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ABRSM Grade 4 Theory of Music Syllabus: Topics Covered

By Edited Nov 15, 2015 0 0

What you will learn in Grade 4 Music Theory

Students of the ABRSM Grade 4 Theory of Music exams must be familiar with the topics listed below. In knowing the topics you need to cover, it will give you a definite plan of success as you prepare for the theory examinations


  1. Breves: the 'double whole note' is introduced at this Grade
  2. Double dots: on notes and rests
  3. Regular time signatures: duple, triple or quadruple time. Grade 4 exams may include questions on all of the regular time signatures. Examples of these are 2/4, 3/4, 4/4 or 2/2, 3/2, 4/2, or  3/8, 6/8, 9/8 and 12/8, or 4/8, 6/4, 9/4, 6/16, 9/16, 12/16..
  4. Duplets
  5. Double sharps and flats
  6. Enharmonic equivalents
  7. New major scales: B and D-flat major
  8. New minor scales: G# minor and B-flat minor
  9. Technical names of notes in diatonic scales, which include
    1. tonic
    2. supertonic
    3. mediant
    4. subdominant
    5. dominant
    6. submediant
    7. leading tone
    8. upper tonic
  10. Intervals: in previous grades, you needed to identify the interval of a given note where the given note was the tonic of the scale. In Grade 4, you will learn to identify the interval between any two notes. The interval will be related to all the keys you have studied so far, and the intervals will not extend beyond an octave
  11. Triads: on the tonic, subdominant and dominant
  12. Chords: on the tonic, subdominant and dominant
  13. Learning how to craft the chromatic scale
  14. Ornament signs and symbols: you will learn to identify and name common ornamentation (ornament signs). These include:
    1. acciaccatura
    2. appoggiatura
    3. a trill or a shake
    4. the upper mordent
    5. the lower mordent
    6. the turn
  15. Introduction of the Alto clef
  16. General questions about orchestral instruments, for example:
    1. orchestral 'families': strings, woodwind, brass and percussion
    2. the clefs used by different orchestral instruments
    3. the function of mutes in strings or brass instruments
    4. pizzicato
    5. bow markings
  17. More performance directions

A Solid Foundation in Music Theory
As you can see, there are many new topics in music theory that are introduced in the ABRSM Grade 4 Theory of Music course. It is important that you have a solid foundation of the knowledge you have acquired in the previous grades in order to successfully progress through the coursework in Grade 4.

 

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