Music theory: grade 8
Time: 19:00 - 21:00
keyboard in historical styles, writing melodies for instrument, and analysing a score (ornaments, harmonic structure,
phrase structure, style, performance directions, use of voices and instruments). Course schedule: 27 Feb - 27 Mar, 24 Apr, 15 - 22 May, 5 June - 17 July 2023.
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Course Code: MG438
Duration: 15 sessions (over 21 weeks)
What is the course about?
Develop your understanding of musical language, style and notation to an advanced level using the ABRSM/Trinity Grade 8 syllabus. This course focusses on sophisticated harmony, and stylistic features of Baroque, Classical and early Romantic music, and music analysis.
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?
- all standard diatonic and chromatic chords in tonal music
- 18th century style counterpoint in two parts
- keyboard writing in Classical/early Romantic style
- melody writing for instruments
- analysis of music for piano or ensemble (e.g. ornaments, phrase structure, style, performance directions, use of voices and instruments).
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- analyse and use all standard diatonic and chromatic harmony in tonal music
- write two-part counterpoint in 18th century style over a given harmonic structure
- write keyboard music in Classical/early Romantic style
- compose instrumental melodies in Baroque, Classical or early Romantic style
- analyse music for piano or ensemble
- answer questions on a Grade 8 theory music exam paper.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
You need to have completed Music theory: grade 7 or equivalent, and have good knowledge of diatonic and chromatic harmony, the principal features of Baroque and Classical music including figured bass, and have score-reading and analytical skills.
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?
Please buy and bring to class:
- ABRSM Music Theory in Practice Grade 8
- Eric Taylor, ABRSM Guide to Music Theory Part II (covers Grades 6–8).
You will also need manuscript paper, pencil and eraser, notebook and pen.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
You may also be interested in: Music theory: diploma topics, Music theory: counterpoint, Composition, Songwriting, or Keyboard harmony and improvisation.
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.