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College of Music / Areas of Study / Music Theory & Composition / Departmental Exams / Undergraduate Music Majors / First-Year (Freshman) Music Theory Placement Examination Information (Required)

First-Year (Freshman) Music Theory Placement Examination Information (Required)

All incoming first-year undergraduate music majors are required to take a short music theory placement exam. The exam tests fluency in music fundamentals to determine whether students need to take an introductory music theory course. Students who cannot correctly answer at least 65% of the questions will be required to take Fundamentals of Music (MUT 1001) before beginning the four-semester music theory sequence. The course will help ensure students' success in subsequent theory classes. Students who take MUT 1001 during their first fall semester will take first-year music theory courses (MUT 1111, MUT 1112) during the following spring and summer semesters. They will then be ready to continue the second-year theory courses on track during their second year.

The exam contains four timed sections, testing fluency in identifying:

  1. Major and minor key signatures
  2. Scales
  3. Intervals
  4. Triads

Each section includes 12-24 multiple-choice questions and students have 3-7 minutes per section for a total time limit of approximately 20 minutes. It would be a good idea to practice identifying each of the tested elements prior to taking the exam.

The exam will be available online on the following dates:

May 15-June 1, 2015 (available until 5:00 pm on June 1)

August 10-20, 2015

Remember that the purpose of this exam is to determine which theory class is best suited for you, and this should help you succeed in the theory sequence. Students without adequate mastery of the material covered on this exam typically do poorly in Music Theory I. You must therefore take this entrance exam without any form of outside help or assistance.

Take the exam online


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