Join over 19,000 others and become a member of - it's free!

join for free

6th Sep 2023: Quizzes fixed, thanks for your patience.

This site is written by

victoria Williams Music Theory

Victoria Williams

LmusTCL BA Mus (Hons) MISM

Learn more...

book cover notes


We have 2949 guests and 6 members online

Please note: this website is not run by the ABRSM and is a completely independent business.

Get the MyMusicTheory Course Book
Next UK ABRSM Paper-based Theory Exams Grades 6-8:
Sat 17th June 2023 [Grades 1-5 now available online on demand]
Next UK Trinity Paper-based Theory Exams Grades 1-8 & diplomas:
from Sat 4th Nov 2023

Browse by Music Grade: Grade 1 | Grade 2 | Grade 3 | Grade 4 | Grade 5 | Grade 6 | Grade 7 | Grade 8 | DiplomasWhat Grade am I?

grade 5 music theoryDownload this Grade 5 Music Theory Course or buy the Printed Book Version

Buy Grade 5 Theory Past Papers

Get some help!

16. Practice Exam (Old style)

Lesson 16: Grade Five Theory Practice Exam (Updated for the 2018 Syllabus) (Paper Exam style)

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

If you will be taking the new-style online theory exam, please go to the next page for an online style test!


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 the PDF 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



i. Select the correct meaning of: Massig Massig (2 points)

1. At a moderate speed    2. Smoothly    3. With movement   4. Stately


ii. Explain this symbol: 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

Look at the following score which is from a piano sonata by Haydn, and answer the questions.

test score 1

grade 5 music theory test score 2

grade 5 music theory test score 3

test score 4

a) This piece is in A major. Which other key uses the same key signature? Technical name?  (2 points)

b) Name the harmonic interval in bar 11 box A. Technical name?  (2 points)

c) Give the letter name of the highest sounding note in this extract. Technical name?  (1 point)

d) Explain the symbol marked B in bar 3. Technical name?  (2 points)

e) In which bar can you find a complete one octave descending major scale, starting and ending on the tonic note? Technical name?  (2 points)

f) Name the ornament marked C in bar 16. Technical name?  (2 points)

g) Give the Roman numeral chord name and inversion (e.g. IVb) of the two chords marked D and E in bar 15. Technical name?  (2 points) (a=root position, b=1st inversion, c=2nd inversion).

h) Choose the correct meaning of cantabileTechnical name?  (2 points)
1. With feeling    2. In a singing style   3. Sadly   4. Slowly 


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



now on amazon topbanner normalamazon logo