Music Theory | ABRSM Grade 8 Music Theory Complete Course
4.5 (120 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
771 students enrolled

Music Theory | ABRSM Grade 8 Music Theory Complete Course

Comprehensive training includes: Trio Sonata, Keyboard Reconstruction, Composition and Score Reading.
4.5 (120 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
771 students enrolled
Last updated 12/2018
English
Current price: $128.99 Original price: $184.99 Discount: 30% off
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This course includes
  • 5.5 hours on-demand video
  • 7 articles
  • 3 downloadable resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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What you'll learn
  • Take the ABRSM grade 8 Music Theory exam with confidence
  • Learn how to complete a Baroque style Trio Sonata, in 3-part harmony with figured bass line.
  • Complete a Romantic style piano piece.
  • Learn how to compose a 12-bar composition for a solo orchestral instrument, with modulation.
  • All general knowledge needed to answer the score-based music theory questions in the exam
  • PDF included, with detailed explanations, exercises and model answers.
Requirements
  • Students should have passed ABRSM grade 5 theory and also studied material for grades 6-7.
Description

GRADE 8 MUSIC THEORY COMPLETE COURSE

Grade 8 is the final level of music theory offered by the ABRSM as an examination subject.
Grade 8 tests your knowledge and skills in harmony, composition and general knowledge through a variety of questions.

This course covers each topic in the ABRSM grade 8 exam in detail, with clear explanations, demonstrations, and course PDF included.


What's in the exam?

The exam begins with a Baroque Trio Sonata, which needs to be completed according to the instructions in the figured bass, and should conform to the typical Baroque style. This question tests your ability to interpret the figuring, to notice patterns and sequences and apply them appropriately elsewhere, and to obey the accepted rules of harmony that were practised during the Baroque period.

Question 2 requires you to complete a keyboard piece from the given skeleton framework. You are provided with example bars and harmony, and are tested on your ability to write in the same character throughout, while still obeying the conventions of harmony and in an appropriate keyboard style.

The third question in the exam is a composition piece. You will be given the opening melodic ideas of two pieces and need to choose one to continue into a fully formed piece. You will be tested on your ability to adapt the given opening, fitting a strong melody to a good harmonic framework built of phrases and cadences, as well as writing in an idiomatic style suitable for the instrument. You will be expected to structure the composition in a logical manner, and to include changes of key.

The final two questions in the exam use musical scores to test a wide range of general knowledge questions in music theory. Usually you will be presented with one score for a chamber work, such as a sonata or string quartet, and another for a larger orchestral work. Questions normally cover a variety of topics such as chords, key and harmony, intervals, transposition, knowledge of notation, special symbols and foreign terms, style and compositional techniques, and knowledge of the standard and extended orchestral families.

Grade 8 is a challenging exam, but one which you will find interesting and useful. The skills you learn at this level will help you to make sense of a large variety of music as both a listener and a player, and for those who are interested in composition, there are plenty of techniques covered to help you extend your skillset.

Who this course is for:
  • This course is aimed at candidates taking the ABRSM Grade 8 Music Theory exam.
Course content
Expand all 69 lectures 05:45:07
+ Introduction
2 lectures 02:23
Introduction to the Grade 8 Course
02:20
Download the Course PDF here
00:03
+ Q1. Trio Sonata
22 lectures 01:53:01
An Example - Corelli
02:01
Trio Sonata Characteristics
07:51
The Trio Skeleton
06:04
Creating and Decorating a Skeleton
09:03
Perfect 5ths and Octaves
04:52
The Tritone
05:02
Minor Keys
06:29
Decorative Figures
04:02
Types of 7th Chord
05:05
Doubling and Omissions in 7th Chords
01:53
Approach and Exit of 7ths
06:52
Diminished 7ths
03:13
Added 9th Chords
01:01
Suspensions
06:04
Sequences, Imitation and Motifs
03:12
Trio Sonata Method
00:41
A Worked Example - Preparation
12:07
A Worked Example - Composing by Numbers
08:25
A Worked Example - Filling the Gaps
03:55
A Worked Example - Decoration, Figuration
05:47
+ Q2. Keyboard Reconstruction
10 lectures 58:45
Harmonic Rhythm
02:09
Working with the Harmony
10:21
Using Second Inversions
04:46
Texture
06:08
Voice Leading and Consecutives (Parallels)
07:44
Notation
03:12
Phrases, Patterns & Sequences
07:06
A Worked Example Part 1
06:28
A Worked Example Part 2
07:32
+ Q3. Composition
13 lectures 55:33

Planning ahead - how to think about your composition's structure.

Preview 03:47

How to work out which parts of the given opening will be the best ones to adapt, to make the rest of your composition.

Analysis of the Given Opening
05:25

How to adapt a melodic idea, using a diatonic sequence.

Adapting a Melodic Idea 1 - Sequences
04:28

More ways to adapt a musical idea to create something new.

Adapting a Melodic Idea 2 - Other Techniques
03:24

How to make a contrasting section which is still connected to the rest of the composition.

Creating a Contrast
03:56

What defines a musical phrase?

Making Phrases
03:04
Cadences Cheat Sheet
1 page

How to work out a scheme for modulations.

Planning Modulations
04:15

Learn the mechanics of modulation - here we explore two methods which you can use effectively.

How to Modulate
06:50

How to write performance directions correctly - and some typical mistakes to avoid.

Performance Directions
02:57

What you need to take into consideration when composing for a specific instrument.

Instrument Considerations
09:32

Follow along as I create a 16-bar composition including modulations.

A Worked Example
07:55

Practice exercises in PDF.

PDF of Composition Openings for Practice
2 pages
+ Q4. Score Reading
20 lectures 01:49:55
Pitch
05:29
Intervals
07:14
Transposition
03:06
False Relations
03:11
Questions About Chords
01:38
Names of Chords
03:50
Triads and the Neapolitan 6th
05:23
Added 7th Chords
06:39
Augmented 6th Chords
09:25
Extended Dominants
05:38
Prevailing Key
08:15
Rhythm & Tremolo
09:02
Texture
04:59
Melodic Decoration
05:06
Suspensions
05:01
Writing Out Ornaments
07:46
Musical Eras
13:20
Describing Sound
03:48
Foreign Musical Terms
00:10
+ What's Next?
1 lecture 02:13
What's After Grade 8?
02:13
+ BONUS! MORE MUSIC THEORY STUFF
1 lecture 00:16
BONUS! Lots more music theory resources!
00:16