What You Will Learn in Grade 2 Music Theory

This article outlines the topics that you need to know in preparation for the Grade 2 Theory of Music Examination organized by the Associated Board of the Royal School of Music (ABRSM).

I wish you the very best as you take time to study your music theory material. Your efforts will certainly be rewarded, not only at the event of your exam, but as you continue to develop as a well-rounded musician!

  1. Time Signatures: more time signatures are introduced in Grade 2. While Grade 1 focused on simple and triple time (2/4, 4/4 and 3/4), Grade 2 expands your knowledge of time signatures to: 2/2, 3/2, 4/2 and 3/8
  2. Triplets
  3. Note groupings: these now relate to the new time signatures introduced above
  4. Groupings of rests
  5. Ledger lines: you will learn to draw ledger line notes up to two ledger lines above and below the staffs
  6. Learning the A major scale
  7. Learning the B-flat and E-flat major scales
  8. Key Signatures: in Grade 2, you will learn the major scales with key signatures up to three sharps, and three flats.
  9. The Harmonic Minor and Melodic Minor forms of a minor scale
  10. Focus on A, E and D harmonic minor scales
  11. Focus on A, E and D melodic minor scales
  12. The Relative Major and Minor keys
  13. Intervals: intervals in Grade 2 will focus on all the major and minor keys introduced in this grade. You will only need to know the number of the interval between a lower note and a higher note. (eg. between Middle C and Treble G = a 5th)
  14. Musical terms and signs: in addition to the Italian terms and music symbols in Grade 1, more performance directions and signs are added in Grade 2.

Recommendation: The AB Guide to Music Theory

I strongly recommend teachers or students preparing for the ABRSM Music Theory examinations to purchase a copy of Eric Taylor's AB Guide to Music Theory.

This paperback reference book is essential for AB candidates for the music theory exams because it includes not only detailed lessons on the topics covered for each grade in the ABRSM Theory of Music course, but complete lists of the music terms and music symbols you need to learn and memorize for the examinations.