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Department of Music and Theatre

Proficiency and Challenge Exams

Evaluating Level of Experience
  • If you plan to take Music 101, and/or Music 103, and/or Music 105, you are not required to take the challenge/placement exam in that area.
  • If you wish to receive transfer credit for a class and be placed in an higher section of theory, aural skills or piano, you must sign up for the proficiency exam(s).
  • Exams are held the week before classes begin or during the first week of each semester.
  • If you have any questions about if you should sign up for a placement exam, please contact Dr. David Scholz.
Theory Placement Exam

Tuesday, August 25th, 7:00PM - 8:00PM

(Fall and Spring)

Exam will be completed electronically. 

Questions? Contact David Scholz.

Aural Skills Placement Exam

Friday, August 21st, 3:00PM - 4:00PM

(Fall only)

Exam will be completed virtually.

Questions? Contact Michelle McConkey.

Piano Audition and Placement Exam

Wednesday, August 26th, 2:00PM - 3:00PM

(Fall and Spring)

Method of delivery To Be Announced 

Questions? Contact Natalya Shkoda.

Music Technology Proficiency Exam

By appointment only.

Each exam is given on a case by case basis throughout the year.

Questions? Contact Dann Sargent.

Challenges will take place via Zoom. Check your Wildcat email for a Zoom invitation.

What to know in order to challenge (test out of):

  • MUSC 101 - Theory I
    • Identification of pitches (treble, bass, and C-clef; octaves)
    • Major/Minor scale identification
    • Major/Minor key signature identification
    • Interval identification (including compound and inversion)
    • Durational symbols identification
    • Time signature identification (Simple/Compound)
    • Triads identification
    • Seventh chords identification
    • Diatonic triads in Major/Minor identification
    • Diatonic seventh chords in Major/Minor identification
    • 4-part harmonic analysis
    • Root position 4-part writing rules
  • MUSC 102 - Theory II
    • Parallel sixth chord identification
    • Identification of cadential, passing, and pedal six-four chords
    • Identification of cadences
    • Identification of non-chord tones
    • Harmonic analysis (4-part, various textures) with first and second inversion triads and seventh chords
    • First and second inversion 4-part writing rules
  • MUSC 201 - Theory III
    • Voice-leading considerations (seventh chords)
    • Secondary dominant identification
    • Secondary leading-tone identification
    • Modulation identification
    • Harmonic analysis (4-part, various textures) with triads/seventh chords including modulations
  • MUSC 202 - Theory IV
    • Borrowed chord identification
    • Neopolitan chord identification and function
    • Augmented sixth chord identification and function
    • Altered chord identification
    • Chord extension identification (9, 11, 13)
    • Mode identification
    • Alternate scale identification
    • Pandiatonicism identification
    • Twelve-tone and serial row analysis and creation (including permutations)
    • Harmonic analysis (4-part, various textures) with triads/seventh chords including modulations
  • MUSC 103 - Aural Musicianship I
    • Prepare, and sight-sing major and minor melodies such as those found in Ottman chapters 2-5
    • Take dictation of melodies similar to those in Ottman chapters 2-5
    • Aurally identify all intervals - ascending, descending, and harmonic.
    • Aurally identify qualities of triads
    • Perform rhythms using division of the beat in simple and compound meter signatures
    • Take dictation of rhythms using division of the beat in simple and compound meter signatures
    • * Ottman, Robert, Music for Sight Singing (6th edition)
  • MUSC 104 - Aural Musicianship II
    • Take dictation of melodies at least as difficult as Ottman, 6th ed. #398 (perhaps shorted by leaving out the 2nd line).
    • Take dictation of rhythms at least as difficult as Ottman 6th ed. #494, 503, 504, 506, 517 (perhaps without the rests), 522
    • Take harmonic dictation, writing outer voices and Roman Numerals, of chord progressions such as:
      • I V6 I IV6 I6 ii6 V6/4-5/3 I (sorry about the problems notating Cadential 6/4)
      • I IV6 ii6 V6/4-4/2 I6 IV V6/4-5/3 I
      • I ii6 V4/2 I6 IV V6/4-5/3 vi

    Students will learn to “audiate” a musical score.  By the end of the course students should be able to:

    • Perform rhythms at least as complex as Ottman 6th ed. #s 501-515, 519-540
    • Prepare singing melodies at least as difficult as Ottman #427
    • Sightsing melodies at least as difficult as Ottman #305
    • * Ottman, Robert, Music for Sight Singing (6th edition)
  • MUSC 105 - Beginning Piano I
    • Technique:
      • Major and harmonic minor scales beginning on any white key, 1 octave, hands together;
      • Chromatic scale beginning on any key, 2 octaves, separate hands;
      • Major and minor arpeggios beginning on all white keys, 2 octaves, hands alone;
      • Appropriate use of the damper pedal.
    • Chords and Chord progressions:
      • Major/minor/diminished/augmented triads on any note, hands together in root position;
      • Primary Chord Progressions in all Major and minor keys, hands together.
    • Harmonization:
      • Ability to provide a two-hand accompaniment to pieces using primary chords;
      • Ability to improvise the L.H. accompaniment in various accompaniment styles (e.g. the Waltz Bass, the Alberti Bass or the March Bass).
    • Sight-reading:
      • Pieces at the level of Bartok's Mikrokosmos, Vol. I.
    • Solo Repertoire:
      • Pieces at the level of Kabalevsky's “A Little Joke.”
  • MUSC 106 - Beginning Piano II
    • Technique:
      • All Major Scales, parallel motion, 2 octaves, hands together;
      • Harmonic minor scales starting on any white key, parallel motion, 2 octaves, hands together;
      • Selected contrary motion Major scales, 2 octaves, hands together;
      • All Major and minor arpeggios, 2 octaves, hands together;
      • Continued use of the damper pedal.
    • Chords and Chord Progressions:
      • Inversions of all types of triad chords;
      • Various seventh-chord qualities in blocked and broken positions;
      • Secondary chord progression of I-vi-IV-ii6-I6/4-V7-I in all Major keys.
    • Harmonization:
      • Ability to provide a two-hand accompaniment to pieces using the inversions of primary & secondary chords and seventh-chords;
      • Ability to improvise the L.H. accompaniment in various accompaniment styles (e.g. the Extended L.H. Accompaniment).
    • Transposition:
      • Ability to transpose folk song arrangements into nearby keys.
      • Sight-reading:
      • Pieces at the level of easier pieces from Kabalevsky's “Twenty-Four Pieces for Children,” Op. 39.
    • Solo Repertoire:
      • Pieces at the level of J. S. Bach's Minuet in G; Clementi's Sonatina in C; or Kabalevsky's Toccatina