Basic Music Theory Quiz! Trivia

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| By Joel Jurekovic
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Joel Jurekovic
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Basic Music Theory Quiz! Trivia - Quiz


Does the thought of music theory have you humming a tune in delight? Music theory is a practice that musicians use to appreciate and communicate the language of music. Musical theory reviews the basics of music. It also gives a system to interpret musical arrangements. For example, basic music theory characterizes the elements that create harmony, melody, and cadence. This quiz will get you into the rhythm of basic music theory.


Questions and Answers
  • 1. 

    In music theory, what do we call the symbol placed at the beginning of a musical staff to indicate the pitch of the notes written on the lines and spaces?

  • 2. 

    What note is a perfect fifth interval above C?

    • A.

      D

    • B.

      E flat

    • C.

      E

    • D.

      F

    • E.

      G

    Correct Answer
    E. G
    Explanation
    G is five steps above C.

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  • 3. 

    What does the lower number in the time signature indicate?

    • A.

      Number of beats per measure

    • B.

      Number of measures per barline/staff

    • C.

      Length of note that is one beat

    • D.

      Pitch of note that is one beat

    • E.

      Number of beats in two measures

    Correct Answer
    C. Length of note that is one beat
    Explanation
    The bottom number indicates what type of note "gets the beat." For example, in 4/4 time, the 1/4th or quarter note is one beat.

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  • 4. 

    What is the relative minor scale to G major?

    • A.

      B minor

    • B.

      C minor

    • C.

      C sharp minor

    • D.

      D minor

    • E.

      E minor

    Correct Answer
    E. E minor
    Explanation
    A relative minor scale has the same key signature as the relative major but is a minor scale.

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  • 5. 

    Which of the following markings would affect the length of a note?

    • A.

      Sharp

    • B.

      Double-sharp

    • C.

      Flat

    • D.

      Dot

    • E.

      None of the above

    Correct Answer
    D. Dot
    Explanation
    The dot adds half of the note's original length to the total length of the note. For example, a dotted half note is 3 1/4 notes in length.

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  • 6. 

    Which of the following is the correct term for a note that is an 8th above another note?

    • A.

      Relative major

    • B.

      Perfect

    • C.

      Octave

    • D.

      Dominant

    • E.

      Minor

    Correct Answer
    C. Octave
    Explanation
    The octave is the 8th above or below the note.

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  • 7. 

    What would the dominant chord be in the key of A major?

    • A.

      CEG

    • B.

      EG#B

    • C.

      FAC

    • D.

      AC#E

    • E.

      BDF#

    Correct Answer
    B. EG#B
    Explanation
    EG#B makes up the E major chord- the dominant 5 chord in the key of A major.

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  • 8. 

    How would the chord (with notes from lowest to highest) : C E G B be classified?

    • A.

      Major 7th

    • B.

      Minor 6th

    • C.

      Perfect 5th

    • D.

      Augmented 7th

    • E.

      Major 9th

    Correct Answer
    A. Major 7th
    Explanation
    Since all of the notes are in the C-major scale and the top note is a 7th, it is a major 7th chord.

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  • 9. 

    How many sharps are in the scale F# (sharp) major?

    • A.

      2

    • B.

      3

    • C.

      4

    • D.

      5

    • E.

      6

    Correct Answer
    E. 6
    Explanation
    The scale of F# major has six sharps: F#, C#, G#, D#, A#, and E#. In the key signature of F# major, each of these notes is raised by a half step, or a sharp. Therefore, the correct answer is 6.

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  • 10. 

    The key signature of Bb (B flat major) has 3 flats

    • A.

      True

    • B.

      False

    Correct Answer
    B. False
    Explanation
    The key signature of Bb (B flat major) actually has 2 flats, not 3. The key signature of Bb major consists of Bb and Eb, which are the two flats. Therefore, the correct answer is false.

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  • 11. 

    The key signature of B (major) has 5 sharps

    • A.

      True

    • B.

      False

    Correct Answer
    A. True
    Explanation
    The key signature of B major has 5 sharps because in the B major scale, the notes B, C#, D#, E, F#, G#, and A# are all raised by a half step. These raised notes are represented by sharps in the key signature. Since there are 5 notes that need to be raised in the B major scale, the key signature of B major has 5 sharps.

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  • 12. 

    A major 3rd interval is equivalent to two whole steps above the root

    • A.

      True

    • B.

      False

    Correct Answer
    A. True
    Explanation
    A major 3rd interval is equivalent to two whole steps above the root. This means that if we start on a certain note (the root), and move up by two whole steps, we will reach a major 3rd interval. Therefore, the statement is true.

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  • 13. 

    B minor is the relative minor to Eb major

    • A.

      True

    • B.

      False

    Correct Answer
    B. False
    Explanation
    B minor is the relative minor D major

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  • 14. 

    In 4/4 time, which note receives one full beat?

    • A.

      Sixteenth note

    • B.

      Half note

    • C.

      Quarter note

    • D.

      Whole note

    Correct Answer
    C. Quarter note
    Explanation
    In 4/4 time, the top number indicates that there are four beats per measure, and the bottom number indicates that the quarter note receives one beat. Therefore, the correct answer is the quarter note, as it is the note that receives one full beat in this time signature.

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  • 15. 

    What note is a perfect fourth interval above A?

    • A.

      B

    • B.

      D

    • C.

      F#

    • D.

      Eb

    Correct Answer
    B. D
    Explanation
    A perfect fourth interval above A is the note D. In music theory, a perfect fourth is a musical interval that spans four notes in the diatonic scale. Starting from A and counting four notes up, we land on D.

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  • 16. 

    What note is a major seventh interval above E?

    • A.

      C#

    • B.

      D

    • C.

      B

    • D.

      D#

    Correct Answer
    D. D#
    Explanation
    The note that is a major seventh interval above E is D#. In music theory, a major seventh interval consists of 11 half steps or semitones. Starting from E and counting up 11 half steps, we arrive at D#. Therefore, D# is the correct answer.

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  • 17. 

    The A major chord is the V (5) chord in the key of

    • A.

      C

    • B.

      E

    • C.

      D

    • D.

      Bb

    Correct Answer
    C. D
    Explanation
    The A major chord is the V (5) chord in the key of D. In music theory, the V chord is known as the dominant chord and it has a strong tendency to resolve to the I (tonic) chord. In the key of D, the V chord is A major, which consists of the notes A, C#, and E. This chord creates tension and leads the listener's ear back to the D major chord, providing a sense of resolution and stability.

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  • 18. 

    E major in its first inversion would be

    • A.

      B G# E

    • B.

      G# B E

    • C.

      E G B

    • D.

      A C# E

    Correct Answer
    B. G# B E
    Explanation
    The given answer, G# B E, represents E major in its first inversion. In a first inversion, the root note (E) is moved up an octave, resulting in the notes G#, B, and E. This creates a different tonal quality compared to the standard E major chord, as the third (G#) becomes the bass note.

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  • 19. 

    What note is a minor 3rd interval above C?

    • A.

      Eb

    • B.

      F

    • C.

      Db

    • D.

      A#

    Correct Answer
    A. Eb
    Explanation
    A minor 3rd interval above C means moving 3 half steps up from C. Starting from C, counting 3 half steps up, we land on Eb. Therefore, Eb is the correct answer as it is a minor 3rd interval above C.

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  • 20. 

    What does the top number in the time signature indicate?

    • A.

      How many beats per measure

    • B.

      How many measures per section

    • C.

      The length of each note

    • D.

      The tempo of the song

    Correct Answer
    A. How many beats per measure
    Explanation
    The top number in a time signature indicates how many beats are in each measure. A time signature is used in music notation to specify the number of beats in each measure and the type of note that receives one beat. The top number represents the number of beats, while the bottom number represents the type of note. Therefore, the correct answer is "How many beats per measure."

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  • 21. 

    Two sixteenth notes are the equivalent of

    • A.

      One half note

    • B.

      One eighth note

    • C.

      Two quarter notes

    • D.

      One quarter note

    Correct Answer
    B. One eighth note
    Explanation
    Two sixteenth notes are the equivalent of one eighth note. In musical notation, a sixteenth note is a note value that represents 1/16th of a whole note. Therefore, two sixteenth notes combined would equal 2/16th of a whole note, which simplifies to 1/8th of a whole note, also known as an eighth note.

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  • 22. 

    If the time signature is 3/4, which note takes one full beat?

    • A.

      Quater note

    • B.

      Triplet

    • C.

      Sixteenth note

    • D.

      Eighth note

    Correct Answer
    A. Quater note
    Explanation
    In a time signature of 3/4, there are three beats in each measure and the quarter note receives one full beat. This means that the quarter note is the note that lasts for the entire duration of one beat.

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  • 23. 

    If the time signature is 6/8, which note takes one full beat?

    • A.

      Half note

    • B.

      Sixteenth note

    • C.

      Eighth note

    • D.

      Thirty-second note

    Correct Answer
    C. Eighth note
    Explanation
    In a time signature of 6/8, there are 6 eighth notes in each measure. This means that each eighth note takes one full beat. The other note options, such as the half note, sixteenth note, and thirty-second note, do not align with the time signature and would not take one full beat.

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  • 24. 

    How would the chord (with notes from lowest to highest) : B D F# A be classified?

    • A.

      Major 7th

    • B.

      Perfect 5th

    • C.

      Minor 7th

    • D.

      Augmented 7th

    • E.

      Major 9th

    Correct Answer
    C. Minor 7th
    Explanation
    Since all of the notes are in the C-major scale and the top note is a 7th, it is a major 7th chord.

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Our quizzes are rigorously reviewed, monitored and continuously updated by our expert board to maintain accuracy, relevance, and timeliness.

  • Current Version
  • Mar 11, 2024
    Quiz Edited by
    ProProfs Editorial Team
  • Aug 19, 2019
    Quiz Created by
    Joel Jurekovic
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