Are you considering taking the Music Theory AP exam? One of the questions you may have is how long the exam actually is.
The Music Theory AP exam consists of two parts: multiple-choice and free-response. Let’s take a closer look at each section and their respective time limits.
The Multiple-Choice Section
The multiple-choice section of the Music Theory AP exam is 90 minutes long. During this time, you will be asked to answer 75 questions, which cover a range of topics from basic music notation to advanced harmony. The questions are divided into two subsections, with a short break in between.
Subsection I: Listening
The first subsection of the multiple-choice section is dedicated to listening. In this section, you will listen to recorded musical excerpts and answer questions about their structure, tonality, rhythm, melody, harmony, and form.
You will be given headphones and a computer screen where you can follow along with the score as you listen. This subsection lasts for approximately 40 minutes and consists of 45 questions.
Subsection II: Non-Listening
The second subsection of the multiple-choice section does not involve listening. Instead, you will be asked to read musical notation and identify key signatures, intervals, chord progressions, and other elements of music theory. This subsection lasts for approximately 50 minutes and consists of 30 questions.
The Free-Response Section
The free-response section of the Music Theory AP exam is also 90 minutes long. During this time, you will be asked to complete four tasks that test your ability to analyze music from various perspectives.
Task 1: Part-Writing
In the first task, you will be given a melody line and asked to write a four-part harmony that follows certain guidelines (such as avoiding parallel fifths and octaves). You will have 25 minutes to complete this task.
Task 2: Roman Numeral Analysis
In the second task, you will be given a short musical excerpt and asked to analyze it using Roman numerals. You will also need to identify cadences, phrase structure, and other elements of music theory. You will have 35 minutes to complete this task.
Task 3: Musical Dictation
In the third task, you will be played a short musical excerpt and asked to transcribe it onto staff paper. You will need to notate the melody, harmony, rhythm, and other musical elements accurately. You will have 15 minutes to complete this task.
Task 4: Composition or Harmonization
In the fourth task, you will be given a prompt that asks you to either compose a short melody using specific guidelines or harmonize an existing melody using four-part harmony. You will have 30 minutes to complete this task.
Overall, the Music Theory AP exam is four hours long (including breaks) and consists of two sections: multiple-choice (90 minutes) and free-response (90 minutes). The exam tests your knowledge of music theory from basic concepts like notation and rhythm to advanced topics like harmony and form. With proper preparation, you can succeed on this challenging but rewarding exam!