Mind Over Finger: Distinction In Music Theory Exams – For Grades One to Five

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Item Code: IHL596
Author: Ronald Laloo
Publisher: Pankaj Publications, New Delhi
Edition: 2008
ISBN: 8187155949
Pages: 120
Cover: Paperback
Other Details 11.0 inch X 8.5 inch
Weight 400 gm
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Shipped to 153 countries
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More than 1M+ customers worldwide
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100% Made in India
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23 years in business
Book Description
Back of the Book

In a world where the words competition and success go hand in hand, it is important that students be well prepared to face the world. Not just to succeed for the sake of success but to succeed with knowledge, which may be useful in their future lives, to improve their lives. Knowledge, that is applicable is worth learning, so is this book for all those students who wish to succeed in the Music Theory exams and at the same time would like to improve and understand music so they can apply it in their learning of it. This book does not give any answers but guides students in their thought process. It will help students to learn to be careful so they will not loose marks by their little careless mistakes. Developing a habit of carefulness will improve their performance in all other fields as well. A good habit formed early in life forms the character that is carried throughout the rest of a person’ life. Molding our thought process in their direction is the essence of success. I guarantee that anyone who goes through this book will certainly become a distinction student.


Western classical music —sounds very impressive and quite complicated. That is a what most people think. However, it is not so. If taught and learnt correctly it can take you into another world. Today’s youth, and parents, for that matter, want everything packaged in capsules. As a result there is no depth or understanding in the learning process be it music or any other especially subject. Teaching also has to cater to these demands and often the most important aspects (the basics) of understanding music, is lost. lt is to stop this process that one needs to appreciate what Ronald is doing. His first book, ‘Mind Over Finger’ dealt with playing of music while this one ‘Distinction’ deals with the Theory of Music.

It gives me great joy and satisfaction that a fellow musician has ventured into territory that has always been the realm of the western world. We have always used books written and published abroad as guides to teaching and learning music. It is probably the first time one of our own has tackled the problems associated with teaching music. This book Distinction fills an ever present void that is understanding music correctly. As a teacher Ronald has always given as much importance to playing as to the theory of music. In this book he has tackled every relevant theory topic and his detailed explanations are simple to follow and understand. Teachers and students will End answers to all their questions on the Theory of Music. Having taught music for so many years he understands the problems one faces as a teacher. He has used all his knowledge and experience in his books, and most importantly kept it simple. Both his books should find a place in every student and music teachers’ library.

I do wish Ronald all the best and look forward to his next book. Keep up the good work.


It has been my observation through my years as a teacher of music that like mathematics, music is one subject where one can score a hundred percent h in the theory exams. Music is a very mathematical and scientific subject. That is why a very good musician is usually a good mathematician as well. This need not be the case though, in being able to do the music theory exams, because music is not as complicated as real mathematics. It is just simple, elementary maths and a lot of logic and common sense; hence anyone with a sincere interest and the will to work hard can obtain a distinction, if not a hundred percent, in the music theory grade exams.

This book is meant to do just that. To help all those who desire to accomplish a result of not less than a distinction no matter how weak they are in maths. The instructions and little hints on how to do the theory papers, so one can obtain the desired result. It will help you to be able to recognize your mistakes and then correct them. This way you do not loose any marks by your little careless mistakes or oversight. Simple careless mistakes are the real reasons to loosing marks in subjects like maths and music. So develop a habit for careful work as you practice learning how to write this language called Music.

Like learning any language whether English, Hindi, Arabic, Japanese or Chinese, one needs to sit down and practice learning how to shape those alphabets to get them right and legible (readable), so it is with music. Remember when you were in the elementary school and had a class period called Handwriting? A good handwriting speaks a lot about who you are and that is exactly why one needs to sit down and practice those clef signs, numbers, notes, rests, sharps, flats and naturals till they look like you printed them. There are rulers, pencils and erasers to help us attain the perfect shapes, so make use of them. Use the Music manuscript note book (with five lines and four spaces) available at any music store to practice writing on, before you can work on your exercises, so that your work is neat and tidy. Avoid pressing your pencil too hard as you write initially, so that when you erase it will not make your paper look untidy.

Remember only practice makes one perfect. Make sure you understand what you have to do first before attempting to do any question. Mark the important words (lightly, so you can erase them later) in the question so that you do not omit any answer or else you will loose marks unnecessarily. In other words read your questions very carefully.

This book is divided into Six main parts. This includes parts for each grade from grade one to five.


In the twenty—first century we have to prepare ourselves for an influx of young talented musicians both in the field of classical music as well as popular forms like rock, pop and film background music.

There are not many institutions that can help them. Those who are interested in putting their own songs and compositions into the western notation system will find this book an excellent guide to help them do this in the first elementary stages.

Many students of classical music give up after an initial attempt at learning an instrument like the piano, violin and other classical instruments simply because of the fact that their teachers do not take the trouble to teach them the elementary “RUDIMENTS of MUSIC", with the result that the score in front of a student learning to play the notes remains a mystery.

Ronald Laloo has done admirable work in this connection. His book will help young or adult beginners to understand the substance of music. Without the help of their teachers to show them how to read with understanding, this will result in parrot like imitation. This book should be used in tandem with "Mind Over Finger" also by Ronald Laloo, for keyboard players.

Young pupils below ten years of age will need professional guidance from trained teachers. Teen agers and adult beginners will be able to learn how to read, write and understand the score from a systematic study of this book. Without this knowledge all practical demonstration at the instrument by the teacher will only provide a very shaky foundation for the eager and keen student, who will abandon his efforts to learn music in frustration.

I agree with Ronald Laloo that there can be no real understanding of playing music without a thorough knowledge of its rudiments.


Acknowledgments x
Preface x
Introduction xi
A Summary of the Book xii
Part I
Basic Knowledge to Reading and Writing Music
Notes And Rests 17
The Music Staff 18
The Beat And Rhythm Of Music 22
Grouping of Notes and Rests 23
Time Signature of a Given Line of Music 24
Accidentals 27
Scales 28
Major Scales 28
Minor Scales 29
Harmonic Minor Scales 30
Melodic Minor Scales 30
Scale Tables 31
Major and Natural Minor Scales 31
Harmonic Minor Scales 32
Melodic Minor Scales 33
Intervals 35
Inverted Intervals 37
Triads 37
Triads in Different Positions 40
Part II
Grade 1 Exercises
Pitch 46
Time 47
Scales 48
Intervals 49
Triads 51
Grade 1 Sample Exam Paper 53
Part III
Grade 2 Exercises
Pitch 57
Transposition 58
Time 58
Scales 60
Intervals 60
Triads 62
Grade 2 Sample Exam Paper 63
Part IV
Grade 3 Exercises
Scales 67
Transposition 67
Time 69
Triads 71
Grade 3 Sample Exam Paper 72
Part V
Ornaments 77
Grade 4 Exercises
Scales 84
Transposition And Key Signatures 84
Time 86
Intervals 87
Triads 88
Ornaments 89
Grade 4 Sample Exam Paper 90
Part VI
Phrasing 97
Cadence 97
Unessential Notes 98
Triads In Open Position 99
Writing Chordal Passages 99
Grade 5 Exercises
Ornaments 101
Transcription 102
Phrasing 103
Answering Phrases 104
Cadences and Unessential Notes 104
Triads 105
Writing Chordal Passages 108
Grade 5 Sample Exam Paper 112
Be Knowledgeable and a Learner 116
Index & Words 117
Bibliography 121
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