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Lesson 16: Grade Five Theory Practice Exam

This practice test was developed by MyMusicTheory and is not a copy of an ABRSM past exam paper.

Exam Time limit - 2 hours

This exam paper contains SEVEN questions; answer all of them.

Answers must be written clearly and neatly - otherwise marks may be lost.

Click here to print some blank manuscript paper.

A printable version of this practice exam, including the answers, is available as part of a Subscription download. In pdf format, the files include every exercise from the online grade five course, with blank staves for your answers and an answer key at the end, plus lots of extra exercises not available online.


Instructions: Move your mouse slowly over the stave or the light bulb icon (tap on mobile devices) light bulb to reveal the answers.


 Question 1

1. (a) The following extract, which begins on the first beat of the bar, requires a different time signature for each bar. Put in the three correct time signatures. (6 points)


Add the time signatures


(b) (i) Describe the chords marked A, B and C in the extract below as I, II, IV or V.

Also indicate whether the lowest note of the chord is the root (a), 3rd (b) or 5th (c).

The key is C minor. (6 points)

Describe the chords and indicate the root

Chord A: ..........Chord A

Chord B: ..........Chord B

Chord C: ..........Chord C


(ii) Rewrite the left-hand part of bar 2 (marked X) so that it sounds the same, but using the tenor C clef. Remember to put in the key signature. (3 points)

Add the time signatures


 Question 2

2. Describe fully each of the numbered melodic intervals (e.g. major 2nd). (10 points)


Describe fully the melodic intervals


A.................Interval A

B.................Interval B

C.................Interval C

D.................Interval D

E.................Interval E


 Question 3

3. The following melody is written for clarinet in A. Transpose it down a minor 3rd, as it will sound at concert pitch. Remember to put in the new key signature and add any necessary accidentals. (10 points)


Tranpose the melody down a minor third

Transposed melody



 Question 4

4. Look at this extract from a song, Mit dem Groenen Lautenbande, by Franz Schubert and then answer the questions that follow.

Mit dem Grunen Lautenbande by Schubert


(a) Give the meaning of:

i. Massig Massig (2 points)

ii. PauseMassig (2 points)

iii. repeat bars(bar 2) M?ssig (2 points)

iv. Triplet (bar 1) M?ssig (2 points)

v. Tie(bar 10 Left hand piano) M?ssig (2 points)




(i) Describe the time signature as:

Simple or compound: Simple or Compound? (1 point)

Duple, triple or quadruple: duple, triple or quadruple? (1 point)


(ii) Add the correct rests to the left-hand piano part to complete bar 2. (2 points)

Add the correct rests


(iii) Give the technical name (e.g. tonic, dominant) of the voice note in bar 5 marked X.

Remember that the key is B flat major. Technical name? (2 points)


(iv) Describe fully (e.g. major 2nd) the bracketed harmonic interval marked Y in the right-hand piano part of bar 7. Harmonic interval? (2 points)


(v) The dotted F in the left-hand piano part of bar 10 (marked Z) is worth How many demisemiquavers is it worth? demisemiquavers (thirty-second notes) in total. (2 points)



(i) This extract is from a song written for a tenor. Write the voices below in the correct order from lowest to highest. The first answer is given. (4 points)

Mezzo soprano - Bass - Alto - Baritone - Tenor - Soprano

Bass __________________Order of Voices


(ii) Name a standard orchestral instrument that normally uses the treble clef and state the family to which it belongs. (4 points)

Instrument __________ Family __________Instrument which uses the treble clef?


(iii) Now name the highest-sounding member of a different family of orchestral instruments. ______________ Now name the highest member of a different family (2 points)


 Question 5

5. (a) Using semibreves (whole notes), write one octave ascending of the melodic minor scale that has this key signature. Begin on the tonic and remember to include any additional sharp, flat or natural signs. (5 points)


Ascending scale


(b) Using semibreves (whole notes), write one octave descending of the major scale that begins on the given note. Do not use a key signature but put in all necessary sharp or flat signs. (5 points)


Descending scale


 Question 6


(a) Compose a complete melody for unaccompanied violin or oboe, using the given opening. Indicate the tempo and other performance directions, including any that might be particularly required for the instrument chosen. The complete melody should be eight bars long.

(15 points)


Instrument for which the melody is written: ...............



Blank manuscript

Blank manuscript



Compose a melody to the following words for a solo voice. Write each syllable under the note or notes to which it is to be sung. Also indicate the tempo and other performance directions as appropriate. (15 points)


Back comes the wind full strength

With a blow like an angel's wing,



Blank manuscript


Blank manuscript

(Answers will vary).


 Question 7

7. Suggest suitable progressions for two cadences in the following melody by indicating ONLY ONE chord (I, II, IV or V) at each of the places marked A-E. You do not have to indicate the position of the chords, or to state which note is in the bass. (10 points)


Show the chords:

EITHER (a) by writing I, II, etc. or any other recognized symbols on the dotted lines below;

(b) by writing notes on the staves.




Chord A ___________ answers

Chord B ___________ answers



Chord C ___________answers

Chord D ___________answers

Chord E ___________answers



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