ABRSM Grade Five is one of the most popular music theory courses to study. A pass in Grade Five theory is needed if you want to take Grade Six or higher in any instrument, so it's often the grade many students begin with.
The Grade 5 online music lessons at My Music Theory are designed to be accessible by students who have never studied music theory before - you don't need to work through the earlier grades, you can just jump right in at Lesson 1, Grade 5. Learning music theory at grade five is fun!
You should be around Grade 4 or 5 on your instrument (or voice), to have the background knowledge needed for the online music lessons. However, if you have any problems, you could check the lessons for earlier grades, or Ask Us for a personalised explanation!
Think you know your stuff? Let us test your current level with our Grade Five Music Theory Diagnostic Test or try our free complete online Grade Five Music Theory Exam!
As in preceding grades, with the addition of:
- Irregular time signatures of 5/4, 7/4, 5/8, 7/8 and the grouping of notes and rests within these times. Irregular divisions of simple time values.
- Tenor clef (C clef centred on 4th line). The identification of notes in the four clefs in any of the keys set for this grade, and the transposition at the octave of a simple melody from any clef to another. The writing at concert pitch of a melody notated for an instrument in Bb, A or F, and vice versa (the interval of transposition up or down will be given). The writing in open score, using treble and bass clefs, of a passage for SATB written on two staves, and vice versa.
- Scales and key signatures of all major and minor keys up to and including six sharps and flats. All simple and compound intervals from any note.
- The identification of the 5-3, 6-3 and 6-4 forms of the tonic, supertonic, subdominant and dominant chords in any of the keys set for this grade. The identification of the progression 6-4, 5-3 (Ic-V) on the dominant note in any of the keys set for this grade. The choice of suitable chords, using any recognized method of notation, at cadential points of a simple melody in the major key of C, G, D or F.
- The composition of a simple melody of not more than eight bars, using a given opening and writing for a specific instrument (some choice will be given) or (at candidate’s choice) the composition of a melody to given words. Appropriate performing directions relating to tempo, dynamics and articulation will be required.
- More terms and signs. The recognition of ornaments, including the replacement of written-out ornamentation with the appropriate signs, but not vice versa. Questions about a passage of music written for voices or instruments appropriate to the grade will include questions on the types of voice and names of instruments, the clefs they use, instrument family groups and the basic way by which they produce sound, as well as points of general musical observation designed to test the candidate’s ability to apply theoretical knowledge to actual music.
Read the complete ABRSM music theory syllabus