Here, you’ll find the answers and step-by-step explanation for Music Theory Sample Papers, ABRSM Grade 1 Paper B.
Table of contents for Music Theory Sample Papers, ABRSM Grade 1 Paper B
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Section 1: Rhythm
Question 1.1: Time Signature
In this section, students are expected to determine the time signature for a given bar of music.
Question 1.1 (a)
The time signature is 4/4 time, which is also:
Question 1.1 (b)
The time signature is 3/4 time:
Question 1.1 (c)
The time signature is 2/4 time:
In this section, students are expected to draw a bar line for a given piece of music.
a. How many semiquavers are there in a minim?
b. How many crotchets are there in a semibreve?
In 4/4 time, we either group the notes one crotchet beat by one crotchet beat, or group the first 2 crotchet beats together, then the 3rd and 4th crotchet beats together.
However, once you have a semiquaver, group the notes one crotchet beat by one crotchet beat.
Hence, the correct way of grouping the notes is the 3rd option:
First box is correct.
Second box is correct.
Third box is incorrect. It should be a quaver rest (instead of a semiquaver rest).
If a crotchet has a note value of 1, then
- a semibreve will have a note value of 4,
- a dotted minim will have a note value of 3,
- a quaver will have a note value of 1/2
- a semiquaver will have a note value of 1/4
Arranging the notes from shortest to longest note value, we have:
semiquaver, quaver, dotted minim, Semibreve
Section 2: Pitch
In this question, you are asked what the notes are. Apart from knowing the notes on the music stave, students are also required to indicate any accidentals ( either from key signature or explicitly written beside the note)
c. B flat
In this question, you are asked to determine which is the higher note of the 2. For such a question, remember that for the same note, sharp is the highest, followed by natural, then flat.
Here’s the answer for question 2.2.
a. A natural is higher ( than A flat)
b. G# is higher (than G natural)
c. E natural is higher ( than E flat)
d. C# is higher ( than C natural)
In this question, you are required to determine the clef to get the note stated.
Here’s the answer for question 2.3
a. Treble clef
b. Treble clef
c. Bass clef
d. Bass clef
Section 3: Keys and Scales
Here’s the key signature of D Major in bass clef:
Here’s the key signature of G Major in treble clef:
Here, we are required to tick 3 boxes where accidentals are needed to form a melody in D Major.
As D Major has both F# and C#, we look for C and F in the melody. These are the notes that will require accidentals.
A tick should be placed here:
- Bar 1 second note
- Bar 2 second note
- Bar 3 first note
Given C Major descending scale, we are asked to find 2 pairs of notes that are a semitone apart.
The 2 pairs of notes that are a semitone apart are:
- C to B
- F to E
Question 3.5 are true/ false questions on keys and scales.
Here’s the answer:
In question 3.6, you are given 3 scales ( either asecending or descending), and you are required to determine which one is the correctly written one.
This question is on F Major ascending scale.
The given scale starts and ends with F – so option 2 is out.
F Major has B flat. Hence, the first option is a correctly written scale.
In question 3.7, you are asked whether a given scale is correctly written.
In this question, you are asked whether the scale written is G Major descending. As G Major has F#, this given scale written has B flat ( instead of F#), hence it is not a correctly written G Major descending scale.
In this question you are asked to find 2 notes which are the incorrectly written in the scale.
For this question, you are given D Major ascending scale. D Major has F# and C#. Looking at the given scale, there shouldn’t be a sharp on B, instead a sharp should be written on F. Hence, a cross should be placed at F (2nd box from the left) and B# (5th box from the left, or 3rd box from the right).
Section 4: Intervals
Question 4.1 Intervals
a. To form a 6th, B should be written
b. To form a 2nd, E should be written
c. To form a 4th, G should be written
d. To form a 8th/8ve, D should be written
e. To form a 5th, A should be written
In this question, students are asked to select the correct interval for each pair of notes.
Here’s the answer:
Section 5: Tonic Triads
Question 5.1 is a true/ false question. You will be given a chord and asked whether it is the tonic triad for a given key.
Here’s the answer:
In question 5.2, you are required to add an additional note to complete the tonic triad.
Here’s the answer:
In question 5.3, a tonic triad is treble or base clef is written, and students need to determine that is a tonic triad of which key.
Here’s the answer for question 5.3:
a. F Major
b. D Major
c. C Major
d. G Major
Section 6: Terms and Signs
This question is on terms and signs.
Here’s the answers:
in a singing style
gradually getting louder
accent the note
Section 7: Music in Context
Reason: There is a sign 𝆓 which indicates gradually getting softer. Hence, melody is gradually getting softer.
7.2 Bar 1
Tonic triad of F Major is made up of F, A and C. Bar 1 is made up of the notes C, A and F which contain the 3 notes, F, A and C needed to make the tonic triad of F Major
a. Answer: minim
Reason: Among dotted crotchet, semiquaver, crotchet and minim, the one with the longest note value is the minim, followed by dotted crotchet, then crotchet and then the semiquaver (which has the shortest note value).
A minim could be found in bar 8 of the melody. Hence, the longest note value in this piece of melody is the minim.
b. Bar 5