Select Page

Graduate Placement Exams

Theory and Aural Skills Tests

All students entering the graduate program are required to take the Graduate Music History Exam and Graduate Music Theory Exam before classes begin.

  • All students entering the graduate program in Theory & Composition are also required to take the Graduate Theory/Composition Concentration Exam before classes begin.
  • Students entering the graduate program in Music Education are also required to take the Graduate Music Education Exam that covers relevant contemporary topics and issues in music education. Students should take this exam before completion of the first semester of coursework; however, the music education faculty strongly recommend that you take it before classes begin.
  • Transfer undergraduate music majors must take the Graduate Theory/Composition Concentration Exam

Exam Guides:

Graduate Music Theory Exam

REQUIRED FOR ALL ENTERING GRADUATE STUDENTS

Sample Graduate Theory Exam >

NOTE: If this exam reveals deficiencies, the student will be required to take appropriate coursework and must pass the course with a grade of C or better.

WHEN TO TAKE IT:

Entering students are required to take this test before the beginning of their first semester of coursework. The test will be given during the week immediately prior to the beginning of each semester, excluding summer session. Students who enter the program in Summer Session will be expected to take the test before the beginning of the following Fall Semester.

ABOUT THE EXAM:

Be prepared to do the following:

  • Harmonic analysis of an excerpt from the tonal literature, chorale harmonization, and figured bass;
  • Harmonic dictation in two and four parts, including at least one common-chord modulation, typical chromatic harmonies and non-chord tones; melodic dictation in both treble and bass clefs;
  • Sightreading in the range of difficulty of “Melodies II” from the textbook A New Approach to Sight-singing, by Sol Berkowitz, Leo Kraft, et al., 4th edition, published by Norton, 1997, or in Melodia, by Samuel Cole and Leo R. Lewis, published by Theodore Presser, 2004.

Texts suggested for review for the written theory portion:

UNM theory classes currently use Laitz, Steven G. The Complete Musician: An Integrated Approach to Tonal Theory, Analysis and Listening, 3rd edition, including both workbooks. Published by Oxford (New York).

We will accept answers on the test that are consistent with other traditions, such as those represented below:

Aldwell, Edward and Carl Schachter, Harmony & Voice Leading, 3rd edition. New York: Thomson-Schirmer, 2003.

Clendinning, Jane Piper and Elizabeth West Marvin. The Musician’s Guide to Theory and Analysis.New York: W. W. Norton, 2005.

Gauldin, Robert. Harmonic Practice in Tonal Music, 2nd edition. New York: W. W. Norton, 2004.

Roig-Fancolì, Miguel A. Harmony in Context. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2003.

Texts suggested for review for ear training and sight singing portion:

Ottman, Robert W. Music for Sight Singing. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 2004.

Fish, Arnold and Norman Lloyd. Fundamentals of Sight Singing and Ear Training. Prospect Heights, Illinois: Waveland Press, Inc., 1992.

Robert D. Levin and Louis Martin. Sight Singing and Ear Training through Literature. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 1988.

 

Graduate Music History Exam

REQUIRED FOR ALL ENTERING GRADUATE STUDENTS

1. You will be asked to write a paragraph or two on composers important in the history of music. Include information about their lives (including approximate dates), their musical output (including specific works) and their significance.

2. Excerpts from Western music from the Middle Ages through the 20th century will be attached to the test, and you will be asked to give an approximate date of composition and genre for each. You will be asked to point out stylistic reasons for your answers on the scores.

NOTE: If this exam reveals deficiencies, the student will be required to take appropriate coursework and must pass the course with a grade of C or better.

WHEN TO TAKE IT:

Entering graduate students are required to take this test before the beginning of their first semester of coursework. The test will be given during the week immediately prior to the beginning of each semester, excluding summer session. Students who enter the program in Summer Session will be expected to take the test before the beginning of the following Fall Semester.

ABOUT THE EXAM:

Be prepared for the following:

  • Style analysis from excerpts of music from various periods, from the Middle Ages through the 20th century, in both written and aural forms;
  • Thumbnail sketches of important composers and their output, from the Middle Ages through the 20th century;
  • Definitions of concepts, terms, styles, and genres important in music from the Middle Ages through the 20th century.

Texts recommended:

Hanning, Barbara Russano: Concise History of Western Music. New York: W. W. Norton.
Bonds, Mark Evan. History of Music in Western Culture, 2nd ed., with anthologies and recordings. Englewood Cliffs, N. J., Prentice Hall, 2006.
Grout, Donald J. and Claude V. Palisca. A History of Western Music, 6th edition, with anthologies and recordings. New York: Norton, 2001.
Stolba, K. Marie. Development of Western Music, edition with anthologies & recordings. Dubuque, Iowa: Wm. C. Brown, 1990.

Graduate Music Education Exam

REQUIRED FOR THE MUSIC EDUCATION CONCENTRATION:

Students wishing to pursue the Master of Music Concentration in Music Education must take a written guidance examination in relevant contemporary topics and issues in music education.

WHEN TO TAKE IT:

Students should plan to take this exam before completion of the first semester of coursework.

ABOUT THE EXAM:

Be prepared to discuss the following topics:

      • A valid rationale for teaching music in the public schools that addresses major philosophical arguments in the field regarding the value of music and primary outcomes of instruction.
      • Current problems in public school music education.
      • Current curricular and methodological movements in public school music education.
      • Appropriate content and materials for public school music instruction, grades K-12.
      • History of public school music education in the United States, particularly with respect to that which has influenced the current state of music education in this country.

Texts recommended:

Mark, Michael L. Contemporary Music Education, 3rd edition. New York: Schirmer Books, 1996.
Campbell, Patricia Shehan, Carol Scott-Kassner and Kirk Kassner. Music in Childhood: From Pre-School Through the Elementary Grades, 3rd edition. New York: Schirmer Books, 2006.

Graduate Music Theory & Composition Exam

REQUIRED FOR ALL ENTERING GRADUATE STUDENTS PURSUING THE THEORY & COMPOSITION CONCENTRATION

* ALSO REQUIRED FOR UNDERGRADUATE TRANSFER MAJORS IN ANY CONCENTRATION.

NOTE: If this exam reveals deficiencies, appropriate coursework will be required.

WHEN TO TAKE IT:

Entering students are required to take this test before the beginning of their first semester of coursework. The test will be given during the week immediately prior to the beginning of each semester, excluding summer session. Students who enter the program in Summer Session will be expected to take the test before the beginning of the following Fall Semester.

ABOUT THE EXAM:

Please refer to the information about content and review texts above under the General Music Theory Entrance Exam. The Theory & Composition Concentration Exam will be more extensive in scope than the General Music Theory exam.

Spring 2015 Exam Schedule

GRADUATE MUSIC THEORY EXAM
For ALL incoming graduate students

Thursday, Jan. 8, 2015, 4:00-6:00 p.m., Room 1019, Center for the Arts

GRADUATE MUSIC HISTORY EXAM
For ALL incoming graduate students.

Friday, Jan. 9, 2015, 4:00-6:00 p.m., Room 1019, Center for the Arts

GRADUATE MUSIC EDUCATION EXAM

For all incoming Music Education majors

Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2015, 11:00-1:00 p.m., Room 1019, Center for the Arts

GRADUATE THEORY/COMPOSITION CONCENTRATION EXAM
For incoming graduate Theory & Composition majors only, and for transfer undergraduate music majors.

Thursday, Jan. 8, 2015, 9:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m., Room 1019, Center for the Arts

Pin It on Pinterest