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Placement Exams

Undergraduate Music Theory Placement Exam

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

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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