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School of Music

Theory and Musicianship

Meet our Faculty

Our theory and musicianship courses are taught by world-class composers and performers with specialized training and experience in theory, musicianship, and pedagogy.

Scott Perkins, Coordinator
Stephen Blumberg
Jeffrey Hoover
Tatiana Scott
Kirsten Smith


Music theory and musicianship are considered to be “core” courses in the curriculum: they are central to the training of our student musicians, and the knowledge and skills students gain from these courses influence all of their study and work in other areas of music. Our goal is to teach students to interpret a broad body of music in many styles through an understanding of aspects of its structure, and to be able to express this interpretation through performance, transcription, composition, improvisation, and teaching.

Course Offerings
Sacramento State offers upper- and lower-division theory courses. Lower division courses are broad in scope and are typically taken in the first two years of study. These courses prepare students for specialized upper-division study in the third and fourth years. read more

Placement Exams
All entering undergraduate music majors and minors must take a Theory Placement exam prior to initial enrollment (all music majors must also take the Piano Placement Exam). The Theory Placement exam may be taken only once. The results of this exam will determine whether the entering student will begin the theory sequence in any of the lower-division courses or in the upper division. read more