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Theory of Music

Our Theory of Music syllabus responds to modern teaching and learning styles with Theory of Music Workbooks presenting the study of musical theory in bright and practical formats, attractive to both the student and the teacher.

Theory of Music syllabus from 2009

Our Theory of Music syllabus contains full details of grade exams for musical theory, Grades 1-8. The syllabus provides a comprehensive and carefully incremented approach to the technical language of music, supported by approachable workbooks.

Although there are no theory prerequisites for taking any Trinity College London practical graded exams, theoretical musical knowledge works to enhance and support practical studies.


Candidates should ensure that they are using the fourth impression or onwards of the Theory of Music syllabus.


You should read the syllabus requirements carefully before your exam. If you do not meet all the relevant requirements, the examiner may refer your exam result to Trinity’s London office for review and marks may be deducted.

Please see Information and Regulations and Syllabus infringements for more information.



Syllabus support

A range of support resources are available on our Music Resources site.


Further information

Full details of entry procedures and exam regulations can be found in our Information & Regulations booklet


Supporting publications

Our Theory of Music Workbooks (Grades 1-8) contain all requirements for our graded music theory written exams, including information for teachers, hints and tips for candidates, tasks and questions for the grade, worked examples and more. The books are suitable for use in lessons or at home, for private study.

We also offer Theory of Music Supplementary Exercises (Grades 1-5) designed for use by teachers and students alongside our Theory of Music Workbooks.


Additional resources

Past papers & model answers are available to support teachers and candidates with their preparation.


Enter for an exam


Register your interest

To be kept up to date with news about our syllabuses, publications and professional development programmes, as well as competitions and offers, register your interest.



Looking for support with your music teaching and learning?

Visit Trinity’s Music Resources website

Access a range of digital resources, from videos and audio to handouts and booklets, providing support with teaching, music-making and exam preparation.

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