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Virginia Music Teachers Association Theory Testing Program Syllabus (2012) Please note: Information for all levels is cumulative.


Academic year: 2021

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Virginia Music Teachers Association

Theory Testing Program Syllabus


Please note: Information for all levels is cumulative.

Primer Level

Note Names:!! the musical alphabet; names of keys on keyboard; line ! ! ! and space notes

Notation:! ! note/rest values (half note, quarter note, dotted quarter ! ! ! note, whole note, quarter rest, half rest, whole rest) Terms:! ! staff, treble clef, bass clef, piano (p), forte(f), repeat sign, ! ! ! ending bar, grand staff

Aural:! ! ! high and low sounds, loud and soft sounds, duration (short and ! ! ! long sounds), skips and steps, identification of short rhythmic ! ! ! patterns using half and quarter notes

Level IA

Note reading:! all notes on the staff

Notation:! ! whole, dotted half, half, quarter notes and rests; sharp, ! ! ! flat, and natural signs; time signatures for 2/4, 3/4, 4/4, C ! ! ! (common time); treble and bass clef, slur (over 2-3 notes), ! ! ! tie, phrase mark (over 4 or more notes), measure,

! ! ! measure bar, double bar, repeat bar, and ending bar Intervals:! ! second, third, fourth, and fifth---no quality

Pentachords:!! (five finger patterns)--major only on C,G, D, A, E, B, and F ! ! ! with tonic triad labeled on keyboard

Rhythm:! ! adding bar lines to 2/4, 3/4, 4/4, and 5/4 using only whole, ! ! ! dotted half, half, and quarter notes; pick-up (upbeat) ! ! ! notes; writing in counts for simple rhythms

New Terms:! ! forte, piano, accents, crescendo, decrescendo or ! ! ! diminuendo, ritardando, staccato, legato, allegro,


! ! ! flat, sharp, natural, bar line; upbeat (or pick-up notes), ! ! ! phrase mark

Level IB

Requirements the same as Level IA with the following exceptions:

Intervals:! ! identification (name) harmonic or melodic intervals, no writing ! ! ! requirement

Pentachords:!! write the notes on the staff

Analysis:! ! addition of identification of melodic and harmonic intervals; ! ! ! explanation of time signature. Examples will be slightly more ! ! ! difficult than Level IA

Level IIA

Reading:! ! ledger lines between staves and extending two lines above or ! ! ! below the staff

Notation:! ! signs for fermata, accent, eighth notes and rests

Intervals:! ! write and recognize all intervals--2nd through 8va (no quality); ! ! ! identification for harmonic and melodic; writing either type but only ! ! ! harmonic is required.

Pentachords:!! major and minor for C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C written on staff with tonic

! ! ! (I/i)

Rhythm:! ! write in bar lines and counts for simple rhythms. Students MUST ! ! ! remember to include the bar line at the end of the exercise. Eighth ! ! ! notes and rests included.

New Terms:! ! mezzo piano, mezzo forte, pianissimo, fortissimo, fermata, da capo ! ! ! al fine, presto, allegretto, a tempo, accent mark (>)

Aural:! ! ! major and minor triads, M2 and P4, M3 and P5, same or different ! ! ! melody and rhythm, half and whole steps

Analysis:! ! find triads, pentachords, explain time signature, find half steps, find ! ! ! similar phrases


Level IIB

Requirements the same as Level IIA with the following exceptions: Reading:! ! all ledger line notes above and below the staff Notation:! ! complete a grand staff

Intervals:! ! write both harmonic and melodic intervals Pentachords:!! major and minor, all keys

New terms:! ! andante and tonic Analysis:! ! list articulation

Level IIIA

Notation:! ! name all ledger line notes and correctly add stems Rhythm:! ! 6/8 and 4/4, dotted notes and triplets

Triads:! ! Major and minor on a given pitch, white notes only, know proper ! ! ! use of naturals

Scales:! ! name location of half steps in major scales (3-4 and 7-8), add ! ! ! accidentals and mark half steps on given white note major scales Intervals:! ! write major or perfect intervals above a given note, both harmonic ! ! ! and melodic, be able to write whole or half steps above a given

! ! ! note

Symbols/Terms:! know how many beats a note gets with a given key signature, ! ! ! whole measure rest, sforzando, adagio, dal segno

Key signatures:! identify major key signatures up to 5 sharps or 5 flats

Analysis:! ! understand difference between keynote, key signature, and key, ! ! ! identify triads by name and quality, identify intervals, compare note ! ! ! patterns in treble and bass clefs, articulation

Aural:! ! ! meter (3/4 and 4/4), major and perfect intervals by number and ! ! ! quality, same or different melodies, major or minor triads, add ! ! ! missing notes in rhythmic dictation


Level IIIB

Requirements the same as Level IIIA with the following exceptions: Key Signatures:! identification of ALL major key signatures Major Scales:! write all major scales; mark half steps

Triads: ! ! build all major/minor triads on given pitches; know the proper use of

! ! ! naturals

New Terms: ! ! same as IIIA

Aural:! ! ! identification of meter in musical examples using 3/4 and 4/4 OR ! ! ! 4/4 and 6/8

Analysis:! ! identification of all previous material in slightly more advanced

! ! ! pieces


Level IV

Notation:! ! sixteenth notes and rests, dotted eighth note/sixteenth pattern, ! ! ! double sharps and double flats

Scales:! ! write all white key major/minor scales; mark half-steps

Triads:! ! major, minor, diminished, and augmented in root position--all keys Intervals:! ! all major, minor and perfect (UP only) from given note

Key Signatures:! write all major key signatures; identify minor key signatures of all ! ! ! white-key minors

Rhythm:! ! understand use of triplets (marked with slur, bracket, or just a 3) in ! ! ! ALL note values, as well as dotted eighth/sixteenth note

! ! ! combination in exercises

New Terms:! ! leggiero, prestissimo, con, poco, meno, piu, molto, dolce, ! ! ! 0=diminished, +=augmented

Aural:! ! ! major and perfect intervals, major minor, diminished and

! ! ! augmented triads; rhythmic dictation (adding stems and beams to ! ! ! note heads); !melodic dictation (filling in missing notes for two to


! ! ! three measures); meter identification and major/minor mode from ! ! ! musical example

Analysis:! ! identification of key change (major only); identify major or minor ! ! ! scales and modulations; identify binary(AB) and ternary (ABA)

! ! ! forms

Level V

From this level upward, all chords must be identified whether this

identification is mentioned in the instructions or not.

Scales:! ! write all major/minor scales, including all forms of minor

Concepts:! ! relative minor; circles of fifths (MAJOR keys only); principal or ! ! ! primary triads; functional names of primary scale degrees (I, IV, V) Key Signatures:! identify and write all minor key signatures

Triads:! ! triads in inversion with figured bass (root, 6/3, 6/4)

New Terms:! ! senza, con pedale, simile, sempre, non troppo, animato, una corda, ! ! ! tre corde, mosso, moto, grazioso, subito, binary, ternary

Aural:! ! ! add simple rhythmic dictation, melodic dictation (filling in missing ! ! ! notes); identification of opening interval or chord in a musical ! ! ! example; identification of intervals and major/minor triads played ! ! ! blocked and broken

Analysis:! ! examples in major/minor mode; simple key changes; identification ! ! ! of chords with correct Roman numerals; forms include binary, ! ! ! ternary, and rounded binary

Level VI

Concept:! ! circle of fifths (minor keys); parallel (homotonic) minor Chromatic Scale:! write using sharps ascending and flats descending Scale Degrees:! functional names for secondary scale degrees Half Steps:! ! diatonic and chromatic


Scales:! ! identification of fragments

New Terms:! ! calando, morendo, smorzando, allargando, stringendo, diatonic, ! ! ! chromatic, lento, largo, enharmonic, tritone

Cadences:! ! write authentic cadences in piano style (root in bass and three ! ! ! notes in treble using proper voice leading)

Aural:! ! ! tritone included in listening for intervals; identification of major, ! ! ! minor, or chromatic scales within the context of a musical phrase Analysis:! ! chord identification, as indicated, using Roman numerals and ! ! ! figured bass; indicate primary (tonic/subdominant/dominant) or ! ! ! secondary triads; forms will include through composed, rondo, and ! ! ! theme and variations

Level VII

Modes:! ! write and identify untransposed Dorian, Phrygian, and Aeolian Scales:! ! building triads on scale degrees and label according to quality and ! ! ! function using proper roman numerals

Cadences: ! ! write plagal and half cadences in piano style using proper voice

! ! ! leading

Intervals:! ! diminished and augmented primes, fourths, fifths, and octaves Rhythm:! ! identify simple, compound, duple, triple, and quadruple meter New Terms:! ! tranquillo, marcato, agitato, pesante, con brio, con dolore, ! ! ! cantando, cantabile, assai, maestoso, grave, coda, rondo Aural:! ! ! recognition of plagal and authentic cadences, inverted triads in ! ! ! broken form (quality only); identification of consecutive intervals Analysis:! ! chords in all positions with roots circles; name chords and

! ! ! inversions with Roman numerals in short musical example. Chords ! ! ! with only two notes should be implied as a triad with one note ! ! ! missing. Analyze form of a piece (see previous levels for which ! ! ! are required); identify enharmonic chords and/or intervals


Level VIII

Modes:! ! write and identify untransposed Lydian, Mixolydian, Ionian, and

! ! ! Locrian

Cadences:! ! write extended authentic cadences in all major/harmonic minor ! ! ! keys in piano style

Triads:! ! identify in open harmony by quality and inversion

Rhythm:! ! including asymmetrical meter; also sixty-fourth notes and rests New Terms:! ! secco, sotto, perdendosi, piacere, affetuoso, tempo guisto, a, e, ! ! ! comodo, mesto, poi

Aural:! ! ! quality identification of triads in inversion played in broken and ! ! ! blocked form--extra credit for correct figured bass; cadences for ! ! ! identification taken from piano literature; intervals played up or ! ! ! down from given notes

Analysis:! ! slightly more advanced examples based on previous material

Level IX

Scales:! ! whole tone and pentatonic Modes:! ! all modes in transposition

Chords:! ! seventh chords: major-minor, major, minor, half-diminished, and ! ! ! fully-diminished in root position

Intervals:! ! down from given notes Cadences:! ! perfect plagal and authentic

Triads:! ! identify and write in open harmony Rhythm:! ! all note values in examples

New Terms:! ! mano destra, main droite (m.d.), main gauche (m.g.), mano sinistra ! ! ! (m.s.), slentando, pochissimo, ben, rubato, lusingando, L’istesso, ! ! ! très leger, toujour, retenu, lent, vif, vite, cédez, a duo pedale, au ! ! ! movement, sec, sequence, passing tone, upper and lower neighbor


Aural:! ! ! identification of pentatonic, whole tone, and chromatic scales; ! ! ! identification of rhythmic and notation errors in a short piano piece Analysis:! ! Terms will be included for identification in a piece of literature that is ! ! ! to be analyzed. Also included will be a short example in open ! ! ! harmony to analyze involving primary and secondary triads.

Level X

Chords:! ! major-major, dominant, minor, and half and fully diminished seventh

! ! ! chords

Inversions:! ! write and identify seventh chords with figured bass Cadences:! ! write deceptive cadence

New Terms:! ! en animant, très expressif, éclat, un peu moins vite, suspension, ! ! ! motive, polyphonic, homophonic, turn, mordent, trill (tr), grace note; ! ! ! appoggiatura

Aural:! ! ! identify modal scales; triads in blocked form ONLY, major-minor, ! ! ! minor, and fully diminished sevenths in broken form;

! ! ! sequence/imitation; major, minor, diminished, and augmented ! ! ! chords played in blocked form only

Analysis:! ! chord identification includes dominant seventh by quality and ! ! ! figured bass; identification of application of new terms

Level XI

Chords:! ! common chord modulation

Cadences:! ! using secondary triad---I IV V ii6 I6/4 V7 I Rhythm:! ! syncopation, hemiola, alternating meter

New Terms:! ! schnell, lebhaft, gesangoll, innig, mit empfindsamkeit, geschwind, ! ! ! langsam, tremolo

Form:! ! ! sonata allegro (exposition, development, recapitulation)

Aural:! ! ! recognition of all seventh chords in broken form; cadences from ! ! ! piano literature--plagal, authentic, extended authentic, and


Analysis:! ! basic structure of sonata allegro form including themes in ! ! ! exposition in addition to harmonic analysis

Level XII

Clefs:! ! ! individual notes to identify in C clefs

Melody:! ! write a simple melody in inversion, augmentation, and diminution Aural:! ! ! recognition of accumulated information from all previous levels Analysis:! ! opportunity to demonstrate accumulated knowledge


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