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victoria Williams Music Theory

Victoria Williams

LmusTCL BA Mus (Hons) MISM

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bs3Download this Grade 3 Music Theory Course or buy the Printed Book Version

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1. New for Grade Three

Grade Three Music Theory - Lesson 1: What's New in Grade Three 

Suitable for:  ABRSM Grade 3   Trinity Grade 3   GCSE   AP Music Theory Beginners 


Welcome to the Grade Three Music Theory Course!

Grade three is a gentle step up from grade two – but you do need to know all the material on the syllabuses for grades 1 and 2 in order to begin grade 3.

The things you need to know already are:

  • Notes and rests from the semibreve (whole note) to the semiquaver (16th note)
  • Bass clef and treble clef
  • Time signatures 2/4, 3/4, 4/4, 2/2, 3/2, 4/2* and 3/8
  • Major scales and key signatures in C, G, D*, A*, F, Bb* and Eb**
  • Minor scales (harmonic, melodic* and natural**) and key signatures in A, E and D
  • The degrees of the scale
  • Tonic triads (e.g. the chord of C-E-G in C major)
  • Interval numbers (e.g. 2nd, 3rd)

* ABRSM only, **Trinity only


ABRSM and Trinity Grade 3

In ABRSM grade three music theory, you’ll extend your knowledge of the keys, to include all keys with up to four sharps or flats. This means you’ll be learning 8 new keys:

  • E major
  • Ab major
  • B minor
  • G minor
  • F# minor
  • C minor
  • C# minor
  • F minor

For Trinity candidates, the new keys/scales at grade 3 are:

  • Bb major
  • D major
  • B minor
  • G minor

For both boards, you’ll also learn three new time signatures:

  • 6/8
  • 9/8
  • 12/8

 You’ll learn some new foreign terms and symbols, how to transpose music into a new clef, how to describe intervals in more detail, and more about triads.

Are you ready? Let’s get started with grade three music theory!


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