About This Chapter
AP Music Theory: Melodic Composition - Chapter Summary
The lessons in this music theory study resource help strengthen your understanding of melodic composition as you prepare you for the AP Music Theory exam. The chapter's lessons review the following melodic concepts to help you answer questions on the test related to:
- Differentiating between melody and harmony
- Understanding the use of dissonance in music
- Knowing the rules and formulas for chord progressions
- Identifying 12-bar blues patterns
- Transposing music
- Defining and identifying examples of leitmotif in music
- Recognizing methods of thematic transformation
Our music instructors efficiently lay out each music theory concept to help you understand their applications in classical and popular music. After reviewing each lesson, take the corresponding quiz to assess your understanding of key concepts. Equipping yourself with musical definitions and theoretical knowledge regarding melodic composition can help you analyze melodic concepts on the exam.
1. Melody vs. Harmony: Definitions and Examples
What is a 'melody?' How are 'melody' and 'harmony' different? What kinds of harmonies are used in classical and current popular styles of music? Find out the basics of melody and harmony in this lesson.
2. Dissonance in Music: Definition & Examples
Dissonance is a sound created when two discordant notes are played in unison. Examples of dissonance in music can be found in the work of Beethoven, Chopin and Nirvana, as we'll learn in this lesson.
3. Chord Progression: Music Theory, Rules & Formulas
Chord progressions are the harmonic backbone of musical structure. This lesson will explore what they are and how they are made. Also, a few common progressions will be examined.
4. 12 Bar Blues: Chords, Pattern & Examples
As a musical framework, 12-bar blues allows musicians without prior musical interaction to play together. This lesson will show you how to make a 12-bar blues pattern, and provide some examples of some famous musicians who used this chord progression.
5. Transposition in Music: Definition & Music Theory
In this lesson, you will learn what transposition is and how to recognize it in a musical context. The lesson will also explain how the method of transposing works within the framework of music theory and how one might use it in creative applications.
6. Leitmotif: Definition & Examples
In this lesson, you'll learn about the musical technique known as leitmotif. You'll learn how composers use musical fragments to represent ideas and tell stories, and you'll learn some famous examples of leitmotif from operas, symphonic music and film scores.
7. Thematic Transformation: Definition & Methods
As a composer, themes can be a big part of your music. In this lesson, we'll see how subtly changing those themes can change the impact of your composition.
Earning College Credit
Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.
To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page
Transferring credit to the school of your choice
Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.
Other chapters within the AP Music Theory: Exam Prep course
- AP Music Theory Exam: Question Types
- AP Music Theory: Fundamentals of Music
- AP Music Theory: Rhythm, Meter, and Metric Organization
- AP Music Theory: Scales, Keys, and Modes
- AP Music Theory: Aural Skills
- AP Music Theory: Spacing, Voicing, & Position
- AP Music Theory: Intervals, Triads & Seventh Chords
- AP Music Theory: Harmonic Composition
- AP Music Theory: Nonharmonic Tones
- AP Music Theory: Phrases & Forms
- AP Music Theory: Texture
- AP Music Theory: Performance Terms
- AP Music Theory: Voice Leading
- AP Music Theory: Songs & Genres
- AP Music Theory Flashcards