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2018 ABRSM Music Theory Syllabus Changes

ABRSM has made some minor changes to their Music Theory exams at Grades 1 – 5.  The new focus is on essential music theory knowledge and understanding at these levels. But there will be no changes to Grade 6 – 8 questions.

The key changes are:

  • Implementing multiple choice questions for musical signs and terms
  • Simplying questions so they are easier to understand. For instance:
    • -minimizing the amount of information on Time Signature questions (Grades 1 – 3)
    • -Simplifying Intervals questions layout (Grades 4 and 5)
    • -Simplifying the format for Grade 5, Question 7 (chords at cadence points), where Roman numerals are used to describe chords
  • Removal of word-setting, melody-writing and rhythm-writing questions, and the Grade 5 SATB short/open score question (these will be replaced by some questions based on existing focus on specific areas of theory knowledge familiar to candidates)
  • Renewing the format of all exam papers so they are more visually appealing

Overall, the underlying knowledge for each grade stays the same. Candidates are not required to learn anything new to prepare for the exams.

Grade 5 in Music Theory (or in Practical Musicianship or any solo Jazz instrument) remains a prerequisite before candidates could enter for Grades 6 – 8 Practical examinations.

If you plan on taking up an Intensive Music Theory Lessons at our school, give us a call or drop us a note and we’ll contact you soon..