Optional: Take the online course under the guidance of qualified online tutors.
Our online tutors help you pass the examination with excellent results. See how to get started with our online courses.
Theory of Music Grade 1 Certificate Course. Suitability:
Unisa, Trinity Guild Hall, ABRSM (Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music). Watch a sample video on how our certificate courses work.
Theory Revision Classes are for those learners who have completed the Grade 1 course with a local teacher and need revision classes to achieve a distinction.
With our revision courses, there is no need to buy the Online Course. Rather buy your revision classes in single or consecutive lessons.
Grade 1 Theory of Music
Grade 1 Theory of Music Sylabus
1 Note values of semibreve, minim, crotchet, quaver and semiquaver, and their equivalent rests (candidates may use the terms ‘whole note’, ‘half note’, etc.). Tied notes. Single-dotted notes and rests.
2 Simple time signatures of two four, three four and four four. Bar-lines and the grouping of the notes listed above within these times. Composition of a two-bar rhythm in answer to a given rhythm starting on the first beat of a bar.
3 The stave. Treble (G) and bass (F) clefs. Names of notes on the stave, including middle C in both clefs. Sharp, flat and natural signs, and their cancellation.
4 Construction of the major scale, including the position of the tones and semitones. Scales and key signatures of the major keys of C, G, D and F in both clefs, with their tonic triads (root position), degrees (number only), and intervals above the tonic (by number only).
Grade 1 Music Terms and Signs fo the Theory of Music Examinations.
Suitable for the ABRSM, Trinity Guild Hall, Unisa and Rock School examinations.
The list below are the required terms that will be included in the Grade 1 examination paper. The signs below will be included and learners will be required to describe each music symbol /sign.
Music Terms and Signs Grade 1 – used in the Theory Examination
Download a Complete PDF document of these music terms and signs
How the Slur is written in music notation. The slur connects the sounds or pitches of two different notes and requests that the performer plays them smoothly or connectedly.
The Tie joins two notes with the same pitch. The example below demonstrates the use of the tie in a piece of music.
Fermata / Pause
The fermata sign may be written above or below a note head. It instructs the performer to pause on the note within the context of the piece of music. The note will be longer in duration than its neighbouring notes in the bar of music. In the figure below, the performer is required to pause on the last note of the bar. The last note of the bar is a dotted minim or dotted half note and has a value of three beats. The, pause, sign implies that the note will be held longer than three beats.
The Repeat Sign In Music Notation
How to use the repeat signs in music notation.
The second repeat sign in the example tells the performer to repeat the piece of music from the first repeat sign. If the first repeat sign is not present, repeat from the beginning of the piece. This will often be followed ‘first ending’ and ‘second ending’ of a part.
Staccato Sign In Music Notation
Staccato dots may be placed above or below the note head. The affected notes are played disconnectedly.
Metronome markings or Metronome Indications
The metronome indication in the illustration below, prescribes a tempo of: sixty crochet beats per minute.
Crescendo, Decrescendo and Diminuendo - their usage in Music Notation
Crescendo: gradually getting louder
Decrescendo: gradually getting softer
Diminuendo: gradually getting softer
The Accent Sign
The accent symbol is placed over the note head or below it. The accent symbol means that the performer will play the note louder and ensure that it is more pronounced than the other notes without the accent symbol.
The Octave Symbol - 8va
The octave symbol, 8va, when placed above the staff, the performer will play the indicated part, an octave higher than written.
The Octave Symbol - 8vb
The octave symbol, 8vb, 8va, or just 8 under the staff requires that the piec is played one octavel lower than written
Grade 1 Theory of Music - Terms & Signs
Table of Grade 1 Italian terms and signs followed by their English meaning.
Suitable for Unisa, Trinity College and ABRSM Grade 1 theory of music examinations.
gradually getting quicker - refers to tempo or speed
at a medium or walking speed or pace
singingly or in a singing style
gradually getting louder
repeat fromt he beginning of the piece
repeat from the sign
gradually getting quieter or softer
gradually getting quieter of softer
smoothly or connectedly
moderately loud / half loud
moderately soft / half quiet
soft or quiet
gradually getting slower
gradually getting slower
tempo refers to speed, e.g. a tempo means, in time
octave - depending on its placement on the staff, It will be used to indicate a section that must be played an octave lower or higher than actually written.