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Online Theory Tool

RCM Online Theory Study Guide and Online Theory Exams| Levels 5–8

The Online Theory Study Guide and the new Online Theory Exam provide a convenient and flexible online solution that gives students the opportunity to earn RCM recognition from the comfort of their own home!


 
RCM Online Theory Tool

RCM Online Theory Study Guide + Exam: $175



The RCM Online Theory Study Guide for Intermediate Levels helps students master theory concepts with audio examples, guided analyses, step-wise procedural breakdowns, hints, and more! Interactive practice exams with expertly crafted hints help students revisit their understanding and get back on track to success.

Available for Levels 5, 6, 7, and 8, this tool covers eight essential units in music theory, ensuring the development of well-rounded musicians. 
 

Buy Now *  

* Your access will be available for twelve (12) months from the date of purchase.
Please see the Terms and Conditions for RCM Online Courses for more information.

  • Study Guide Features
    • 8 units of study covering essential concepts within each section of theory, including Pitch, Notation, and Transposition; Rhythm and Meter; Scales and Key Signatures; Intervals; Chords and Harmony; Melody Writing, Form, and Analysis; Music History; and Musical Terms and Signs
    • Narrated lessons and audio examples
    • Annotated scores and guided analyses
    • Step-wise procedural breakdowns
    • Access to practice tests with hints
    • Access to graded Unit Tests and Final Exam within the online course
    • Estimated time for completion:
      • Level 5 – 35 hours
      • Level 6 – 30 hours
      • Level 7 – 30 hours
      • Level 8 – 30 hours
  • Study Guide Units
    1. Pitch, Notation, and Transposition

    2. Rhythm and Meter 

    3. Scales and Key Signatures

    4. Intervals

    5. Chords and Harmony

    6. Melody Writing, Form, and Analysis

    7. Music History 

    8. Musical Terms and Signs

  • Study Guide Course Outlines
    • Level 5

      Unit 1: Pitch and Notation
      Ledger lines and enharmonic equivalents

      • Ledger lines
      • Enharmonic equivalents
      • Transposition
      • Transposing a melody
      • Rewriting a melody 

      Unit 2: Rhythm and Meter
      Note and rest values
      • Note and rest values review
      • Breves and semibreves
      • Time Signatures and Meter
       
      Unit 3: Scales
      Major and minor scales with 4 sharps or flats
      • E major and A flat major
      • Major scale pattern
      • C sharp minor and A flat minor
      • Minor scale patterns
      • Relative keys
      • Finding the relative minor key of a major key
      • Parallel Keys
      • Scale degree names – tonic, subdominant, dominant, subtonic, leading tone
       
      Unit 4: Intervals
      Identifying intervals
      • Chromatic and diatonic half steps
      • Major, minor and perfect intervals
       
      Unit 5: Chords and Harmony
      Primary triads and dominant sevenths
      • Triads
      • Quality of primary triads in major and minor scales
      • Dominant 7th chords
      • Functional chord symbols
      • Root/quality chord symbols
       
      Unit 6: Melody Writing, Form and Analysis
      Identifying the key of a piece
      • Identifying a key as major or minor
      • Steps for identifying the key of a melody
      • Parallel periods
      • Musical ideas
      • Analyzing phrases
      • Composing an answer phrase
       
      Unit 7: Music History
      Combining words and music
      • Oratorios, choruses and word painting
      • Operas and arias

      Unit 8: Music Terms and Signs
      • Andantino
      • Cut time, 2/2
      • espressivo, espress.larghettolargoleggieropedale, ped.rubatospiritosotranquillo
    • Level 6
      Unit 1: Pitch and Notation
      Transposition in major keys up by an interval
      • Changing the key of a melody
      • Transposing up to a key
      • Handling chromatic notes when transposing
      • Transposing up to an interval
       
      Unit 2: Rhythm and Meter
      Note and rest values
      • Thirty-second notes and rests
      • Dotted sixteenth notes and rests
      • Compound meters: 6/8
      • Compound duple, triple and quadruple meter
      • Completing measures with rests in compound time
       
      Unit 3: Scales
      Major and minor scales with 5 sharps or flats
      • C flat/B major and A flat/G sharp minor
      • Review of all major scales
      • Scale degree names
       
      Unit 4: Intervals
      Identifying intervals
      • Double sharps and double flats
      • Augmented and diminished intervals
      • Importance of letter name in augmented and diminished intervals
      • Writing a chromatically altered interval
      • Identifying intervals when the bottom note is not the tonic of a major key
      • Different ways of altering intervals
      • Writing a chromatically altered interval when the bottom note is not the tonic of a major key
       
      Unit 5: Chords and Harmony
      New triads and open and closed positions of chords
      • Supertonic, median, and sub-mediant triads
      • Triad inversion review
      • Triads in open or closed position
      • Dominant 7th chords in open or closed position
      • Cadences
      • Authentic cadence (V-I or V-i)
      • Half cadence (I-V, i-V, IV-V, iv-V)
      • Cadences and harmony
      • Keyboard style cadences
      • Identifying cadences
       
      Unit 6: Melody Writing, Form and Analysis
      Key of a melody and phrase composition
      • Identifying the key of a melody with a key signature
      • Identifying the key of a melody without a key signature
      • Composing phrases
       
      Unit 7: Music History
      Combining words and music
      • Johann Sebastian Bach
      • Invention in C major
      • “Brandenburg Concertos”
      • Brandenburg Concerto No. 5, first movement
      • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Eine kleine Nachtmusic
      • Sonata form
       
      Unit 8: Music Terms and Signs
      • ad libitum, ad lib.alla, all’ben, benecol, coll’, colla, colleconcon briocon espressionecon fuococon graziacon motoe, edfortepianogravelocomameno ,meno mossononpiùpiù mossopoco a pocoprimo, primaquasisecondo, secondasempresenzasforzandosimilesubitotre cordetroppouna corda
    • Level 7
      Unit 1: Notation and Transposition
      Transposition down to another key or down an interval
      • Transposing down to another key
      • Transposing down by interval
       
      Unit 2: Rhythm and Meter
      Double dotted notes and rests and irregular groupings
      • Double-dotted notes
      • Double-dotted rests
      • Irregular groupings
       
      Unit 3: Scales and Key Signatures
      Chromatic, whole-tone, octatonic, pentatonic and blues scales
      • Chromatic scales starting on C, F sharp and G flat
      • Whole-tone scales
      • Octatonic scales
      • Pentatonic scales
      • Blues scales
       
      Unit 4: Intervals
      Identifying intervals
      • Diatonic and chromatic intervals
      • Writing intervals below a note
      • Inverting intervals
       
      Unit 5: Chords and Harmony
      Chords
      • Augmented and diminished triads
      • Functional chord symbols and root quality symbols
      • Leading tone diminished 7th
      • Identifying seventh chords in open position
      • Inversions of augmented and diminished triads
      • Functional chord symbols and inversions
      • Dominant 7th chords and inversions
      • Cadences
      • Authentic cadence 
      • Half cadence (I-V, i-V)
       
      Unit 6: Melody Writing, Form and Analysis
      Key of a melody and composing contrasting periods
      • Writing a contrasting periods
       
      Unit 7: Music History
      Musical styles of the romantic and modern eras
      • Felix Mendelssohn
      • Overture to a Midsummer Night’s Dream and Sonata form
      • Frédéric Chopin
      • Etude in C Minor (“Revolutionary”)
      • Igor Stravinsky
      • Petrushka and Rondo form
      • Hugh LeCaine
      • Dripsody
      • Duke Ellington
      • Ko-Ko
       
      Unit 8: Music Terms and Signs
      • agitatodolentegiocosograndiosomartellatomestomorendopesantequindicesima alta, 15marisolutoscherzandosemplicesonoresoprasostenutosotto vocetacettuttivivovoltavolti subito, v.s.
    • Level 8
      Unit 1: Notation and Transposition
      Transposition in major keys up by an interval
      • C clef
      • Moveable C clef
      • Alto clef
      • Tenor clef
      • Arranging key signatures
      • Transposition between clefs
      • Transposing instruments
      • Vocal scores
      • String quartets

      Unit 2: Rhythm and Meter
      Hybrid meters
      • 5/8 example
      • 5/4 example
      • Examples of mixed meters
      • Hybrid duple, triple, and quadruple meter
      • completing measures with rests in hybrid meters


      Unit 3: Scales and Key Signatures
      Scales in context and diatonic modes

      • Examples of scale passages
      • Modes
      • Writing modes
       
      Unit 4: Intervals
      Identifying intervals
      • Compound intervals
      • Inverting intervals
       
      Unit 5: Chords and Harmony
      Triads on major, natural minor and harmonic minor scales
      • Root/quality chord symbols and inversions
      • Plagal cadences in keyboard style
      • Cadences in chorale style
       
      Unit 6: Melody Writing, Form and Analysis
      Melody writing in minor keys
      • Review of contrasting periods in a major key
      • Contrasting periods in a minor key
      • Melodic motion
      • Expanding harmonic vocabulary
       
      Unit 7: Music History
      Medieval era, Renaissance era, and world music
      • Hildegard von Bingen
      • Ordo Virtutum, Scene 4
      • Sumer is Icumen In
      • Josquin des Prez
      • El grillo
      • Javanese Gamelan
      • Raga in Indian Music

      Unit 8: Music Terms and Signs
      • French Terms: cédezlégerlentementmodérémovementvite 
      • German Terms: bewegtlangsammässigmit Ausdruckschnellsehr 
      • Italian Terms: allargando, allarg.arcoattaccacalandocomodocon sordinolargamentel’istesso tempopizzicatoritenuto, riten.stringendo
  • Online Certification

    Online Theory Study Guide

    Each Level in the Online Theory Study Guide contains Practice Tests, eight Unit Tests, and one Final Exam.

    Practice Tests can be completed as many times a student wishes before taking the Unit Test. Unit Tests can only be completed once and cumulatively represent 40% of a student’s final grade. After all Unit Tests have been completed, the student can take the Final Exam which will represent the remaining 60% of the final grade.


    See Online Exam Info

  • Video Walk-Throughs

    Online Theory Study Guide Walk-Throughs

    This series of videos demonstrates the RCM Online Theory Study Guides and how to access them. 

    Start with this video:

    Then choose the video for your level:

  • Comparison
     
    Online Theory Study Guide with Exam Online Theory Exam
    Review of the eight theory units, with audio examples, guided analysis, step-by-step procedures, and unit practice tests for additional practice between in-person lessons with the teacher Not included
     
    Practice Tests with hints for each of the eight units Not included
     
    Unit test at the completion of each unit, worth 5% of the final mark (for a cumulative total of 40% of the final mark) Not included
     
    Practice Final Exam Practice Exam Questions
    Final exam worth 60% of the final mark Exam worth 100% of the final mark
     
    Unit tests can be completed separately at student’s desired pace (within one year of purchase). The final exam and unit tests must be completed in one session when started. The exam must be completed in one session.
     
    Available within 24 hours after purchase Available on December 1, 2020. Once it has been purchased (and after December 1, 2020), it will be available in your account within 24 hours and must be completed within 30 days.
     
    Exam Credit cannot be applied to purchase
     
    Existing Exam Credit can be applied.

    Students who would like to use their exam credit for the Winter Session must register by November 30, 2020 through the exam registration app in their My RCM.
     
    All Levels $175 each Level 5 - $125
    Level 6 - $135
    Level 7 - $145
    Level 8 - $155
    No Deadline to purchase
     
    No deadline to purchase but candidates who wish to use their exam credit must register by November 30, 2020 through the exam registration app in their My RCM account
     


     
  • Additional Resources


    Celebrate Theory©​


    You may also consult the Celebrate Theory© books to assist you in your studies.

    All of our Celebrate Theory© publications are available for purchase on the RCM Bookstore.

    You can also access the official Theory Syllabus, 2016 Edition here.

    Celebrate Theory set
    Buy Now




    Extra Practice with our Theory Apps!
     

    RCM Theory Apps provide an additional opportunity to practice each essential unit covered within your theory tool. Each app contains a variety of drills and practice questions for your level and topic and ensures you have plenty of practice.

    5-8 Theory Apps
    Explore Apps

 

NEW: RCM Online Theory Exam

Looking to take your exam now? Standalone online Theory exams are now available for Levels 5, 6, 7, and 8. This option allows you to go straight to the exam and earn your theory credit when you are ready!
 

Available December 1st  

* Exam must be completed within 30 days, once it is available in your account.

  • Online Theory Exam Overview
    The Online Theory Exams are divided into the following sections:
    1. Pitch and Notation
    2. Rhythm and Meter
    3. Scales and Key Signatures
    4. Intervals
    5. Chords and Harmony
    6. Melody Writing, Form and Analysis
    7. Music History
    8. Terms and Signs
    9. Analysis
    Online Theory Exams are 1 hour in length and must be completed within 30 days of purchase. Once the student starts the exam, they must finish that exam in one session. In order to pass the Online Theory Exam, students must receive a passing grade greater than 60%.
     

    Practice Questions


    Before starting the final exam, students will have the opportunity to complete practice questions using the Online Theory Exam format. These practice questions will demonstrate the different question types and give students the opportunity to try out the functionality of the Online Theory Exam before attempting the exam. Students can repeat the practice questions as often as desired.
     

    Languages


    The Online Theory Exam is offered in both English and French.
  • Online Theory Exam Pricing
    Level Price
    5 $125
     
    6 $135
     
    7 $145
     
    8 $155
  • Online Certification

    Online Theory Exam

    The Online Theory Exam option allows students to take the examination for Theory levels 5, 6, 7, and 8.

    For this option, only the a theory exam is included. Unlike the Online Theory Study Guide, Online Theory Exams do not include Practice Tests or Unit Tests. The final exam represents 100% of the student's final grade.


    See Online Exam Info

  • Comparison
     
    Online Theory Study Guide with Exam Online Theory Exam
    Review of the eight theory units, with audio examples, guided analysis, step-by-step procedures, and unit practice tests for additional practice between in-person lessons with the teacher Not included
     
    Practice Tests with hints for each of the eight units Not included
     
    Unit test at the completion of each unit, worth 5% of the final mark (for a cumulative total of 40% of the final mark) Not included
     
    Practice Final Exam Practice Exam Questions
    Final exam worth 60% of the final mark Exam worth 100% of the final mark
     
    Unit tests can be completed separately at student’s desired pace (within one year of purchase). The final exam and unit tests must be completed in one session when started. The exam must be completed in one session.
     
    Available within 24 hours after purchase Available on December 1, 2020. Once it has been purchased (and after December 1, 2020), it will be available in your account within 24 hours and must be completed within 30 days.
     
    Exam Credit cannot be applied to purchase
     
    Existing Exam Credit can be applied.

    Students who would like to use their exam credit for the Winter Session must register by November 30, 2020 through the exam registration app in their My RCM. Once purchased using an exam credit, student's will receive access on December 1.
     
    All Levels $175 each Level 5 - $125
    Level 6 - $135
    Level 7 - $145
    Level 8 - $155
    No Deadline to purchase
     
    No deadline to purchase but candidates who wish to use their exam credit must register by November 30, 2020 through the exam registration app in their My RCM account
     


     
  • Additional Resources

    Celebrate Theory©​


    You may also consult the Celebrate Theory© books to assist you in your studies.

    All of our Celebrate Theory© publications are available for purchase on the RCM Bookstore.

    You can also access the official Theory Syllabus, 2016 Edition here.

    Celebrate Theory set
    Buy Now




    Extra Practice with our Theory Apps!
     

    RCM Theory Apps provide an additional opportunity to practice each essential unit covered within your theory tool. Each app contains a variety of drills and practice questions for your level and topic and ensures you have plenty of practice.

    5-8 Theory Apps
    Explore Apps