Music Theory MCQs

Music Theory MCQs

These Music Theory multiple-choice questions and their answers will help you strengthen your grip on the subject of Music Theory. You can prepare for an upcoming exam or job interview with these Music Theory MCQs.
So scroll down and start answering.

1: Which word means the speed at which a piece is played?

A.   Tempo

B.   Volume

C.   Time

D.   Theme

E.   Tutti

2: What major key has 4 sharps?

A.   E

B.   A

C.   B

D.   D

3: The variation of the pitch of a note up and down over time is called?

A.   Tenuto

B.   Lento

C.   Sforzando

D.   Vibrato

E.   Tremolo

4: The C note that is closest to the middle of a keyboard or piano is called what?

A.   Average C

B.   High C

C.   Low C

D.   Normal C

E.   Middle C

5: 3/4 is an example of a ______ meter.

A.   triple

B.   quadruple

C.   duple

D.   single

6: How many beats does the whole note have in a 4/4 time signature?

A.   3

B.   1

C.   4

D.   1/2

E.   2

7: A whole note note is equivalent to __ half notes.

A.   4

B.   2

C.   1

D.   3

8: What is the longest note in common use?

A.   Whole note

B.   Quarter note

C.   Half note

D.   Pause

E.   Whole tone

9: The oboe is part of the _________group of instruments

A.   woodwind

B.   melody

C.   brass

D.   percussion

E.   harmony

10: If sheet music instructed you to be short and detached, what word would be used?

A.   tenuto

B.   staccato

C.   dominant

D.   stretto

E.   subdominant

11: Which of these is a C major chord?

A.   C E G

B.   C Ab Eb

C.   C E G#

D.   C Eb G

12: A short piece played between the verses of a song is called a(n):

A.   Ionian mode.

B.   Forza.

C.   Interlude.

D.   Interval.

E.   Grandzza.

13: The Pentatonic Scale contains _ notes.

A.   7

B.   5

C.   4

D.   9

14: "Common time" refers to:

A.   12/8

B.   2/2

C.   4/4

D.   3/4

15: What is the term for choral music performed without accompaniment?

A.   Allegretto

B.   A capella

C.   Andante

D.   Accidental

E.   A cadena

16: What is a duet?

A.   Two compositions played in harmony

B.   A composition with two movements

C.   A composition for two players or voices

D.   A composition with three movements

E.   A composition for three players or voices

17: A quarter note is equivalent to __ sixteenth notes.

A.   3

B.   2

C.   8

D.   4

18: What does poco mean in musical terms?

A.   Very

B.   Precise

C.   Hurried

D.   The note E

E.   Little

19: If you were told to sing sotto voce, how would you sing?

A.   In a high pitch

B.   In a soft voice

C.   With emphasis

D.   Quicker

E.   Slowly

20: IV can also be called the _______.

A.   mediant

B.   supertonic

C.   submediant

D.   subdominant

21: V can also be called the _______.

A.   subdominant

B.   tonic

C.   dominant

D.   mediant

22: 2/4 is an example of a ______ meter.

A.   simple quadruple

B.   compound duple

C.   simple duple

D.   compound triple

23: What is 3 half steps above B Flat?

A.   D Flat or C Sharp

B.   G Flat or A Sharp

C.   D Sharp or A Flat

D.   E Flat or F

24: What is the inverted interval of minor third?

A.   Major 6th

B.   Perfect 4th

C.   Minor 2nd

D.   Perfect 5th

25: What does a Major 6th invert to?

A.   Perfect 4th

B.   minor 3rd

C.   Major 2nd

D.   diminished 5th

26: What does a curved line spanning notes of differing pitch indicate in a music score?

A.   None of these

B.   Dynamic Change

C.   Slurring / Phrasing

D.   Pitch Change

E.   Tempo Change

27: 12/8 is an example of a ______ meter.

A.   simple triple

B.   compound triple

C.   simple quadruple

D.   compound quadruple

28: What is an operetta?

A.   An opera with only 2 parts

B.   An opera with no instrumentals

C.   An opera with only one part

D.   A short opera

E.   An opera performed for a small crowd

29: If you lower a C by one semitone, what note do you get?

A.   B sharp

B.   B flat

C.   C sharp

D.   B

E.   A flat

30: What is a picardy third?

A.   The third in a dominant 7th chord

B.   A raised third at the end of a minor/modal piece

C.   A major third

D.   A minor third

31: 4/4 is an example of a ______ meter.

A.   single

B.   duple

C.   triple

D.   quadruple

32: What pitch is a major second above C?

A.   F

B.   D

C.   G

D.   E

33: A ledger line is used for what purpose?

A.   To draw sharps and flats

B.   To add notes that exceed the limits of the staff

C.   To underscore the Treble Clef

D.   To show where a composition ends

E.   To indicate changes of tempo

34: Define the picardy third.

A.   An entire section that sets the third scale degree as its tonic.

B.   A chord change that takes place on the "and" of the third beat.

C.   The third note in a four note passage that is a non-harmonic tone.

D.   A raised third on the final cadence of a piece that is in either a modal or minor key.

35: What is the relative minor of G major?

A.   E minor.

B.   A minor.

C.   D minor.

D.   B minor.

36: "Cut time" refers to:

A.   2/2

B.   3/4

C.   4/2

D.   4/4

37: E major has __ sharps.

A.   4

B.   3

C.   2

D.   5

38: To make a minor chord where the root note is an A, the third would be a:

A.   C sharp

B.   B sharp

C.   B

D.   C flat

E.   C

39: A playful, humorous instrumental composition is called a what?

A.   Scherzo

B.   Staccato

C.   Serenade

D.   Septet

E.   Symphony

40: The major third of B is:

A.   Eb

B.   Db

C.   E#

D.   D#

E.   E

41: Describe the following chord: D F A C

A.   D Minor 7 Flat 5

B.   D Dominant 7

C.   D Minor 7

D.   D Minor Major 7

E.   D Major 7

42: A dotted eighth note is equivalent to __ sixteenth notes.

A.   4

B.   3

C.   2

D.   5

43: What is the relative minor key of A major?

A.   F# min

B.   E min

C.   Bb min

D.   G min

E.   C# min

44: For a triad in 1st inversion, which note is on the bottom?

A.   Root

B.   5th

C.   3rd

45: 9/8 is an example of a ______ meter.

A.   simple quadruple

B.   compound quadruple

C.   simple triple

D.   compound triple

46: Describe the following chord: C Eb Gb Bb

A.   C Major 7

B.   C Minor 7 Flat 5

C.   C Dominant 7

D.   C Minor 7

E.   C Minor Major 7

47: Common practice musical genres came in which order?

A.   Romantic, Classical, Baroque.

B.   Baroque, Romantic, Classical.

C.   Classical, Romantic, Baroque.

D.   Classical, Baroque, Romantic.

E.   Baroque, Classical, Romantic.

48: B flat major has ___ flats.

A.   2

B.   3

C.   1

D.   4

49: What is polytonality?

A.   The musical use of two or more conflicting rhythms.

B.   The musical use of more than one key simultaneously.

C.   The musical use of more than one key throughout a piece.

D.   The musical use of more than one instrument group simultaneously (e.g. woodwinds & brass together).

50: What is the meaning of the term 'largo'?

A.   Slow and stately

B.   Slow and gradually getting softer

C.   Slow and with passion