Free course

An introduction to music theory

Free statement of participation on completion

Gain an understanding of the basic building blocks of musical theory and notation. This free course, An introduction to music theory, will introduce you to music staves, clefs, rhythmic and pitch values, rhythmic metre and time signatures. This OpenLearn course provides an introduction to music theory pitched at a level equivalent to Grades 1–3 of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music theory exams. You can test your understanding as you proceed by completing simple multiple-choice questions.

Course learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • understand the basic building blocks of musical theory and notation
  • understand music theory to the level demanded by Grade 3 of the Associated Board of the Royals Schools of Music theory syllabus
  • understand music theory to a level required to move on to Open University Level 2 Music offerings, e.g. A224 Inside Music.

You can start this course right now without signing-up. Click on any of the course content sections below to start at any point in this course.
If you want to be able to track your progress, earn a free Statement of Participation, and access all course quizzes and activities, sign-up.

Course content