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Department of Music


Undergraduate Expectations

MUSIC 40 - Entrance Examination

Students registering for Music 40 will be expected to know the following, prior to enrollment. An examination will be given to evaluate these skills during the first week of class. Students scoring lowly will be advised to drop Music 40 and enroll in Music 9. Students will then be unable to enroll in Music 40 until the following fall.

It is expected that you will possess the fundamental skills listed below prior to your enrollment in Music 40:

  • Ability to read pitches in treble and bass clef.
  • Ability to recognize and write key signatures up to 4 sharps and/or 4 flats.
  • Ability to play simple melodies on the piano.
  • Ability to read notated rhythmic values.

Music 40 Sample Examination

I. Write the names of these pitches below each note:

Music notes

II. Write the name of the major key represented by the following key signatures:

Music 40 sample II bar

music 40 sample III bar

Music 40 sample IV bar

V. Which of the following rhythms is being clapped by the instructor?

Music 40 sample V bar

VI. Which type of note is needed to properly complete this measure?

Music 40 sample VI bar



A) B, Gb, F, C, D#, D

B) Bb, Eb, E, B, E, B

C) D#, D#, C#, G#


A) Eb Major

B) A Major



V. answer will vary


To Practice Theory Skills:

  1. See Music Theory and Ear Training Drill Links Below:
  2. Get a music theory software program such as Musica Practia, Aurilia, or MacGamut
  3. Order a basic music book such as Bruce Benward's A Fundamentals Worktext
  4. The textbook used for Music 40 and 41is Bruce Benward's Music In Theory and Practice vol 1 (book and workbook).


Graduate Expectations

Music 204 - Entrance Examination

Near the beginning of fall semester, entering graduate students will take a Graduate Diagnostic Examination in music theory. The primary purpose of this examination is to alert students to any deficiencies they might have in basic music theory knowledge. Students with deficiencies will be expected to rectify those deficiencies prior to enrollment in Music 204, which is offered in spring semester only. In this manner, students will take the diagnostic, receive feedback, and then have at least a few months to review any essential materials prior to enrollment in Music 204.

During the first class of Music 204, another examination will be given to discern whether any deficiencies in basic theory knowledge still exist. If they do, the student will be advised to drop the course, review this elementary material and re-enroll the following year.

It is expected that you will possess the fundamental skills/knowledge listed below prior to your enrollment in Music 204:

Theory Skills

  • All major and minor scales.
  • Basic Roman numeral analysis, identification of keys, modulations, non-chord tones.
  • Basics of form (binary, ternary, minuet and trio, rondo, sonata form, variation, etc.).
  • Basics of melody (motive, phrase, period, sequences. etc.).
  • Chorale-style SATB part writing rules.
  • Ability to spell all qualities of triads and all qualities of seventh chords.
  • Ability to spell secondary dominants, secondary leading tone, Neapolitan and “augmented sixth” chords.

Aural Skills

  • Distinguish root position triad qualities (major, minor, diminished, augmented).
  • Distinguish basic root position seventh chord qualities (major – major 7th; Major – minor 7th; minor – minor 7th; diminished – minor 7th; and diminished – diminished 7th).
  • Simple melodic/rhythmic dictation.

Music 204 Sample Examination

Click here (downloadable PDF file)