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All-In-One Music theory is also for Americans!

All-In-One music theory is also for Americans!

I recently received a message from an American music teacher who wanted to know if my music theory books are suitable for her students because of a few different words we use in the United Kingdom for musical terms. Her only real concern was about note values because Americans describe them, quite sensibly, using fractional names (‘Whole, half, quarter…’ )  as opposed to UK musicians who not so sensibly (in fact quite illogically!) describe notes as ‘Semibreve, minim, crotchet’ etc. (Other differences in terminology are quite minor). This music teacher had seen a sample page on my website from All-In-One music theory book which uses both US and UK terms for note values and she wished to know my preference and the terms predominantly used elsewhere in my books. I have copied and pasted my reply below.

‘Thanks for your query. In the case of note values All-In-one music theory (Chapter 2; Time) provides several pages of exercises for both terminologies in use. A1) paper is titled ‘Traditional Name: Semibreve, Minim, Crotchet, Quaver and Semiquaver’ and A2) paper is called ‘Fractional Time Name: Whole, Half, Quarter, Eighth and Sixteenth’ (the Demisemiquaver/ Thirty-second and Breve / Double-whole are dealt with elsewhere in the book in Part Two). In Paper B) it states that students may answer questions using either method. These papers are then followed by a paper specifically about ‘Time Signatures’ (so it links into that). In my view it is necessary to have a very clear understanding of the US fractional terms because it helps with the understanding of Time Signatures. Elsewhere in the book UK (’Traditional’) terms are used (I am from the UK) but I have sought to make the book usable for all English-speaking students. Towards the beginning of the book (in the Foreword) there is a table listing ‘The Major Terminology Differences in Music Theory’ because some different words are used in English-speaking countries which mean the same thing. In footnotes throughout the book I have also provided equivalent terms. For example on page two I have written STAVE on the page in the main body of text, but this is followed by a footnote which says in small print at the bottom of the page ‘The word “staff” is preferred in some countries, including the USA with “staves” as the plural.’ I hope this helps. Best wishes, Rachel’

Another stumbling block to American readers may be the titles of my books because some Americans are not familiar with the graded system and examination boards we have in the UK.  The main books in the All-In-One series are ‘All-In-One to Grade 5’, ‘All-In-One: Grades 1-3’ and ‘All-In-One: Grades 4-5’ (The latter books are based on All-In-One to Grade 5 yet contain a significant number of extra exercises). In the UK ‘Grade 5’ is a significant bench mark and the All-In-One music theory books comprehensively cover both ABRSM and Trinity College London syllabus Grades 1-5. They also contain further topics (marked ‘optional’) outside the scope of both examination boards since, although my books feature graded checklists, they are not confined to syllabus requirements. To give you some idea; they are equivalent to RCM (Royal Conservatory of Music) music theory Grade 6 level which is used throughout Canada and in many parts of Northern America. They also include numerous topics from RCM Grade 7 and some from grade 8.

Finally I should mention that my books have been tried and tested by a few American citizens with great results.

One music teacher from Indiana wrote:

“There are “Britishisms” in the book, but not so many to discourage American students…Perhaps the best endorsement comes from the fact that my test subject is thriving, and progressing rapidly. He is absorbing the material quickly, and is enjoying the journey.”

(K. Maven – Indiana) ,

For more reviews please go to…

If you have any questions about the All-In-One music theory books please don’t hesitate to contact me using the contact form on this website. Aaron publications also has a Facebook page where more sample pages can be seen (and you can message me) Simply click here:

Posted by Aaron publications music theory on Thursday, 28 September 2017

Our twitter handle is Aa_music theory.

Best wishes, Rachel Billings



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