Here, you’ll find the answers, and explanations to the questions in Music Theory Sample Papers, ABRSM Grade 1 Paper C
Table of contents for Music Theory Sample Papers, ABRSM Grade 1 Paper C
Click on the question below to go directly to it explanation.
Section 1: Rhythm ABRSM Grade 1 Music Theory Exam
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 2/4 time.
Question 1.1 (b)
The time signature is 3/4 time:
Question 1.1 (c)
The time signature is 4/4 time or
In this section, students are expected to draw a bar line for a given piece of music.
a. How many minims are there in a semibreve?
b. How many semiquavers are there in a crotchet?
In 2/4 time, we group the notes one crotchet beat by one crotchet beat whenever semiquaver(s) are involved.
Hence, the correct way of grouping the notes is the 2nd option:
First box is incorrect. It should be a crotchet rest instead of a quaver rest.
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 minim will have a note value of 2,
- a quaver will have a note value of 1/2
- a semiquaver will have a note value of 1/4
Arranging the notes from longest to shortest note value, we have:
minim, crotchet, quaver, semiquaver
Section 2: Pitch ABRSM Grade 1 Music Theory Exam
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)
d. B flat
In this question, you are asked to determine which is the lower note of the 2. For such a question, remember that for the same note, flat is the lowest, followed by natural, then sharp.
Here’s the answer for question 2.2.
a. C natural is lower ( than C#)
b. B flat is lower (than B)
c. G natural is lower ( than G#)
d. E flat is lower ( than E 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. Bass clef
b. Bass clef
c. Bass clef
d. treble clef
Section 3: Keys and Scales ABRSM Grade 1 Music Theory Exam
Here’s the key signature of G Major in bass clef:
Here’s the key signature of D Major in treble clef:
Here, we are required to tick 3 boxes where accidentals are needed to form a melody in F Major.
As F Major has B flat, we look for B in the melody. These are the notes that will require accidentals.
A tick should be placed here:
- Bar 2 first note
- Bar 3 first note
- Bar 4 first note
Given G 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:
- G to F#
- C to B
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 D Major descending scale.
The given scale starts and ends with D – so option 1 and 2 are out. We are left with option 3.
D Major has C# and F#, which is what is shown for option 3. Hence, the option 3 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 C Major descending. As C Major has no sharps of flats in its key signature, hence it is a correctly written C 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 G Major ascending scale. G Major has F#. Looking at the given scale, there shouldn’t be a sharp on D, instead a sharp should be written on F. Hence, a cross should be placed at D# (4th box from the left) and F (6th box from the left, or 2nd box from the right).
Section 4: Intervals ABRSM Grade 1 Music Theory Exam
Question 4.1 Intervals
In this question, students are asked to select the correct interval for each pair of notes.
Here’s the answer:
d. 8th/ 8ve
Section 5: Tonic Triads ABRSM Grade 1 Music Theory Exam
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. G Major
b. C Major
c. D Major
d. F Major
Section 6: Terms and Signs ABRSM Grade 1 Music Theory Exam
This question is on terms and signs.
Here’s the answers:
gradually getting slower
gradually getting quieter
D.C (da capo)
repeat from the beginning
Section 7: Music in Context ABRSM Grade 1 Music Theory Exam
Reason: There is a sign 𝆒 at bar 7 which extends to the end of the melody. This sign means gradually getting louder. Hence, melody is gradually getting louder.
7.2 Bar 6
Tonic triad of C Major is made up of C, E and G. Bar 6 is made up of the notes G, F, E, D and C which contain the 3 notes, C, E and G needed to make the tonic triad of C Major
a. Answer: dotted minim
Reason: Among minim, crotchet, quaver and dotted minim, the one with the longest note value is the dotted minim, followed by minim, then crotchet and then the quaver (which has the shortest note value).
A dotted minim could be found in bar 8 of the melody. Hence, the longest note value in this piece of melody is the dotted minim.
b. Bar 2