If you’re considering taking AP Music Theory, there are a few things you should know before getting started. This advanced course is designed to provide students with a deep understanding of music theory and prepare them for college-level coursework. Here’s what you need to know:


Before enrolling in AP Music Theory, you should have a solid foundation in basic music theory concepts. This includes understanding the staff, clefs, note values, time signatures, key signatures, and basic scales and chords. You should also have some proficiency in playing an instrument or singing.

The Curriculum

The AP Music Theory curriculum covers a wide range of topics in detail. You’ll learn about harmony and voice leading, counterpoint, chord progressions, cadences, musical forms and structures, and more. The course also includes ear training exercises to help you develop your ability to recognize musical intervals and chords by ear.


In addition to attending lectures and participating in class discussions, you’ll be expected to complete regular assignments and projects. This may include composing your own music using the concepts you’ve learned in class or analyzing existing pieces of music.

Exam Format

The AP Music Theory exam consists of two sections: multiple-choice questions and free-response questions. The multiple-choice section tests your knowledge of basic music theory concepts such as notation, scales, intervals, chords, rhythm and meter. The free-response section requires you to demonstrate your ability to apply these concepts by completing tasks such as composing a melody or harmonizing a given melody.

Benefits of Taking AP Music Theory

Taking AP Music Theory can be highly beneficial for those who plan on pursuing a career in music or studying music at the college level. It can also help improve your overall musicianship by deepening your understanding of how music works.

Final Thoughts

AP Music Theory is a challenging course that requires a strong foundation in basic music theory concepts. However, if you’re willing to put in the time and effort, it can be highly rewarding. By the end of the course, you’ll have a deep understanding of how music works and be well-prepared for college-level coursework in music theory.