Graduate Theory Placement Exam


Jan. 16, 2014,
4pm to 6pm

Campus Location

Office/Remote Location

Room 224


The Graduate Theory Placement exam determines if incoming graduate students need to take a music theory review course before beginning their graduate theory coursework.

For spring 2014, the examination will take place on Thur., Jan. 16, 4 p.m. in HFA Room 224

The following regulations about the Graduate Placement test can be found in the Graduate Handbook:

  • Prior to registration, all graduate students must take placement examinations in music theory, and aural skills/sight-singing, regardless of their area of concentration.
  • Passing scores on these exams, or passing grades in the appropriate review courses (‘B’ or higher) are required before students may enroll in graduate level theory courses.
  • Course credit associated with review courses will not be applied towards the degree.
  • Students who show deficiencies in the test will be required to register for the appropriate review course (MUS 602, 604).
  • Students may not retake placement exams or take them later than the first semester of matriculation.
  • UNLV students are not exempt from taking the exams.
  • Students must take the exam at the designated time; no make-up examinations will be given. Students who do not take the exam at the scheduled time must complete the review courses before enrolling in any other music history or music theory courses.


The Graduate Music Theory Placement Examination includes: 

  1. 4-part writing: harmonization of soprano or bass cantus firmus including the use of secondary dominants, diatonic modulation, augmented sixths, and Neapolitan sixth.
  2. Figured bass realization including the use of secondary dominants, diatonic modulation, augmented sixths, and Neapolitan sixth.
  3. Harmonic analysis of Bach chorales
  4. Harmonic and formal analysis of music from the 18th and 19th Century
  5. Recognition of scales, intervals, triads in root position and inversions, and seventh chords in root position and inversions.
  6. Melodic dictation (1 or 2 voices) of diatonic and chromatic melodies, and rhythmic dictation (1 or 2 voices) in simple, compound and irregular meters, including syncopation and tuplets.
  7. Aural analysis of harmonic progressions, including secondary dominants, diatonic modulations, augmented sixths, and Neapolitan sixths
  8. Sight-singing of diatonic, chromatic, or atonal melodies in treble, alto, tenor, or bass clef


Suggested bibliography:

  • Burkhart, Charles. Anthology for Musical Analysis. Belmont, CA: Schirmer Cengage Learning, 2008.
  • Hall, Anne Carothers, Studying Rhythm. New Jersey: Pearson, 2011.
  • Green, Douglas M. Form in Tonal Music: An Introduction to Analysis. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1979.
  • Kostka, Stefan and Dorothy Payne. Tonal Harmony with and Introduction to Twentieth-Century Music. Boston: McGraw Hill, 2008.
  • Ottman, Robert W., and Nancy Rogers. Music for Sight Singing. Boston: Prentice Hall, 2011. 


Admission Information

No admission.

Contact Information

More info on this event

Event Sponsor

Department of Music