AP Music Theory
About the Exam
Exam Day 2017
The exam is about 2 hours and 40 minutes long and has two sections — multiple choice and free-response.
Section I: Multiple Choice | 75 Questions | ~1 hour and 20 minutes | 45% of Exam Score
There are two types of multiple choice questions on the exam:
- Questions based on aural stimulus test your listening skill and knowledge about theory largely in the context of examples from actual musical scores. Some questions will cover aural skills, including melodic dictation and identification of isolated pitch and rhythmic patterns, while others may test your skill in score analysis.
- Questions based on analysis of printed music scores emphasize knowledge of score analysis, including small-scale and large-scale harmonic procedures; melodic organization and developmental procedures; rhythmic/metric organization; texture; and formal devices and/or procedures. You may also see questions about musical terminology, notational skills, and basic compositional skills.
Section II: Free-Response | 7 written questions and 2 sight-singing exercises | ~1 hour and 20 minutes | 55% of Exam Score
- Written Portion: ~1 hour and 10 minutes
- 4 questions on dictation
- 2 questions on part-writing
- 1 question on composition of a bass line
- Sight-Singing Portion: ~10 minutes
- Sing and record two brief, primarily diatonic melodies (of about four to eight bars)
- You will have 75 seconds to examine and practice each melody and 30 seconds to perform it.
- You may sing the melody beginning with the given starting pitch or another pitch in a range that is more comfortable.