Are you a music enthusiast looking to take your knowledge to the next level? If so, the AP Music Theory Exam may be just the challenge you need.

But what exactly is on this exam? Let’s take a closer look.

The Format

The AP Music Theory Exam is divided into two sections: multiple-choice and free-response. The multiple-choice section consists of 75 questions, while the free-response section has both written and aural components. You’ll have three hours to complete the entire exam.

Content Covered

The topics covered on the exam can be broken down into four main categories:

1. Basic Rudiments

This section includes questions related to music notation, rhythm, key signatures, and scales. You’ll need to be comfortable identifying and notating intervals, chords, and cadences.

2. Part-Writing

Part-writing involves understanding how different voices (such as soprano, alto, tenor, and bass) interact with each other in a musical composition. You’ll need to be able to analyze and identify chord progressions, voice-leading errors, and harmonic structure.

3. Musical Forms

This section covers topics such as binary form, ternary form, theme and variation form, rondo form, sonata form, and fugue. You’ll need to understand how these forms are structured and be able to identify them in musical examples.

4. Aural Skills

The aural skills portion of the exam involves listening to musical examples and identifying various elements such as intervals, chords, melodies, rhythms, textures (such as homophonic or polyphonic), and forms.

Preparing for the Exam

To prepare for the AP Music Theory Exam, it’s important to have a solid foundation in music theory. This can be achieved through self-study, online courses, or formal classes at a school or music academy. It’s also important to practice your aural skills by listening to and analyzing various musical examples.


Some helpful resources for preparing for the exam include:

In Conclusion

The AP Music Theory Exam is a challenging but rewarding way to demonstrate your knowledge of music theory. By understanding the content covered on the exam and utilizing resources for preparation, you can increase your chances of success. Good luck!