Theory of Music

There are eight LCM Music Theory grades, plus one introductory level and three diplomas.

Our Music Theory exams are key to the knowledge required, not only for the understanding and performance of the pieces in practical exams, but also for the technical work, discussion and aural test elements.

  • Step and Grades 1-8 are offered in all sessions
  • Theory Diplomas are only offered in the Summer

For information on how to enter and when and where you can sit a theory exam click here



Please note that, due to the disruption of summer theory sessions in 2020 because of COVID-19, the 2019-2020 syllabus has been extended and works set for 2020 will be valid for the 2021 summer session. For the LMusLCM, an additional set work, Walton's Symphony No.1, is also offered. Please see the revised syllabus here.


Syllabus for 2022-2023

The LCME Theory of Music Syllabus 2022-2023 can be viewed here. This contains the new diploma set works which will be valid from Summer 2022 to Winter 2023.

What's in the exam

Pre-Grade 1

Time allowed

  • Step: 1.5 hours

Time allowed

  • Grade 1: 1.5 hours
  • Grades 2-4: 2 hours
  • Grades 5-8: 3 hours

Time allowed

  • 3 hours

Time allowed

  • Paper 1: 3 hours
  • Paper 2: 3 hours

Time allowed

  • Paper 1: completed in advance
  • Paper 2: 3 hours

Download Syllabus