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Important

Digital Audio Submission
All student responses for Music Theory Exams must be submitted through the DAS portal in 2019 to be scored. Visit Submitting Audio for more information about the DAS portal.

Digital Audio Capture (DAC) App
The Digital Audio Capture (DAC) app is an additional recording option available for the AP French, German, Italian, and Spanish Language and Culture Exams. The 2019 version of the DAC app for use on Apple iPad tablets will be available for download in the spring. Schools that use the DAC app must use the 2019 version of the app. (Files recorded using previous versions of the DAC app will not be accepted by the DAS portal.)

  • Event
    • Fri, May 17, 2019

    AP Music Theory Exam Day 2019

    • 8 a.m. | 2 hrs 40 mins

Exam Overview

The AP Music Theory Exam evaluates students' understanding of musical structure and compositional procedures through recorded and notated examples. Listening skills are emphasized, particularly those involving recognition and comprehension of melodic and rhythmic patterns, harmonic functions, small forms, and compositional techniques. Most of the musical examples are from standard repertoire; some examples of contemporary, jazz, vernacular music, or music beyond the Western tradition are included.

The exam requires fluency in reading musical notation and a strong grounding in music fundamentals, terminology, and analysis.

Encourage your students to visit the AP Music Theory student page for exam information and exam practice.

Exam Format

Section I

Multiple Choice — 75 Questions | ~1 Hour, 20 Minutes | 45% of Exam Score

  • Questions based on recorded excerpts of music
  • Questions based on analysis of printed music scores

Section II

Free Response — 9 Exercises | ~1 Hour, 20 Minutes | 55% of Exam Score

  • Melodic and harmonic dictation
  • Part writing from Roman numerals and figured bass
  • Composition of a bass line/harmonization of a melody
  • Sight singing

Exam Questions and Scoring Information

For free-response questions from prior exams, along with scoring information, check out the tables below.

Be sure to review the Chief Reader Report. In this invaluable resource, the Chief Reader of the AP Exam compiles feedback from members of the reading leadership to describe how students performed on the FRQs, summarize typical student errors, and address specific concepts and content with which students have struggled the most that year.

 
1999: Free-Response Questions
Questions Scoring Samples

Theory Questions

Theory Scoring Guidelines

 
 

Sight-Singing Scoring Guidelines

 

Exam Resources