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AP Music Theory. Elements of Music: Pitch. IB and AP. This class will get you through the material you will need to accurately analyze a piece of music in the IB Curriculum especially in Form and Harmony Please take a moment to read the Syllabus and the Course Planner on Moodle

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Ap music theory

AP Music Theory

Elements of Music: Pitch

Ib and ap
IB and AP

  • This class will get you through the material you will need to accurately analyze a piece of music in the IB Curriculum especially in Form and Harmony

  • Please take a moment to read the Syllabus and the Course Planner on Moodle

  • Please find the Sight Singing Exercises on Moodle as well

  • Please pay your class fee of $45.00 by Friday ONLINE

  • If you have questions about anything email me at [email protected]

Keyboard and octave registers
Keyboard and Octave Registers

  • Pitch refers to highness or lowness of a sound

  • Names for the first 7 letters of the alphabet (ABCDEFG)

  • C- is the note that we will relate to the keyboard

  • 7 ¼ octaves on a standard keyboard from A-0 to C-8

  • From any C up to the next C is called an octave

  • All the notes from one C to another are part of the same octave register

Notation on a staff
Notation on a Staff

  • A staff is used to indicate the precise pitch desired

  • Contains 5 lines and 4 spaces

  • Can be indefinitely extended with ledger lines

  • A clef associates certain pitches with the lines and spaces:

    • G-Clef – Treble

    • F Clef – Bass Clef

    • C-Clef – Alto or Tenor clef (it is movable)

    • A Grand staff is a combination of the Treble and bass clef

The major scale
The Major Scale

  • Scales form the basis of tonal music

  • The major scale is a pattern of half and whole steps encompassing an octave

  • Half step is the distance from one key to the next key either black or white

  • Natural half step is between B and C and E and F

  • Whole steps skip the next key to the next key white or black

Tetrachords and accidentals
Tetrachords and Accidentals

  • Tetrachords – four note patern of 1 - 1- ½

  • A Major scale is made up of two tetrachords with a whole step in the middle

  • Accidentals – symbols that raises or lowers a note

  • Accidentals are written to the left of the note and are vocalized after the note

Major key signatures
Major Key Signatures

  • Key – the term that is used to identify the first degree of a scale

  • Key Signature – is a pattern of sharps or flats that appear at the beginning of a staff and indicates that certain notes are to be raised or lowered consistently

    • Sharps – G, D, A, E B F# C#

    • Flats – F Bb EbAbDb Gb Cb

Other key signature info
Other Key Signature Info

  • Order of sharps – FCGDAEB

  • Order of Flats – BEADGCF

  • Enharmonic – Notes that are spelled differently but sound the same

  • Transposition – to write or play music in some key other than the original

  • Circle of Fifths – follows the order of sharps in a clockwise motion around a circle

Minor scales
Minor Scales

  • Natural minor scales – like a major scale with a lowered, 3rd, 6th, and 7th degree

  • Harmonic Minor scale – thought of as a major scale with a lowered 3rd and 6th degree

  • Melodic minor scale – ascending form is like a major scale with a lowered 3rd degree, the descending form is the same as the natural minor scale

Minor key signatures
Minor Key Signatures

  • Relative – share the same key signature

  • Parallel – share the same letter name only

  • We base the minor key signature on the major key signature but take the name of the 6th scale degree

  • Relatively speaking – C major and A minor share the same key signature

  • To create harmonic or melodic you must use accidentals

Scale degree names
Scale Degree Names

  • All scales have scale degree names

  • 1st – Tonic

  • 2nd – Supertonic

  • 3rd – Mediant

  • 4th – Subdominant

  • 5th – Dominant

  • 6th – Submediant

  • 7th – Subtonic or leading tone – depends on whether it is raised


  • Interval – a measurement of the distance in pitch between two notes

  • Harmonic Interval – performing the two notes at the same time

  • Melodic Interval – performing the two notes successively

Intervals 2
Intervals 2

  • Two parts of an interval name

    • Numerical name – how far apart they are

      • Unison instead of 1

      • Octave instead of 8

      • 2nd instead of two

      • 3rd instead of three

      • Interval smaller than an octave are called simple intervals

      • Intervals larger than an octave are called compound intervals

    • Modifier – Perfect, Major, Minor, augmented and mininished

Intervals modifiers
Intervals Modifiers

  • Perfect refers only to the Unison (P1), Octave (P8), the 4th (P4), and the 5th (P5)

  • Major or Minor refers to the 2nd (M2,m2), 3rd (M3, m3), 6th (M6,m6), and 7th (M7, m7)

  • Augmented – a major or perfect interval that is expanded by ½ step

  • Diminished – a minor or perfect interval that is contracted by ½ step

Inversions of intervals
Inversions of Intervals

  • Inversion – putting the top note below the lower note of an interval

  • 2nd becomes a 7th and the reverse

  • 3rd becomes a 6th and the reverse

  • 4th becomes a 5th and the reverse

  • The Modifier changes as well when inverted

    • Minor becomes Major and vise-versa

    • Augmented becomes diminished and vice-versa

    • Perfect is always perfect

Consonant and dissonant
Consonant and Dissonant

  • Consonant – pleasing to the ear – 3rd, 6th, perfect 5th and octave

  • Dissonant – not pleasing to the ear

Ear training sight singing
Ear Training/ Sight Singing

  • Go to:

    • www.musictheory.net

  • Begin practicing on Note Identification in all clefs

  • Key signature Identification Major and Minor

  • Interval Identification in all keys with modifiers

  • Practice Sight Singing Exercise 1 on Moodle

Daily homework
Daily Homework

  • Sing & Play on a keyboard anything discussed or worked on in class.

  • Practice sightsinging from the AP Music Theory and Choir Resources webpages on the Somerset Academy website under my name.

  • Always work in your workbook AHEAD of the lessons the class is on so that you have questions when we go over it.