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

join for free

This site is written by

victoria Williams Music Theory

Victoria Williams

LmusTCL BA Mus (Hons) MISM

Learn more...

book cover notes


We have 3362 guests and 2 members online

Video Courses by MyMusicTheory

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

Get the MyMusicTheory Course Book
Next UK ABRSM theory exams:
To be confirmed
While you're waiting - Sign up for a Course Today!

All lessons/courses are up-to-date for the 2020 ABRSM exams (2018+ Syllabus)

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

bs2Download this Grade 2 Music Theory Course or get the Printed Book Version

Buy Grade 2 Theory Past Papers

Grade 2 Revision Tests


18. Handwriting Music

Grade 2 Music Theory - Lesson 18: Handwriting Music

Suitable for:  ABRSM Grade 2   GCSE   AP Music Theory Beginners 


Copying Out Music (ABRSM only)

Just like in the grade one ABRSM music theory exam, the final question in the paper is to copy out a section of music exactly as it is written. 

There are ten points available for this question, which seems quite an easy ten points on the face of it, but you really must be very careful to copy out everything neatly. 


Remember to copy out everything, including the markings for tempo, dynamics and expression. Go back and double check that you haven't forgotten anything, and then check again!

Try to copy every aspect of the music as it is written - make the notes the same size as the original, the stems the same length, the beams the same angle, the notes the same distance apart from each other and the bar lines in the same places (not closer to/further away from any notes).


Common Mistakes

Here are some very common mistakes that students make when copying out music - make sure you don't make them!

  • Don't forget to put the bar line at the end of the extract.
  • The first note of each bar is always the same distance (about 1/2 a centimetre) from the barline on its left.
  • Accidentals are written on the left hand side of the note head, in the line/space of the note they affect.
  • Try to keep the same distance between the notes as you see in the original.
  • Make sure the note stems are pointing in the right direction.
  • Black note-heads must be a good solid colour - make sure you can see no white space at all inside the notehead.
  • Don't make the note heads too big.
  • Don't forget ties!
  • Read the question very carefully - make sure you copy out the right bars!
  • Ledger lines are an extension of the stave and should be the same height apart, and slightly wider than the note heads. In this example, the B ledger line is too high, and the A ledger line is not wide enough!



now on amazon topbanner normalamazon logo