Enter for your Popular Music Theory exam in four quick steps

The next deadline is 1 May

Popular Music Theory Grade 1

Popular Music Theory Grade 1 will develop your music-notation skills, help you identify intervals, familiarise you with other instruments and take a look at time signatures – then you'll put your knowledge to the test in your exam.

Key Skills at Grade 1

What you'll learn at Grade 1:

  • Basic music notation, time signatures and note values
  • Basic elements of popular music harmony
  • Instrumental components and notation
  • Ability to identify and modify music notation, harmony and instrumental characteristics within a multi-instrumental score

What You're Marked On

Your Popular Music Theory Grade 1 exam lasts 90 minutes and is split into four key sections.

Music Notation

At Grade 1 you will cover the following aspects of music notation:

  • Understanding note lengths and adding barlines
  • Recognising note values and adding missing notes
  • Understanding how to beam notes of different values
  • Understanding equivalent notes and rests
  • Understanding note names

Popular Music Harmony

At Grade 1 you will cover the following aspects of popular music harmony:

  • Identifying major 2nd intervals
  • Identifying major 3rd intervals
  • Identifying scale intervals
  • Writing scales with accidentals
  • Writing scales with key signatures

Band Knowledge

At Grade 1 you will cover the following aspects of band knowledge:

  • Identification of drum kit parts
  • Identification of guitar and bass guitar parts
  • Identification of keys on acoustic and electronic piano keyboards
  • Understanding vocal pitch ranges
  • Understanding and identifying varied instrumental notation

Band Analysis

At Grade 1 you will cover the following aspects of band analysis:

  • Understanding scores with up to three different instruments
  • Understanding time signatures
  • Recognising melodic intervals
  • Understanding note values and their equivalent rests
  • Understanding and recognising music symbols and directions
  • Understanding rhythms and note values

Timing

Your Grade 1 exam lasts 90 minutes. Candidates are asked to arrive at least 15 minutes before their exam starts.

Get Started Today!

You can start working towards your Grade 1 exam now! Simply buy or Debut – Grade 5 Guidebook and corresponding Grade One Workbook book below and start preparing alongside your music teacher.

If you don't have a music teacher that can help you with music theory, you can quickly find the perfect teacher nearest to you with our handy find a music teacher map.



Books for Popular Music Theory Grade 1

  • Guidebook Debut - Grade 5 Book Cover Guidebook Debut - Grade 5

    Rockschool's Guidebooks are the ideal introduction to music theory for musicians, composers, students and teachers.

  • Workbook Grade 1 Book Cover Workbook Grade 1

    The Rockschool Grade 1 Theory Workbook is the ideal preparation for your Grade 1 theory exam.

  • Workbook Grade 2 Book Cover Workbook Grade 2

    The Rockschool Grade 2 Theory Workbook is the ideal preparation for your Grade 2 theory exam.

  • Workbook Grade 3 Book Cover Workbook Grade 3

    The Rockschool Grade 3 Theory Workbook is the ideal preparation for your Grade 3 theory exam.