Music theory: grade 8
Time: 15:45 - 17:45
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
This course has now started
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. City Lit will not be hosting ABRSM exams during this academic year, 20-21.
- 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 (government guidance permitting)
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?
This is an online course you will need your own copy of the course text-books (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?
Please buy and bring to class ABRSM Music Theory in Practice Grade 8, and 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?
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.
Dr Malcolm Miller is a musicologist and pianist who has published widely on classical music with a focus on Beethoven, Wagner and contemporary music. He has taught at City Lit since 2006, with courses on topics such as Wagner songs and reception, Nocturnes, Emigre Composers, and East meets West, and a survey of the Beethoven Piano Sonatas for the Beethoven 250 Anniversary. Malcolm teaches music theory at Grades 7, 8 and Diploma level (ARBSM and Trinity syllabuses). Malcolm enjoys bringing the fruits of his musicological research to the classroom and concert hall, and has appeared on BBC Radio and in pre-concert talks at the SouthBank Centre. He has several scholarly books in preparation, and has published book chapters and journal articles, as well as entries to the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. He is editor of 'Arietta' (Journal of the Beethoven PIano Society of Europe), and regularly contributes reviews and articles to magazines such as 'Musical Opinion' and 'Music & Vision Daily.' His list of publications and research may be seen online at the Open University where he is Associate Lecturer and Hon. Associate in Music.
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.