(770) 578-7900

3001 Hembree Rd. Marietta GA 30062 

​Pope High School Orchestra


AP Music Theory Course Description

Course Description:
Comprehensive written and aural music skills that facilitate students’ musical studies after high school.  The course integrates aspects of melody, harmony, texture, rhythm, form, musical analysis, basic composition, and, to some extent, history and style.
Course Expectations
Students must have all materials daily, including but not limited to staff paper, notebook with pockets, and pencils ONLY. Students will complete written compositions and be available for out of class help/tutoring.
Reading Requirements:

Tonal Harmony (provided for in class lessons)

Assigned websites

Supplemental resources

Students that have a background in music are at a slight advantage but formal training is not necessary.  Students without musical training/backgrounds have succeeded in class but full understanding of fundamentals in beginning chapters is a must.
Classroom work provides differentiated assessment quickly which leads to summative evaluation at the end of each chapter.  Practice AP Music Theory finals (released AP Central exams) give students understanding of how the AP final will formatted.  Additional assessments will be given.

Homework / Nightly expectations
Review of lessons and practice methods thirty minutes each night to help solidify comprehension.  Working with the material for short periods of time outside of class helps define a student’s individual understanding of the concepts.







2015-2016 AP MUSIC THEORY Syllabus

Corie Benton, PHS Orchestra Director 770-578-7900 x252 – corie.benton@cobbk12.org


Course Description

​Advanced Placement Music Theory is designed to provide high school music students with fundamental written and aural music skills in preparation for the AP music theory exam.  The ultimate goal of the course is to facilitate students’ musical studies after high school. The course “integrates aspects of melody, harmony, texture, rhythm, form, musical analysis, elementary composition, and, to some extent, history and style” (from the College Board Advanced Placement Music Theory Course Description). This course will build upon the student’s foundation of musical knowledge to prepare for the AP music theory examination, which encompasses the typical curriculum content of college freshman music major courses.


The course is primarily for Juniors & Seniors who intend to major in some area of music in college; if class space allows, others may also be accepted. Students should be active in the school band, orchestra, or chorus program and must have intermediate to advanced musical skills. It is beneficial to be proficient on a keyboard. Students must be able to read and notate music at a basic level.  Throughout the course, students will be asked to compose, arrange, perform, and listen to music. Students will be expected to complete written and internet based assignments outside of class. It is expected that all course participants will take the AP music theory test in May.  Cobb County pays for the student to take one AP Test, and there is a charge to take multiple AP Tests.  Test results are mailed to the student and selected colleges by mid-July. Certain colleges accept 4/5 scores as exemption to freshman theory.


Daily work and participation and homework                                         35%

Written quizzes                                                                                          35%

Exam                                                                                                           30%



Supplies/Materials Needed for the Course

Notebook with pockets
Staff paper and notebook paper
mechanical pencils and a separate eraser (no pens allowed)
Textbook: Tonal Harmony by Kostka and Payne
Music notation software such Finale NotePad (free download at www.finalemusic.com/notepad)


Daily Schedule (not necessarily in this order)

review of previously covered material, turn in homework
instruction on new material
sight singing
melodic, harmonic, and/or rhythmic dictation
homework will be assigned daily and must be completed for the next class

Weekly Schedule (This schedule will be adapted to accommodate the progress of the class)

1-9Aug 3 - Sep 18Part I: FundamentalsChapter 1: Elements of Pitch
Chapter 2: Elements of Rhythm
Chapter 3: Introduction to Triads and Seventh Chords
10 Sep 28 - Oct 7Chapter 4: Diatonic Chords in Major and Minor Keys
11-12Oct 7 - Oct 16Chapter 5: Principles of Voice Leading
Chapter 10: Cadences, Phrases, and Periods
13Oct 19 - Oct 23Chapter 6: Root Position Part Writing
14- 15Oct 23 - Nov 6Chapter 7: Harmonic Progression
16Nov 6 -Nov 30Chapter 8: Triads in First Inversion
17Nov 30 - Dec 8 Chapter 9: Triads in Second Inversion
18 - 19Dec 8 - Dec 18Chapter 10: Cadences, Phrases, and Periods
Chapter 13: The V7 Chord
20 - 21Jan 5 - Jan 20Chapter 11: Non-Chord Tones 1
22Jan 20 - Jan 27Chapter 12: Non-Chord Tones 2
23 - 24Jan 27 - Feb 12Part III: Diatonic Seventh ChordsChapter 13: The V7 Chord
25Feb 22 - Mar 4 Chapter 14: The II7 and VII7 Chords
26 - 27Mar 4 - Mar 18Chapter 16: Secondary Functions 1
28 - 29Mar 18 - Apr 1Chapter 18: Modulations Using Diatonic Common Chords
30 - 31Apr 11 - Apr 22Chapter 20: Binary and Ternary Forms
32 - 36Apr 22 - May 13EXTENSIVE REVIEW, practice AP Exams
37May ??AP Theory EXAM

After the A.P. ExamChapter 21, 22, 23: Mode Mixture, The Neapolitan Chord, and Augmented Sixth Chords












                                                             From the College Board Advanced Placement Music Theory Course Description

                                                               The AP examination in music theory may include any or all of the following:

I. Musical Terminology
          A. Terms for intervals, chords, scales, and modes
          B. Terms pertaining to rhythm and meter, melodic construction and variation, harmonic functions, cadences and phrase                          structure, texture, small forms, and musical performance

 II. Notational Skills

         A. Rhythmic and metric notation
         B. Clefs and pitch notation
         C. Key signatures, scales, and modes
         D. Intervals and chords
         E. Transposition of melodic lines
III. Basic Compositional Skills

         A. Four-voice realization of figured-bass symbols and Roman numerals.  Students will have to do exercises where they create                   four part harmony and realization of a figured bass through Chapters five to nine.  Students will take melodies, select                           appropriate chords and appropriately voice lead through a sound progression. 
         B  Composition of a bass line (with chord symbols) for a given melody
         C Writing a bass line for a given melody, implying appropriate harmony, and harmonization of a four part melody.  Students                   will learn to write bass lines in relation to Chapters five through nine while learning how to voice triads, write root position                   four and three voice chords, and apply the harmonic progression through the creation of a bass line.
         D Composition and arranging of melodies conforming to fundamental rules. Students will be composing simple melodies, four             part harmonies, and  creating their own compositions that contain the needed fundamentals covered in each chapter as the             study of triads and harmony are discussed. 

IV. Score Analysis (with or without aural stimulus)

          A. Small-scale and large-scale harmonic procedures, including:
               1. Identification of cadence types
               2. Roman-numeral and figured-bass analysis, including non-harmonic tones, seventh chords, and secondary-dominant                             chords
               3. Identification of key centers and key relationships; recognition of modulation to closely related keys
               4.  Doing harmonic analysis of written assignments, activities, and assessments.
          B. Melodic organization and developmental procedures
               1. Scale types; modes.  Students will write and learn to identify the major, minor, pentatonic, modal, and whole-tone scales.                    Through extensive study,  students will be able to create examples of each of these scales. 
               2. Melodic patterning
               3. Motivic development and relationships (e. g. inversion, retrograde, sequence, imitation.)  Students will learn how to use                        both the major and minor modes in relation to harmonic structure.  Students will learn all Greek modes structure, which                    forms of minor modes are most often used, and how to write chords appropriate to each mode.
          C. Rhythmic/metric organization
                1. Meter type (e. g.  duple, triple, and quadruple) and beat type (e. g. , simple, compound)
                2. Rhythmic devices and procedures (e. g.  augmentation, diminution, hemiola)
           D. Texture
                 1. Types (e. g.  monophony, homophony, polyphony)
                 2. Devices (e. g. textural inversion, imitation)
           E. Formal devices and/or procedures
                 1. Phrase structure
                 2. Phrases in combination (e. g. period, double period, phrase group)
                 3. Small forms
V. Aural Skills
            A.  Sight-singing.  Students will practice techniques for sight-reading melodies, will practice singing in groups, and be tested                      with exact sight-singing expectations individually in order to gain skills for sight-singing for the exam.
            B.  Melodic dictation
            C.  Harmonic dictation
            D.  Identification of isolated pitch and rhythmic patterns
            E.  Detection of errors in pitch and rhythm in one-and two-voice examples
            F.  Identification of processes and materials in the context of music literature representing a broad spectrum of genres,                            media, and styles
                 1. Melodic organization (e. g. scale-degree function of specified tones, scale types, mode, melodic patterning, sequences,                         motivic development)

                           a. Working with and identifying major and minor scales, modal scales, pentatonic scales, and whole-tone scales.
                 2. Harmonic organization (e. g. chord function, inversion, and quality)
                 3. Tonal organization (e. g.  cadence types, key relationships)
                 4. Meter and rhythmic patterns
                 5. Instrumentation (e.g. identification of timbre)
                 6. Texture (e. g.  number and position of voices, amount of independence, presence of imitation, density)
                 7. Formal procedures (e. g.  phrase structure; distinctions among literal repetition, varied repetition, and contrast; small                            forms)

Assignment for March 2nd.

Go to the following website  https://sites.google.com/a/friscoisd.org/ap-music-theory-whs/dictation  and complete four of the melodic dictation exercises and turn them in to the sub.  The completed assignment is due by Friday, March 3, 2017.