Advanced Placement Music Theory: Exam Details

The exam contain two sections-multiple choice and free response questions. The multiple choice section comprised of 45% and the free response section comprised of 55% of the final exam score.

Section I: Multiple Choice

75 questions

In the exam, the MCQ will be of 2 types: Aural stimulus, such questions will test your skills of listening and theoretical knowledge in the context of examples from actual music literature. Various questions will also cover aural skills, that includes melodic dictation and identification of isolated pitch and rhythmic patterns while others will test your score analysis skills.

Non-aural stimulus questions aims to focus on knowledge of score analysis, that includes small-scale and large-scale harmonic procedures; melodic organization and developmental procedures; rhythmic/metric organization; texture; and formal devices and/or procedures. Questions about musical terminology, notational skills, and basic compositional skills may also be there.

Total scores of the multiple-choice section will be based on the number of correct answers. Points are neither deducted for incorrect answers nor points are awarded for unanswered questions.

Section II: Free Response

The following section includes 7 written questions and sight-singing.

Written Portion

  • 2 questions on melodic dictation
  • 2 questions on harmonic dictation
  • 1 question on part-writing from figured bass
  • 1 question on part-writing from Roman numerals
  • 1 question on composition of a bass line

Sight-Singing Portion

  • Record a cassette tape or CD in your voice, primarily diatonic melodies (of about four to eight bars).
  • The students will be given 75 seconds to evaluate and practice each melody and 30 seconds for the performance.
  • The students may sing or whistle the melody, with the given starting pitch or another pitch in a range, whatever is more comfortable.

The portion of sight-singing is taken by single student at a time and is comprised of 10 percent of the total exam score.