Advice for candidates

‘I’m thinking of studying for a theory diploma: which one should I take?’

Trinity offers two theory diplomas: AMusTCL and LMusTCL. These provide a pathway into professional musicianship and study in the creative arts, taking candidates from the graded exams towards a deeper understanding of their musical interests.

Both diplomas demand an understanding of analytical concepts and procedures, while drawing on an extensive knowledge of music history in the Western tradition. Much of the groundwork for this is progressively introduced and strengthened in the Trinity Theory syllabus and workbooks at Grades 6–8, or through formal study through qualifications such as A-Level, Scottish Advanced Higher or International Baccalaureate.

Essential knowledge for both diplomas:

  • Conventions of Western classical musical notation
  • Clefs, keys, intervals and chords
  • Pulse and rhythm
  • Types and capabilities of voices and instruments
  • Chord knowledge, including Roman numeral notation
  • Ability to write progressions using four-part harmony correctly, using:
    • Triads in root position, first and second inversions
    • Dominant seventh in root position and all three inversions
    • Secondary sevenths
    • Diminished sevenths
    • Chords of the ninth, eleventh and thirteenth
    • Neapolitan sixth
    • Augmented chords in Italian, French and German forms
  • Knowledge of the various historical styles of music from the end of the Renaissance to the present time (Baroque, Classical, Romantic and Modern periods) and the forms used (binary, ternary, rondo, sonata etc)

Read more in our theory diploma information guide.

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