AP Music Theory: Example Textbook List

The list below represents examples of textbooks that meet the curricular requirements of AP Music Theory. The list below is not exhaustive and the texts listed should not be regarded as endorsed, authorized, recommended, or approved by the College Board. Not using a book from this list does not mean that a course will not receive authorization. Syllabi submitted as part of the AP Course Audit process will be evaluated holistically, with textbooks considered along with supplementary, supporting resources to confirm that the course as a whole provides students with the content delineated in the curricular requirements of the AP Course Audit.

The specified editions of the following textbooks meet the AP Music Theory Course Audit curricular requirements. Earlier editions of these texts and other textbooks not listed here (including concise textbooks) may meet the AP Course Audit curricular requirements if supplemented with appropriate college-level instructional resources. For discussions regarding the usefulness of these texts and other teaching materials in the AP Music Theory classroom, please consult the Teachers' Resources section of AP Central.

Note to teachers: As the AP Music Theory course includes written theory, score study, and aural skills, the course materials for the class should include either a textbook from each category below, or approved instructor-generated materials that substitute for a textbook for each category.

Written Theory: Harmony and Comprehensive Texts
The textbooks below are normally used for college or university first- and second-year core music theory courses. Unless otherwise indicated, the texts include diatonic and chromatic harmony, part-writing, analysis, and some coverage of tonal forms and twentieth-century repertoire. Books in this classification are appropriate for AP Music Theory courses, though any individual book may not cover all topics taught within a specific university's curriculum or those tested in the AP Music Theory Exam.

In that the AP Music Theory curriculum is designed to follow a college curriculum, where students would purchase the newest edition of a current textbook, AP students should be using the newest edition of their textbook if at all possible, and teachers should consider using a textbook that is recent and updated, instead of those whose first edition was many years ago, as pedagogical standards have changed for written theory classes in the last 20 years. Realizing that schools may not be able to replace texts as often as would be optimal, any edition of books listed below meets the curricular requirements for the course if it is published within the last ten years, or if it is the previous edition to the current edition. (If the current edition is the second, then the first edition would be acceptable regardless of publication date; in 2006 any edition published after 1996 would be acceptable.)

Written Theory: Harmony and Comprehensive Texts

Aldwell, Edward, and Carl Schachter. Harmony and Voice Leading, 4th edition. Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning, 2010.

Benjamin, Thomas, Michael Horvit, and Robert Nelson. Techniques and Materials of Tonal Music: From the Common Practice Period Through the Twentieth Century, 7th edition. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning, 2007.

Benward, Bruce, and Marilyn Saker. Music in Theory and Practice, 8th edition. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2008.

Clendinning, Jane Piper, Elizabeth West Marvin, and Joel Phillips. The Musician's Guide to Fundamentals. 2nd edition. New York: W. W. Norton, 2014.

Clough, John, and Joyce Conley. Basic Harmonic Progressions: A Self-Instruction Program, 1st edition. New York: W. W. Norton, 1984.

Gauldin, Robert. Harmonic Practice in Tonal Music, 2nd edition. New York: W. W. Norton, 2005.

Henry, Earl, and Michael Rogers. Tonality and Design in Music Theory, Vols. 1 & 2, 1st edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson, 2005.

Kostka, Stefan, Dorothy Payne, and Byron Almen. Tonal Harmony, 7th edition revised. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2012.

Laitz, Steven G. The Complete Musician: An Integrated Approach to Tonal Theory, Analysis, and Listening, 3rd edition. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011.

Mayfield, Connie. Theory Essentials: An Integrated Approach to Harmony, Ear Training, and Keyboard Skills, Vols. 1 & 2, 2nd edition. Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning, 2012.

Merryman, Marjorie. The Music Theory Handbook, 1st edition. Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning, 1996.

Ottman, Robert W. Elementary Harmony: Theory and Practice, 5th edition. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1998.

Ottman, Robert W., et al. Advanced Harmony: Theory and Practice, 5th edition. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2000.

Roig-Francoli, Miguel. Harmony in Context. 2nd edition. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2010.

Russell, Armand, and Allen Trubitt. The Shaping of Musical Elements, 1st edition. New York: Schirmer, 1992.

Spencer, Peter, and Barbara Bennett. The Practice of Harmony, 6th edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson, 2011.

Steinke, Greg A. Harmonic Materials in Tonal Music: A Programmed Course, Parts 1 and 2, 10th edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson, 2009.

Straus, Joseph N. Elements of Music, 3rd edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson, 2011.

Turek, Ralph. The Elements of Music: Concepts and Applications, Vols. 1 & 2, 2nd edition. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1995.


Anthologies for Music Analysis and Study

Arlin, Mary I. Music Sources: A Collection of Excerpts and Complete Movements, 2nd edition. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1997.

Benjamin, Thomas E., Michael E. Horvit, and Robert Nelson. Music for Analysis: From the Common Practice Period and the Twentieth Century, 7th edition. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009.

Briscoe, James. New Historical Anthology of Music by Women, 2nd edition. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2004.

Burkhart, Charles, and William Rothstein. Anthology for Musical Analysis, 7th edition. Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning, 2011.

Clendinning, Jane Piper, and Elizabeth West Marvin. The Musician's Guide to Anthology Recordings: for The Musician's Guide to Theory and Analysis, 2nd edition. New York: W. W. Norton, 2010.

Kostka, Stefan, and Roger Graybill. Anthology of Music for Analysis. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Pearson, 2003.

Melcher, Robert A., Willard F. Warch, and Paul B. Mast. Music for Study, 3rd edition. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Pearson, 1988.

Turek, Ralph. Analytical Anthology of Music, 2nd edition. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1992.


Aural Skills: Sight Singing, Ear Training, Keyboard, and Rhythmic Reading Texts

Benjamin, Thomas E., Michael Horvit, and Robert S. Nelson. Music for Sight Singing, 5th edition. Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning, 2008.

Benward, Bruce, and Maureen Carr. Sight Singing Complete, 7th edition. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2006.

Benward, Bruce, and J. Timothy Kolosick. Ear Training: A Technique for Listening, 7th edition. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2004.

Berkowitz, Sol, et al. A New Approach to Sight Singing, 5th edition. New York: W. W. Norton, 2010.

Brings, Allen, Charles Burkhart, Roger Kamien, Leo Kraft, and Drora Pershing. A New Approach to Keyboard Harmony, 1st edition. New York: W. W. Norton, 1979.

Damschroder, David A. Listen and Sing: Lessons in Ear-Training and Sight-Singing, 1st edition. Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning, 1995.

Dembska, Anna, and Joan Harkness. You've Got Rhythm: Read Music Better by Feeling the Beat. Brooklyn, NY: Flying Leap Music, 2001.

Hall, Anne Carothers. Studying Rhythm, 3rd edition. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Pearson, 2004.

Karpinski, Gary, and Richard Kram. Anthology for Sight Singing and Manual for Ear Training and Sight Singing. New York: W. W. Norton, 2006.

Kazez, Daniel. Rhythmic Reading: Elementary Through Advanced Training, 2nd edition. New York: W. W. Norton, 1997.

Kraft, Leo. A New Approach to Ear Training: A Programmed Course in Melodic and Harmonic Dictation. 2nd edition. New York: W. W. Norton, 1999.

Krueger, Carol. Progressive Sight Singing, 2nd edition. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011.

Ottman, Robert. Music for Sight Singing, 6th edition. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2004.

Ottman, Robert, and Paul E. Dworak. Basic Ear Training Skills, 1st edition. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1991.

Ottman, Robert, and Nancy Rogers. Music for Sight Singing, 9th edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson, 2013.

Phillips, Joel, Jane Piper Clendinning, Elizabeth West Marvin, and Paul Murphy. The Musician's Guide to Aural Skills, Vols. 1 & 2, 2nd edition. New York: W. W. Norton, 2011.

Yasui, Byron K., and Allen R. Trubitt. Basic Sight Singing. 1st ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1988.

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