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Grade 6 Course

Next UK ABRSM theory exams
Saturday 16th June

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Practice Test

Grade Six Music Theory - Practice Test

Time limit: 3 hours

Total points available: 100

Pass: 66/100

Merit: 80/100

Distinction: 90/100

If you would like to mark any of your answers, please email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 Hover your mouse slowly over the lightbulbs or staves to reveal the answers (tap on mobile devices).


1. Harmonisation

Answer one section only – (a) or (b). [15]


a) Write one chord at each of the places marked *, to harmonise this melody. Use Roman numerals or any other recognized method of notation between the staves, OR write notes on the staves, but only use one of these methods.



Complete the bass line and add a figured bass as indicated, from the first beat of bar 3 at the places marked with an asterisk. Leave the space under the asterisk blank for 5-3 chords unless they are part of a 6-4 5-3 progression, or if chromatic alteration is needed.

figured bass line dm

2. Figured Bass

Realize this figured bass for soprano, alto, tenor and bass. [15]




3. Composition [20]


(a) Write a composition for unaccompanied clarinet beginning with the given opening. The whole melody should be 8-10 bars in length, and must finish on a modulation to the relative minor. Add performance directions. Write the complete melody out below.




Click to play the example answer



(b) Continue this opening for unaccompanied cello, to make a complete piece at least eight bars long. You can modulate if you want to. Don't forget performance directions, and write out the whole melody on the staves below.



Click to play the example answer


4. Score I

Look at this orchestral extract and then answer the questions below. [25]



a. What does "pp sempre e sotto voce" mean? [2] answer

b. What does "div." mean? [2] answer

c. Fully describe the two chords marked * in bars 2 and 6. Give the position (inversion), say whether it is major, minor, augmented or diminished, and state the prevailing key for each chord. [8]

Bar 2: answer Key: answer
Bar 6: answer Key: answer

d. Find a cadential 6-4 in the score. Circle and mark the bass line notes where this occurs with a capital A. [2] cadential-6-4-q

e. Find a melodic interval of a diminished 3rd in the viola part. Circle the notes and mark with a capital B. [2]

f. Fully describe the harmonic interval between the viola and cello which is boxed in bar 6. [2] answer

g. Write out the horn parts of bars 4-5 at concert pitch, using the given clef. Don't use a key signature. [3] 

h. Which of these is the most likely composer of this piece – Handel, Brahms, Debussy or Bach? [1] answer

i. Write out the ornament in the violin I part of bar 1 as it should be played. [3]

5. Score II

Look at the following extract, which is taken from the first movement of Weber's Clarinet Quintet, then answer the questions below. [25]




a. Give the complete names of the circled melodic decoration in bar 19.
A:  [2] answer
B:  [2] answer
b. Fully describe (including inversion) the chords marked C (bar 3) and D (bar 28) and state the prevailing key.
C: answer  Key:answer [4]
D: answer  Key: answer [4]
c. Write out the first four notes of the clarinet part (from bar 12) as they would sound at concert pitch. Include the new key signature. [2]


d. Fully describe the melodic interval marked F in the viola part, bars 28-29. [2] answer
e. Find and mark in the score with a capital E a place where the second violin plays with triple stopping. [2]

f. Name a standard orchestral instrument from the string family which is not playing in this piece. [1] answer
g. True or false: The viola and cello never play in unison in this extract. [2] answer
h. True or false: The cello is playing pizzicato from bar 16 until bar 23. [2] answer 
i. True or false: This piece is contrapuntal in style. [2] answer 


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