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Undergraduate Music Theory Placement Exams

During Orientation Week all incoming undergraduate and transfer students take a placement exam in Music Theory.

Exam Sections

Section 1

All students will be asked to identify scales, chords, and intervals. Students who pass this section will be placed in Harmony & Counterpoint 1. Students who do not pass this section will be placed in Music Fundamentals.

Section 2

Intermediate students will be asked to demonstrate competence in and understanding of Species Counterpoint (1st to 4th), harmonic analysis incorporating non-chord tones and secondary functions, analytical diagramming of a Minuet, and a harmonic realization of a Chorale. Students who pass this section will be waived out of Harmony & Counterpoint 1 and 2 and may choose to sit a second paper later in the week to test out of Harmony & Counterpoint 3 and 4.

The Ear Training and Harmony & Counterpoint course sequences are interrelated, so students who test out of Harmony & Counterpoint 1 and 2 must also test out of Ear Training 1 and 2 before advancing to the sophomore level sequence. Ear Training exams are held during Orientation Week for these students.

BM Theory Proficiency Exam

Sunday, August 30, 2015
2:00–3:00
Seully Hall 

Before beginning Harmony & Counterpoint 1 we expect students to be familiar with the following:

  • treble clef
  • bass clef
  • ledger lines (above and below, treble and bass clefs)
  • scale degree names (supertonic, mediant, etc.)
  • major scales
  • major key signatures
  • minor scales (natural, harmonic, and melodic)
  • minor key signatures            
  • recognition of all root position triads (major, minor, augmented, and diminished)
  • simple and compound time-signatures (2/4, 3/4, 4/4, 6/8, 4/8, 9/8, 12/8 etc.)

There are no make-up exams: students who do not take a Placement Exam during Orientation Week will be placed in Music Fundamentals.

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