Ch 8: AP Music Theory: Melodic Composition

About This Chapter

Use these music theory lessons to improve your understanding of melodic composition. These lessons and quizzes can help you study music theory concepts related to melody so you can answer these types of questions on the AP Music Theory exam.

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.

7 Lessons in Chapter 8: AP Music Theory: Melodic Composition
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Melody vs. Harmony: Definitions and Examples

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.

Dissonance in Music: Definition & Examples

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.

Chord Progression: Music Theory, Rules & Formulas

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.

12 Bar Blues: Chords, Pattern & Examples

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 shows you how to make a 12-bar blues pattern and provides some examples of famous musicians who used this chord progression.

Transposition in Music: Definition & Music Theory

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 also explains how the method of transposing works within the framework of music theory and how one might use it in creative applications.

Leitmotif: Definition & Examples

6. Leitmotif: Definition & Examples

In this lesson, you'll learn about the musical technique known as leitmotif. You'll see how composers use musical fragments to represent ideas and tell stories, and you'll explore some famous examples of leitmotif from operas, symphonic music and film scores.

Thematic Transformation: Definition & Methods

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.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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