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AP Music Theory (Barron's AP Music Theory) [Paperback]

Nancy Scoggin


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AP Music Theory Presents an up-to-date review and practice tests for the Advanced Placement test for music theory. Full description

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  37 reviews
43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Becoming a Thinking Musician 10 Mar 2010
By Mark D. LaDue - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Until Barron's published Nancy Scoggin's book, preparing for the AP Music Theory exam was a seemingly impossible task. Trying to review everything in one of the standard texts such as Kostka and Payne or Aldwell and Schachter is infeasible. While it might be possible to use the College Board's Music Theory Course Description as an outline and their sample questions as a test, the amount of material that they provide is simply insufficient to assure success. The two previously published books from the National Learning Corp. and Mometrix Media LLC are utterly worthless. Thus I was really excited when I saw that Barron's was going to publish an AP Music Theory book, and I could hardly wait to get a copy and start preparing our homeschooled son for the exam.

Now that we've had a chance to use this book for a couple of weeks, I can tell you what a wonderful job the authors have done. In 22 chapters and 632 pages they masterfully cover every topic on the AP Music Theory course syllabus, every topic on the exam outline, and so much more. The review material that they provide in each chapter is very thorough, and the exercises are interesting and challenging. After every few chapters is an aural unit that presents additional multiple choice questions. The questions on the audio CDs are presented in the same style as the sample exam questions available from the College Board. The final 6 chapters of the book present sound strategies for each part of the exam. The two practice tests promise to offer the most realistic exams outside of those actually given by the College Board. I especially appreciate all of the information and exercises that this book has for the sight singing portion of the AP exam. It's impossible to find anything like that in any other source.

It's clear that Nancy Scoggin has a great deal of experience teaching AP Music Theory. It shows on every page of this book. Her co-author Mary Elizabeth has also done wonderful work in engraving the numerous musical examples and preparing the audio tracks for the CDs. It's a pleasure to use their book. I highly recommend it to anyone preparing for the AP Music Theory exam. With this book you'll be on your way to "becoming a thinking musician" and getting that 5.

Addendum (July, 2010)
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We spent about 30 to 45 minutes per day for about 2 months using Nancy Scoggin's book to review for the AP exam. In that time we were able to get through the entire book from cover to cover. Absolutely every topic that appeared on the exam was covered in this book, and the actual exam turned out to be almost exactly like the two practice tests included in this book. Thus there is no better way to prepare for the AP Music Theory exam than to use this book. Everyone who plans to take the exam should buy it. It helped us tremendously, and it will help you too. I'm very grateful to Nancy Scoggin for publishing the perfect review guide, and I highly recommend it to anyone who plans to take the exam.
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally! An AP Music Theory Study Guide 13 April 2010
By Eric Mabrey - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Finally, an AP Music Theory Study Guide. I've been teaching AP Music Theory for about 6 years and I have had incredible difficulty in finding well sequenced, appropriate material for preparing the students for the AP Music Theory exam, a most ear challenging adventure for many people. Most adopted textbooks tend to be college theory books that are designed for multiple-years of theory, and are not as user friendly for developing the skills that most high school students are in need of developing for this exam.

This study guide walks you through all the sections of the exam, with great aural examples. Every chapter is concluded with practice questions designed to the same flow and feel of the questions on the AP exam. Early chapters cover more introductory materials, but still use the AP format for questions. Each unit has an Aural Skills exam with the accompanying CDs. There are 2 full practice exams at the end of the book. Used in conjunction with released AP exams, your students can practice on 4 or 5 total AP style exams to be more prepared for the actual exam itself.

I have found it difficult to find materials that will help develop the aural skills necessary for exam success. In this book, you have a logical progression (no pun intended) of exercises to help develop both melodic and harmonic dictation skills. In addition, there are great examples and exercises for preparing for the sight-singing portion as well.

I have recommended to all my students that they purchase this book to help prepare for the exam. Next year, I hope to use it as a supplementary text book for the class starting in the beginning.

I would recommend this study guide to any student who is serious about being prepared for the AP Music Theory exam.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good value 30 Mar 2011
By T. C. Peterson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is very clearly written, and explains lots of complicated music theory concepts in easy-to-understand language. We had access to two other texts (Kostka and Ottman), and while those had their virtues, I believe that the Barron's was the most accessible work. It also had plenty of valuable test-taking tips.
Caveat: My daughters haven't taken the AP test itself, so we can't say if using this book will guarantee a good score.
While the four CDs add to the price, they're well worth it, given that the test has lots of audio portions. Two of the four CDs have tons of musical examples for the listening portion of the test (the other two CDs are used for the test itself).
We had not used the Barron's products prior to this year, but now that we have, we're definitely going to check out their other offerings. They're a lot cheaper than college tuition...
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Review Book! 12 Nov 2010
By Nat - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is great to brush off your Music Theory knowledge and succeed in the test. Make sure you take ALL of the practice tests so you're ready for the weird ear training and such. I also recommend buying practice tests from Collegeboard.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book got me a 5 on the AP exam! 3 Jun 2013
By Michael Bednarsky - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I was scheduled to take the AP Music Theory exam but I was not enrolled in a course. I purchased this book with the idea of teaching myself the content. This was a very daunting task, especially after looking over the syllabus on the AP website. I wasn't expecting the book to cover EVERYTHING I needed to know for the exam; I was only expecting it to be a review and a complement to a classroom course. It turned out that this book was all I needed. I read the book cover to cover, took notes, and treated it just like a class. For 2 months before the exam (yes, I started studying only 2 months prior), I set aside 40 minutes every day to read the book and study. I needed very little outside help from the internet to understand the content. The book offers 2 practice tests that are exactly in the format of the actual AP exam. Going into the AP exam, I felt very confident with knowing the structure of the test and what would be asked of me, and I ended up getting a 5 (which is the highest score) on the AP exam!. This book could not have prepared me any more than it did. All in all, I recommend this book without reservation! It completely exceeded my expectations and you will do VERY well on the exam if you study this book faithfully!
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