/exam-dates-and-fees/ [external website].
- All grade exams are available three times per year, and we recommend you sit your exam the term after your course finishes.
This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
- irregular time signatures (e.g. 5/4) and irregular subdivisions of the beat (e.g. quintuplets)
- tenor clef (used by cello, bassoon etc.), and transcribing music between the four main clefs
- transposition at small intervals (up to Perfect 5th)
- major and minor keys up to six sharps/flats
- intervals greater than an octave
- primary triads and supertonic triad in root position,1st and 2nd inversions
- use of these chords in harmonic cadences in C, G, D and F major
- terms and signs for melodic ornaments.
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 metre
- read and write in all four main clefs, and transcribe music between them
- transpose music at small intervals (up to Perfect 5th)
- read, hear and write music in major and minor keys up to six sharps / flats
- read and write intervals greater than an octave
- read, hear and write primary triads and supertonic triads in root position,1st and 2nd inversions
- use these chords in harmonic cadences in C, G, F and F major
- identify and explain musical features in a vocal or instrumental score
- answer questions on a Grade 5 theory music exam paper.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
- You need to have completed Music theory: grade 4 or equivalent, and have good knowledge of rhythm and metre, melodic structure, the cycle of 5ths, and primary 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?
You will need your own copy of the course text-book (see below).
Your tutor will use a variety of techniques:
- tutor explanation and demonstration
- 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.£6) [external website]
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
We recommend: ‘Music theory: introduction to score reading & analysis’
Depending on you experience, you may also like to consider: Music theory: grade 6
Study of music theory is greatly enhanced by our Practical musicianship courses. 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.
I have spent my professional career balancing performing as a concert pianist with teaching academic music courses. I was formerly a lecturer at the Royal College of Music and Trinity Laban Conservatoire, but have found that I enjoy teaching non-professionals far more, so a great deal of my work over the last three years has been with adult amateurs and the general public. Born to Indian parents (the name is a long story, but I and my forbears are Indian as far as records go back!), I now also spend a few months each year in India working with teachers and advanced students with the aim, ultimately, of opening India's first conservatoire. My research work has largely been in the area of 19th and 20th century performing practice, although for the last three years I have been investigating approaches to performance creativity, first at New College, Oxford, and now at Hughes Hall, Cambridge. In my spare time you may occasionally me performing as a founder member of the prog rock band, The Connoisseur.
Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.