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Theory and Piano Placement

All entering undergraduate music majors must take the theory, musicianship, and piano placement exams prior to initial enrollment (all music minors must take the theory and musicianship exams only). The theory and musicianship placement exams may be taken only once. The results of these exams will determine whether the entering student will begin the theory, musicianship, and class piano sequence in any of the lower-division courses or in the upper division.

Upcoming Tests

The next dates for the Theory and Piano Placement exams will be on Thursday, December 19, 2019, starting at 9am for Spring 2020 enetering students. For Fall 2020 enetering students, tests will be held in Summer 2020.

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Music Theory/Musicianship Tests

Theory and Musicianship level tests are now given all on one test (previously they were offered in different versions at different levels). Please click on the links below to see sample theory and sight-singing and improvisation exams, and information about the transcription exam.

Music Theory

Musicianship: Sight-Singing and Improvisation

Musicianship: Transcription

Please direct questions about the theory and musicianship placement exams to Dr. Scott Perkins.

Piano Placement Information

In addition to the Theory Placement Exam, all entering undergraduate music majors must take a Piano Placement Exam. Both exams are offered together on the same day and time. You will be placed in a class piano level based on a careful assessment of your current ability level.

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. Students who pass the exit exam for 14D will not be required to take class piano. 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.

All music majors must continue to enroll in class piano until the 14D exit exam has been passed. (or 14C for BA students)

Please direct questions about the Piano Placement Exam to Professor Kirsten Smith.