Graduate Resources

Doctoral Resources: 

Plan of Study Templates: 

Graduate Placement Tests 

The School of Music offers placement tests in Theory, Music History, Sight Singing, Ear Training and Keyboard Skills. These tests are required for all incoming Graduate students. Completion of these exams is required in order to register for any music courses. 

For more information please email Dr. Gregory Robinson.

MM Exit Exams and Doctoral Comprehensive Exams

For information on these exams, please see the Graduate Handbook or contact Dr. Gregory Robinson.

Graduate Placement Test Study Guide

Part I: Listening/Score Analysis

You will be given three pairs of score excerpts, and you will hear each excerpt once. Within each pair, place the pieces in chronological order and give an approximate date for each work. Discuss the aspects of the pieces that lead you to date  them as you do.

Part II: Music History

You will be given several groups of composers and asked to discuss in detail the musical style, compositions, and importance of one composer from each group chosen.

Part III. Written Theory

The written theory test is graded pass/fail.

In it, you are asked to:

  • Analyze harmonies in a string quartet score excerpt, with Roman numerals and figures
  • Identify embellishing tones
  • Identify aspects of musical texture (melody, countermelody, accompaniment, bass line)
  • Identify cadences (authentic and half)

Part IV. Aural Skills

The Aural Skills test also has two parts: a transcription and a singing test. 

The exam is graded pass/fail.

  • You will be asked to transcribe (in music notation) a recording of a duet.
  • You will be asked to sing a melody after a short preparation period.

Part V: Keyboard Skills


The following skills/repertoire should be practiced in advance of the testing and must be well-prepared to be acceptable:

  1. Scales (2 Octaves), Arpeggios (2 Octaves), and standard chord progression (e.g. I, IV, V7, I), in any major or minor key.
  2. One prepared piece on the difficulty level of J. S. Bach’s Anna Magdalena’s Notebook or more difficult level.
  3. Playing functional chord progressions.
  4. Harmonize & transpose melodies.
  5. Play from standard lead sheet.
  6. Play a simple accompaniment from a vocal or instrumental piece.

Practice Resources

Students who wish to review tonal music theory concepts are encouraged to consult Open Music Theory, especially the section on Diatonic Harrmony.