AP Music Theory

Semester 1: This course examines the fundamental building blocks of music theory. Students who successfully complete this course will have a solid foundation in music theory language that includes Notation, Major and Minor Scales, Key Signatures, intervals, triads, 7th Chords, Inversions, Voicing, Part Writing, Sight Singing, and Basic Aural and Aictation skills. Semester 1’s content and assignments focus on mastering these music fundamentals needed for the AP Music Theory Exam.

Semester 2: In this course, students are given the opportunity to build upon Semester 1 skills while diving into more complex concepts, such as Roman Numeral Analysis, Figured Bass, Modulation, Cadences, Secondary Chords, Musical Structure, Aural Skills, etc. Semester 2’s content and assignments delve deeper into the advanced content needed to complete the AP Music Theory exam.

This course now comes with free access to Flat for Education, a music composition tool (LTI) that is fully integrated with Canvas (UC Scout's online classroom).

RECOMMENDED PREREQUISITES: Students must have a background in reading music, a basic understanding of music fundamentals, and are strongly encouraged to have taken a chorus or band class or have previous experience with music. Students must complete an equivalent of an APMUSIC Theory Semester 1 and have an understanding of 4 part-writing and voice leading before taking UC SCOUT's AP Music Theory Semester II.

Register for AP Music Theory

Basic and On Demand are always open for registration.

Plus courses are created upon request.


Unit 1: What is Music Theory

  • What is Music Theory?
  • Pitch Notation System
  • Rhythmic Notation Elements
  • Rhythmic Notation System
  • Simple and Compound Meter

Unit 2: Scales

  • Half and Whole Steps
  • Accidentals and Chromaticism
  • Chromatic Scales
  • Major Scales
  • Major Key Signatures
  • Circle of Fifths
  • Major Scale Degrees
  • Fixed 'Do'
  • Movable 'Do'
  • Natural Minor
  • Harmonic Minor
  • Melodic Minor
  • Parallel and Relative Minor
  • Minor Key Signatures
  • Minor Scale Degrees

Unit 3: Intervals and Chords

  • Major and Perfect Intervals
  • Altered Intervals
  • Issues with Intervals

Unit 4: Diatonic Chords

  • Major Triads
  • Minor Triads
  • Diminished Triads
  • Augmented Triads
  • Four Part Voicing
  • Part Writing
  • First Inversion Triads
  • Second Inversion Triads


Unit 5: Modes

  • Modes

Unit 6: 7th Chords

  • Introduction to 7th Chords
  • 7th Chord Inversions

Unit 7: Roman Numeral Analysis and Voice Leading

  • Roman Numeral Analysis in Major Keys
  • Roman Numeral Analysis in Minor Keys
  • Roman Numeral Analysis and Figured Bass
  • Secondary Dominants
  • Modulation
  • Non-Harmonic Tones
  • Augmented 6th Chords
  • Chord Progressions and Cadences

Unit 8: Composition

  • Musical Structure
  • Musical Form
  • Composition and Score Analysis
  • Instrumental Writing and Transposition

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