Accredited Examinations

  • To offer a structured and comprehensive method of studying the theory of popular music which is relevant to the practical needs of the modern day musician.
  • To set worthwhile and well-defined standards for students of popular music theory, by providing a reliable system of assessing progress.
  • To offer formal recognition of the musical knowledge of musicians in the field of popular music by the award of internationally recognised qualifications.
  • To value the language and notation systems of contemporary popular music and reflecting the fact that expertise in the use of traditional notation is not the highest priority in this field.
  • To encourage the practical application of theoretical knowledge, particularly with regard to composition and improvisation.
  • To encourage the academic study of popular music, including a knowledge of: the use of instruments and technology; performers, history, development and range of styles.

Subject Areas

The examination syllabus aims to particularly recognise and evaluate the following:

  • A knowledge of scales, keys, chords and intervals.
  • A knowledge of rhythmic notation.
  • A knowledge of the performers, instrumentation, history, development and different genres of popular music.
  • An understanding of popular music harmony and its application, with specific emphasis on the composition of chord progressions and the application of scales in improvisation.
  • An understanding of transposition with regard to both chords and melodies.

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