- Course type: Self-paced
- Available Lessons: 19
- Average Lesson Length: 8 min
Eligible for Certificate:
Certificates show that you have completed the course. They do not provide credit.
Watch a preview:chapter 1 / lesson 1Musical Timbre of Instruments and Singers: Definition
Course SummaryRefresh your teaching curriculum with the short video lessons and quizzes in our AP Music Theory syllabus resource. Use these engaging learning tools to plan your class syllabus and design homework assignments and test questions.
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Course Practice TestCheck your knowledge of this course with a 50-question practice test.
- Comprehensive test covering all topics
- Detailed video explanations for wrong answers
How It Works
You can use this AP music theory course as a template for designing and implementing your course. Here are the key components of the course and how you can use them:
- Chapters - Each chapter covers a unit of AP music theory, from basic music principles to harmonic composition and visual score analysis. Use these chapters as mile markers as you map out your course. We recommend planning to spend a week on each chapter, but you can always allocate the chapters according to the length of your specific music theory course.
- Lessons - Within each chapter are video lessons that further break down topics into bite-sized chunks. These lessons cover single topics like the elements of sound, composition and instrumentation. Each one is often appropriate for a single class.
- Key Terms - Within each lesson are key terms. These are emphasized on screen and in the transcript. As you develop your syllabus, these key terms help you focus on the most important learning objectives. For example, the lesson on rhythm, meter and metric organization includes key terms like downbeat, hemiola, tempo and upbeat.
As you work on your AP music theory plans, save time by incorporating video lessons from this resource. Here's how:
- Introduce Topics - Your students will be in the right mindset for understanding topics like scales, keys and modes if you begin class with a short video. It can be a jumping-off point for a lecture, group activity or class discussion.
- Break Up Lectures - The video format, which often includes animation, helps students visualize topics like the difference between major and minor key signatures.
- Assign For Homework - Each lesson in the course, from blues scales to the circle of fifths can be assigned to your students as homework.
Each video lesson includes a complete transcript. You can utilize these transcripts in several ways:
- Lecture Notes - Do you need a guide as you plan a lecture, such as one on aural skills? The transcripts cover each topic in depth, with key terms highlighted for quick reference.
- Student Reading - Perhaps you'd like your students to learn about singing warm ups in major or minor keys, but you don't have class time available. Assign the transcript as extra reading.
- Study Tools - When it's time for a unit exam on intervals, triads and seventh chords, you can point your students to the transcripts on chord inversions, enharmonic intervals and related topics to help them study.
Each video lesson has a corresponding quiz. Here's how to use the quizzes:
- Homework - Assign a quiz to your students as homework. You'll receive an email with the results, which enables you to verify they've completed the assignment and that they've understood the material. Questions cover everything from understanding musical notations to key facts, like the difference between harmony and melody.
- Tests - You can meld the material in the quizzes into your own student assessments, saving you valuable time. Need a few questions on metric organization? There are plenty!
- Discussions - Jump-start a discussion with questions like: What instrument families are found in an orchestra?
Below is a sketch of the AP Music Theory curriculum modeled on a 16-week course. This sample can be adapted based on your course schedule. Navigate the chapters and lessons for more detail.
|Week||Unit||Sample of Topics Covered|
|Week 1||Fundamentals of Music||Musical forms, scales and timbre; defining sharp and flat notes and reading notes|
|Week 2||Rhythm, Meter and Metric Organization||Meters, rhythm, tempo and time signature|
|Week 3||Scales, Keys and Modes||Categories of scales, major key signatures and minor key signatures|
|Week 4||Aural Skills: Fundamentals and Singing||Harmonic and melodic dictation, identifying scales and sight singing|
|Week 5||Intervals, Triads, and Seventh Chords||Identifying interval quality, triads and the five basic seventh chords|
|Week 6||Chords in Diatonic Context||Diatonic triads in major and minor, figured bass and inversion symbols|
|Week 7||Function and Cadences||Authentic cadence, chord function and function families|
|Week 8||Fundamentals of Harmonic Composition||Simple and 4-part writing|
|Week 9||Harmonic Progression and Harmonizing a Melody||Circle and harmonic progression, identification of cadences and melodic harmonization|
|Week 10||Melodic Composition||Melodic and phrase structures, choosing notes and phrase pairs|
|Week 11||Aural Skills: Melodic Dictation||Melodic dictation skills, compound meter rhythms and understanding melodies|
|Week 12||Key Relationships||Mixture chords, mode mixture and modulation|
|Week 13||Secondary Function Harmony||Secondary function and harmonic dictation, part-writing and sight-singing|
|Week 14||Harmonic Composition||Part-writing to roman numerals in A minor, D minor and F major|
|Week 15||Harmonic Dictation||Chord-tonal center relationships, implied harmonies and mid-phrase dictation|
|Week 16||Visual Score Analysis||Musical dynamics and texture, harmony, melody and orchestral families|
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