ADMISSIONS
MUSIC THEORY/PIANO PLACEMENT
PLACEMENT EVALUATION DATES: Summer 2015, TBA.
SIGN UP HERE: PLACEMENT SIGN-UPS

THEORY PLACEMENT INFORMATION
Please review the placement exam details below. You will need to "Challenge" MUSC 7 and MUSC 2 in order to advance to upper-division Music Theory. Otherwise, during Orientation you will be advised to enroll in the level of Music Theory matching your current skill level. Please direct questions to the Music Department Advisor during Orientation.

Placement Exam Level A for placement into Music 4 or Music 5
For students with minimal theory background including most first-semester freshman music majors. Harmony exam covers music theory fundamentals including key signatures, meter signatures, intervals, major and minor scales, triads. Aural theory exam covers identification of intervals, scales, and triads; melodic dictation, vocal reading.

Placement Exam Level B for placement into Music 6- Intermediate Theory
For students with an excellent high school theory background or one semester of college theory. Harmony exam covers intervals, triads, harmonic analysis including all diatonic triads, non-harmonic tones, phrases, cadences, and part-writing in chorale style with figured bass. Aural theory exam covers identification of intervals, triads, melodic dictation, harmonic dictation, and vocal reading.

Placement Exam Level C for placement in Music 7-Advanced theory
For students with two semesters of college theory or the equivalent. Harmony exam covers seventh chords, harmonic analysis including secondary dominants, modulation, part-writing in chorale style from figured bass or Roman numerals including seventh chords and secondary dominants. Aural theory exam covers identification of seventh chord qualities, melodic dictation, harmonic dictation, and vocal reading.

Placement Exam Level D for placement into upper division theory courses
For students with three or more semesters of college theory. Harmony exam covers harmonic analysis including secondary dominants, borrowed chords, Neapolitan and augmented sixth chords, chromatic mediants; harmonization and part-writing including all altered chords. Aural exam covers harmonic dictation including all altered chords, aural analysis of form and cadences in classical song forms or rondo, and vocal reading.

Recommended Study Materials
These materials are recommended for students who wish to review for placement exams. These materials are widely available in college bookstores, college libraries, and sheet music stores such as Byron Hoyt Music in San Francisco.
  • Level A: Bruce Benward & Barbara Jackson: Practical Beginning Theory- A Fundamentals Worktext. W.C. Brown Pubishers.
  • Level B: Ralph Turek: The Elements of Music, Volume I. McGraw- Hill Publishers. Chapters 1-9. (This is a required textbook for Music 5 and 6)
  • Level C: Ralph Turek: The Elements of Music, Volume I. McGraw- Hill Publishers. Chapters 10-19. (This is a required textbook for Music 5 and 6)
  • Level D: Ralph Turek: The Elements of Music, Volume II. McGraw- Hill Publishers. (This is a required textbook for Music 7)
PIANO PLACEMENT INFORMATION
You will be placed in a class piano level based on a careful assessment of your current ability level.  If you find that you have an unavoidable conflict with your assigned class time, it is your responsibility to discuss this conflict with your teacher within the first week of classes. If, within the first 3 weeks of class, you feel that you have been placed in an inappropriate level, please feel free to discuss this with your teacher.

In your placement evaluation we will assess your current knowledge of and ability to do the following:
  • Major and minor scales
  • Chord progressions
  • Melodic transposition
  • Sight reading

  • If you wish, you may prepare a piece of your choice. At the time of your piano placement we will also do a brief evaluation of your aural skills. This, along with the aural portion of your theory placement exam, will provide us with an additional, more individual picture of your needs. This evaluation will cover interval identification, sight singing and rhythm reading.

    All music students (both new and continuing) who have not completed their class piano requirement must take a placement exam.  Students who pass the exit exam for 14D will not be required to take class piano. All students must continue to enroll in class piano until the 14D exit exam has been passed.  Please be aware that the meeting times and availability of sections will vary from semester to semester and are subject to last minute changes depending on the results of placement exams and the number of incoming students.  At least one section at each level will be offered every semester.

    For more information, please email, write or call:
    Sacramento State Department of Music
    ATTN: Mark Allen, Music Admissions Counselor
    6000 J Street, Sacramento, CA 95819-6015
    (916) 278-6543