Music theory: grade 5
Time: 13:30 - 15:00
Location: KS - Keeley Street
This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
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.
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.
Edward Henderson is a composer and performer from South London. He studied at Cambridge and Trinity Laban, where he won the Director's Prize for Composition. He co-directs composers’ collective Bastard Assignments, which presents shows in London and across Europe. His theatre pieces "Manspangled" and "Hum" have been performed at Second Movement's Rough for Opera night and the Tête à Tête opera festival, and his piano piece "Milk 2" has been performed in Europe and in Sydney. His "Tape Piece" opened the 2015 London Contemporary Music Festival, and his performance piece "Totally" featured at the 2016 Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik in Darmstadt. Edward teaches at City Lit, Morley College and Trinity Laban, and runs inclusive community choirs for Certitude.
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.