Music Theory AP

Music Theory AP
Colleyville Heritage High School
Mr. Dickson
The ultimate goal of an AP Music Theory course is to develop a student’s ability to
recognize, understand, and describe the basic materials and processes of music that are
heard or presented in a score. The achievement of this goal may be best promoted by
integrated approaches to the student’s development of:
aural skills
sight-singing skills
written skills
compositional skills
analytical skills
listening exercises
performance exercises
written exercises
creative exercises
analytical exercises
The course integrates aspects of melody, harmony, texture, rhythm, form, musical
analysis, elementary composition and, to some extent, history and style. Musicianship
skills such as dictation and other listening skills, sight-singing, and keyboard harmony
are considered an important part of the theory course.
A. Workbook for Tonal Harmony with an Introduction to Twentieth-Century
Music - 6th edition by Kostka, Payne (
B. Dry - Erase Markers
C. 3-ring binder or organizational tool with capacity to hold:
 Syllabus
 Circle of 5ths & Keyboard Graphic (sheet protector)
 Daily Warm-Ups
 Notes (notebook paper and staff paper sections)
 Homework & Tests (KEEP for studying or later assignments)
 Blank staff paper (print or buy) and notebook paper
D. *Optional: Sight-Singing textbook: Music For Sight-Singing: Seventh Edition
by Ottman, Rogers
DO NOT PURCHASE the Barron's AP study guide – we will use it in class.
Additional, free AP resources are available to help students, parents, AP Coordinators,
and high school and college faculty learn more about the AP Program and its courses
and exams. Visit for details.
The course should seek first to instill mastery of the rudiments and terminology of
music, including hearing and notating:
 Pitches
 Intervals
 Scales and keys
 Chords
 Meter
 Rhythm
We will also address these basic concepts through listening to a wide variety
of music, including not only music from standard Western tonal repertoire but also
twentieth-century art music, jazz, popular music, and the music of non-Western
cultures. Although beginning college courses focus primarily on the system of major–
minor tonality, they often incorporate at least a brief introduction to modal, pentatonic,
whole-tone, and other scales; moreover, there is increasing emphasis throughout
colleges on equipping students to deal with music of their own time and of various
world cultures.
Attention should be given to the acquisition of correct notational skills. Speed
and fluency with basic materials should be emphasized.
Building on this foundation, the course should progress to include more
sophisticated and creative tasks, such as:
 Melodic and harmonic dictation
 Composition of a bass line for a given melody, implying appropriate harmony
 Realization of a figured bass
 Realization of a Roman numeral progression
 Analysis of repertoire, including melody, harmony, rhythm, texture, and form
 Sight-singing
 Scale Performance through singing and piano
 Basic knowledge of Western music history
***Students should work both inside and outside the classroom. Regular homework
assignments are an indispensable component of instruction.
Multiple-Choice Section
The multiple-choice section of the exam consists of about 75 questions and counts for
45 percent of the total score. Multiple-choice scores are based on the number of
questions answered correctly. Points are not deducted for incorrect answers, and no
points are awarded for unanswered questions. Because points are not deducted for
incorrect answers, students are encouraged to answer all multiple-choice questions. On
any questions students do not know the answer to, students should eliminate as many
choices as they can, and then select the best answer among the remaining choices.
Written Free-Response Section
The written free-response section contains seven questions and counts for 45 percent
of the composite score. The question types in this section (Roman numerals and letters
refer to topics in the outline on pages 9–10) include:
• Free-Response Questions 1 and 2: Melodic Dictation
• Free-Response Questions 3 and 4: Harmonic Dictation
• Free-Response Question 5: Part Writing from Figured Bass
• Free-Response Question 6: Part Writing from Roman Numerals
• Free-Response Question 7: Composition of a Bass Line
Sight-Singing Portion
The sight-singing portion of the exam comprises two brief, primarily diatonic melodies
(of about four to eight bars) that the student sings and records on a cassette tape or CD .
It is worth 10 percent of the total score.
• Students take this portion of the exam one at a time.
• Students are given 75 seconds to examine and practice each melody and 30 seconds to
perform each melody. They may sing the melody beginning with the given starting pitch
or transpose the melody to a key that is more comfortable.
-Unit 1[Chapter 1] Music Fundamentals
Placement Exam
What is the common practice period?
Score Study – Bach, Cantata BWV 62, “Nun komm, der Heiland”
What is sight-singing? Kodaly system? Movable Do?
Aspects of Sound
Effects of Sound on the listener, cultural differences and musical norms
Critical Listening – Podcast, Radiolab: “Musical Language” and Rite of Spring riot
Staff, Clefs, and Systems (C, G, F clef differences)
Grand Staff & Octave designations (KP pg. 1)
Piano (Handout: Piano and Circle of Fifths)
Accidentals & Enharmonics
Basic notation rules
Barron's Quiz pg. 12
[Chapter 2] Rhythm, Meter, and Metric Organization
Notating Rhythm
The Dot and the Tie (KP pg. 11A)
Metric Organization (Duration, Beat, Meter, Subdivision, Rhythm, Tempo)
 Simple Meter
 Compound Meter
 Asymmetrical Meter (KP pg. 11B, 13-16)
Downbeat/Upbeat/Anacrusis/Syncopation/Hemiola (using music examples from
Barron's pg. 21-25) (Handout)
Barron's Quiz pg. 26
[Chapter 3] Scales, Keys, and Modes
Chromatic Scale Pattern
Major Scale Pattern (KP pg. 3-4)
Natural Minor Scale Pattern
Harmonic Minor Scale Pattern
Melodic Minor Scale Pattern (KP pg. 5-6, 12)
Deriving Key Signatures from Scales
Circle of 5ths
Parallel, Relative, and Enharmonic Keys/scales
Scale degree names and numbers (KP pg. 17E-F)
Pentatonic Scale (Bobby McFerrin World Science Festival 2009, YouTube Video)
Whole-tone scale
Score Study – Weelkes, “As Vesta was” (text-painting)
Barron's Quiz pg. 56
Chapter 1-3 Review
Aural Unit 1 Test
-Unit 2.1[Chapter 4] Sight-Singing & Piano Scales
Sight-Singing Basics
Sight-Singing on the AP exam
Singing Chromatic/Major/Minor scales
Practice SS exercises (Handout: Barron’s pg. 91-98)
Playing scales on the piano
Sight-Singing Quiz
Piano Scale Quiz
[Chapter 5] Harmonic Organization I - Intervals, Triads, and 7th Chords
Harmonic v. Melodic Intervals
Interval Quantities
Interval Qualities (KP pg. 7-8)
Interval Inversions
Consonant/Dissonant Intervals (KP pg. 9-10, 17G)
Score Study – Corelli, “Trio Sonata, Op. 3, No. 2” (highlight consonances and
dissonances between violin parts)
Building Triads - 4 qualities (Handout: Triads & 7th Chords Chart) (KP pg. 19-20)
Triad Positions/Inversions (KP pg. 23-24)
Building 7th Chords - 5 qualities (KP pg. 21-22, 25)
7th chord Positions/Inversions (KP pg. 26-29, (30 for ex. credit))
Score Study – Carisimi, Oratorio: “Historia di Jephte” (label lead-sheet chords with the
realized figured bass)
Score Study – Hymn, “Lo, How a Rose” (Analyze lead-sheet symbols)
Barron's quiz pg. 117
[Chapter 6] Harmonic Organization II - Chords in a Diatonic Context
Harmonic Function - why do we use roman numerals?
Diatonic triads in Major
Diatonic triads in Minor - Natural Minor v. Harmonic Minor Chords (KP pg. 31)
Diatonic Seventh Chords
Inversion Symbols - Triads and 7th Chords
Inversion Hotline! Call 664-765-4342 (KP pg. 32-34)
Score Study – Hymn, “Lo, How a Rose” (turn lead sheet symbols (see above, ch. 5) into
roman numerals
"Aurelia" pg. 133 (Handout)
Figured Bass
Realizing figured bass
Chord Stacks - how are altered notes shown?
Score Study – Marini, “Sonata IV per il violin” (label Roman numerals)
Barron's Quiz pg. 139
[Chapter 7] Harmonic Organization III - Function and Cadences
Chord Functions - Active (unstable) and Stable chords
Function Families - tonic, predominant, and dominant
Cadences - needed to determine key (Perfect and Imperfect Authentic, Plagal,
Deceptive, Half, Phrygian Half, I6/4-V7-I with cadential I6/4 chord) (Handout: Barron’s
pg. 151) (KP pg. 79A)
Score Study – Hymn, “Were You There” (Roman Numerals and cadences, listen to
Barron's Quiz pg. 156
Review Chapters 4-7
Aural Unit 2 Test
-Unit 2.2Compositional Texture
A. Monophonic
Score Study – Gregorian Chant, “Kyrie” (Transcribe chant into modern notation)
Score Study – Comtessa de Dia, “A Chantar” (troubadour “pop” monophony, form)
B. Homophonic
 Chordal Homophony
Score Study – Hymn, “All People that on Earth Do Dwell” (analyze and sing)
C. Melody w/ Accompaniment (ostinato, Alberti bass, walking bass, Ragtime)
Critical Listening – Monteverdi, “Lament of the Nymph” (Walking bass of B section)
Score Study – Joplin, “Maple Leaf Rag” (Ragtime)
D. Diaphony (and the birth of polyphony)
Score Study – Music Enchiriadis, “Organa” (sing ornanum!)
Score Study – Leonin, “Viderunt omnes” (organum duplum – sing it!)
Score Study – Perotin, “Viderunt omnes” (organum quadruplum – don’t sing it!)
E. Polyphonic
Video: BBC, Sacred Music (Disc 1, 0:00-20:00 min, 26:00-56:50) – How chant
develops into polyphony
F. Heterophonic
Score Study – Marenzio, “Solo e pensoso” (imitative polyphony)
Instrumentation and Identification of Timbre
Arranging – What makes an arrangement? How do textures change?
Score Study – Elgar, Enigma Variations, “IX. Nimrod” (listen to symphonic/choral arr’s.)
Critical Listening – Whitacre, “Sleep” (Compare/Contrast symphonic and choral rec’s.)
-Unit 3[Chapter 8] Harmonic Composition Part I - Fundamentals
What is part-writing? Bach Chorale style?
What is counterpoint?
Part-Writing Rules:
A. Vocal Ranges
B. Counterpoint Rules for Bach Chorale Style
C. Types of Motion - Contrary, Oblique, Similar, Parallel (KP pg. 39-40)
D. Don't: cross-voicing, overlapping voices, parallels, direct 5ths and octaves
E. Spacing
F. Chord Doublings
G. Resolutions
H. KP Text – Read pg. 77-78 – Open/Closed Structure (KP pg. 37-38)
KP Workbook Pg’s. 41-50 – Practice in class
Part-writing examples using chord stacks from Barron’s pg. 183-192
Part-Writing Steps:
A. Determine roman numerals and create road map with chord stacks
B. Write the melody
C. Fill in Alto and Tenor at same time
D. Check your work (parallels? Syncopations? Spacing?)
Barron's Quiz pg. 194
Part-Writing Test 1
[Chapter 9] Harmonic Progression and Harmonizing a Melody
What is a progression? (stable-active-stable chords)
Chord charts, Barron's pg. 199-200
Common Progression Types:
A. Circle Progression
B. Progression by Thirds
C. Progression by Seconds (KP pg. 55-58)
Types of 6/4 chords (KP pg. 71-74)
Fundamentals of Melodic Harmonization:
Major scale harmonization, Barron's pg. 206
Minor scale harmonization (KP pg. 77)
Process of Harmonizing a Melody pg. 208 (Handout) (KP pg. 59-60, (60-J. ex credit),
Score Study – Schubert, “Gretchen am Spinnrade” (melody harmonization and form)
Barron's quiz pg. 214
[Chapter 10] Melodic Composition
What is a melody? How are they constructed?
Score Study – Barber, Hermit Songs, Op. 29: No. 8, “The Monk and His Cat” (Key
Relationships, Melody characteristics)
Score Study – Adams, “Phrygian Gates” (melodies in minimalist music)
KP Text – Read Pg. 73-75 (KP pg. 35-36)
Score Study – Schoenberg, “Piano Suite, Op. 25” (post-tonal melody composition)
What is a phrase? How are melodies constructed into phrases?
Phrase Structure Study:
“Piano Sonata in A, Op. 11”, Mozart – Barron’s pg. 224 (Handout)
“Minuet in G Minor”, Bach – Barron’s, pg. 227 (Handout)
“Woodworth”, Bradbury – Barron’s pg. 228 (Handout)
Non-Chord Tones – chart on Barron’s pg. 230 (Handout: NCT Chart) (KP pg. 93-94, 1.3. Complete in class together, 4. – 5. Homework)
“O Haupt voll Blut unt Wunden”, Bach – Phrase Structure & NCT’s Study, Barron’s pg.
232 (Handout)
Barron’s Quiz pg. 235
Part-Writing Test 2
[Chapter 11] Aural Skills Part II: Melodic Dictation
Understanding the Melody
Understanding the Rhythm
Practice Exercises Barron’s pg. 243 – 247
[Chapter 12] Key Relationships
Modal Mixture (KP pg. 203)
Mixture Chords in Minor
Closely Related Keys (KP pg. 163)
“Piano Sonata, Op. 2, No. 1”, Beethoven – Modal Study, Barron’s pg. 257-258 (Handout)
Score Study – Hasse, Cleofide: Act II, Scene 9, “Digli ch’io son fedele” (da capo form and
modulation analysis)
Score Study – Gesualdo, “Io Parti” (analyze and discuss the harmonic progression)
(KP pg. 171-172, B & C only)
Barron’s Quiz pg. 261
[Chapter 13] Secondary Function Harmony
Secondary Dominants and Leading Tones:
A. Recognizing Secondary Dominants
B. Building and Resolving Secondary Dominants
C. Hearing and Notating Secondary Dominants
Relating Secondary Function Harmony to Other Skills:
A. Singing
B. Melodic Dictation
C. Harmonizing a Melody
D. Harmonic Dictation (KP pg. 125, 135-136, 149-150)
“St. Anne”, Croft – Secondary Functions Study, Barron’s pg. 278
Relating Secondary Function to Part-Writing & Fig. Bass Realization
“Hall”, Laufer – Secondary Functions Study, Barron’s pg. 280
Score Study – Hymn, “Lord, Jesus, Sun of Righteousness” (Roman numerals and
modulation analysis)
Barron’s Quiz pg. 283
Review Chapters 8-13
Aural Unit 3 Test
-UNIT 4[Chapter 14] Harmonic Composition II – The Process
Part-Writing & Figured Bass Steps:
1. Add the Roman numerals and inversions
2. Create the road map
3. Write the melody
4. Fill in the alto & tenor parts
5. Check your work
Answering Free-Response Part-Writing Questions:
1. Determine Roman numerals and inversion symbols and create road map
2. Write a melody that uses primarily contrary motion to the bass line
3. Fill in the alto and tenor at the same time
Barron’s Practice Pg.’s 614-620 (Handout)
Barron’s Quiz pg. 325
Part-Writing Test 3
[Chapter 15] Aural Skills Part III – Harmonic Dictation
What is the AP Test Format for Harmonic Dictation?
What do we know for sure about Harmonic Dictation?
Connect the dots between hearing and notating
Implied Harmonies – what chord can each bass note imply?
Recognizing and notating cadences
Other common cadential bass lines
Harmonic Dictation Exercises:
A. Phrase Endings & Cadences – Barron’s pg. 336 – 344 (Handout)
B. Phrase Beginnings – Barron’s pg. 346 – 351 (Handout)
C. Recognizing and Notating the Mid-Phrase
D. Mid-Phrases – Barron’s pg. 354 – 358 (Handout)
[Chapter 16] Visual Score Analysis – Part I
Phrase Structure and Sectional Form
Periods, Binary Form, Strophic Form, Through-Composed Form, Binary
Form, Ternary Form, Rounded Binary Form, Sonata-Allegro Form, Rondo
Form, Theme and Variation Form, Coda & Codetta (KP pg. 81-82, 85, (85C ex.
Instrumental Transposition (KP Pg. 51-54)
Review Texture
Barron’s Quiz pg. 394
[Chapter 17] Score Analysis Part II: Strategies for Multiple-Choice Part B
Music Elements:
A. Scale Types
B. Tonality
C. Melody
D. Phrase Structure
E. Harmony
F. Meter
G. Rhythm
H. Form
I. Textural Elements
J. Instrumental Considerations
K. Performance Considerations
Score Study – Gershwin, “I Got Rhythm” (form and style analysis)
Score Study – Crumb, “Black Angels: Images 4 & 5” (style and analysis of post-modern
Practice Barron’s Multiple Choice Pg. 407-413
[Chapter 18] Strategies for Multiple-Choice Part A
Developing your Listening Skills
Tips for Contextual Listening
Practice Barron’s Multiple Choice Pg. 422 – 431
[Chapter 19] Strategies for Melodic Dictation: FR 1 and FR 2
Tips for Melodic Dictation
Practice Barron’s Melodic Dictation Pg. 442 – 447 (Handout)
[Chapter 20] Strategies for Harmonic Dictation: FR 3 and FR 4
Preparing for Harmonic Dictation
A. Before the music starts
B. Methods to use during aural prompts
Other tips for Harmonic Dictation Success
Practice Barron’s Harmonic Dictation Pg. 456 – 458 (Handout)
[Chapter 21] Strategies for Harmonizing a Melody: FR 7
Review the Process
The Menu
Tips for writing cadences
Tips for writing phrase beginnings
Tips for writing everything else
Barron’s Practice Pg.’s 470, 473, 477, 481, & 621-628 (Handout)
[Chapter 22] Strategies for Sight-Singing
Five tips for successful sight-singing
Other Hints & Scoring Hints
Practice Barron’s Sight-Singing Pg. 486 – 488
Barron’s Practice AP Test 1
Barron’s Practice AP Test 2
Music Theory Jeopardy!
-ACE THE AP THEORY TEST!Critical Listening – Film, La Orfanato – Discuss Film score and affect
Critical Listening – Film, Shining Night: A Portrait of Composer Morten Lauridsen