AP Music Theory

About the class

Welcome to AP Music Theory! In this class, you will learn to grow as a musician in music reading skills, analyzing and understanding classical music pieces, develop aural skills in singing and listening, understanding the process of composition and composition styles of various eras, and identifying the math and computations that can be found in music. The AP Music Theory class covers the approximate equivalent of a first-year college music theory class. Students can be expected to be challenged academically and musically in pushing their musical skills. In addition to learning terms and how-to's, Ms. Tang will be guiding students in the thinking process of looking through or listening to a composition.

Students do not need to be taking the AP exam to take this class; this course aims not only to help students pass the AP Music Theory exam, but to help students grow in musicianship and understanding what makes good musical compositions. AP Music Theory is challenging both musically and academically as students learn to identify and apply the mathematics of music in both written and aural form.

Prerequisites: basic music reading skills recommended, as well as ensemble/solo musical experience.

Topics the course will include but are not limited to:

  • Interval and chord identification
  • Modes and keys
  • Harmonic progressions and functions
  • Cadence types
  • Roman numeral analysis
  • Figured bass realization
  • 4-part SATB writing with proper voice leading
  • Basic composition
  • Sight-reading/singing
  • Ear training for dictations
  • Form and phrase identification

College Board AP Test Date/Time: May 12th, 2021, 12PM PST

Class Schedule

Classes meet: Saturdays 2-4PM on Zoom.

Holidays: 12/19/2020-1/2/2021, 2/13/2021

9/19/2020 Introduction or review to music reading: Pitch/sound, circle of 5ths, meter, tempo
9/26/2020 AURAL SKILL: Atonal. Rhythmic listenings(meters), reading, dictations
10/3/2020 Scales, modes, intervals, triad chords
10/10/2020 AURAL SKILL: Interval ear training: identifying and singing intervals
10/17/2020 Inverted intervals, musical texture, musical terms
10/24/2020 AURAL SKILL: Dictating and reading simple melodies – Major
10/31/2020 Chord qualities (stacking), inversions, functions, labeling as Roman numerals
11/7/2020 AURAL SKILL: Dictating and reading melodies – minor, major review
11/14/2020 Seventh chords: Qualities, functions, inversions
11/21/2020 Harmonic, chord Function/progression
11/28/2020 AURAL SKILL: General melodic, rhythmic review, sight-reading major and minor
12/5/2020 Minor modality, roman numerals, cadences – types, minor and major, functions
12/12/2020 Cadence con’t, semester review, sight-reading exercises
12/19/20-1/2/21 BREAK
1/9/2021 Voice leading rules – range, motion, doubling, spacing
1/16/2021 SA voice leading, Figured bass, Figured bass realizing
1/23/2021 AURAL SKILL: Two part/harmonic dictation
1/30/2021 Chorales, non chord tones (NCT): types. Analyzing
2/6/2021 Chord qualities and functions review, key area intro
2/13/2021 BREAK
2/20/2021 Key relationships (modal, closely related, modulations)
2/27/2021 AURAL SKILL: SB voice dictation in a 4-part chorale
3/6/2021 Secondary Dominant Chords, sequences (melodic and harmonic)
3/13/2021 Leading Tone Chords – quality, function. Brief intro on non-diatonic chords
3/20/2021 AURAL SKILL: harmonic dictation – chord progressions
3/27/2021 Phrase/phrase relationship. Common musical devices to look for.
4/3/2021 AURAL SKILL: harmonic dictation – chord progressions, con't/practice day
4/10/2021 Sections/form types and definitions
4/17/2021 Group practice: Full analysis, phrase sections
4/24/2021 Instrument transposition/melodic transposition, terms pop quiz