Incoming Freshmen and Transfer Students
All future students of the School of Music will take the Theory Placement Exam (TPE) either as part of Audition Day activities or as a virtual exam just prior to summer orientation. This exam is administered to determine whether a student’s prior study has sufficiently prepared them for Theory I, and will help to inform the scheduling process.
See the tips below on how to prepare; students are encouraged to enroll in a music theory class if offered at their high school.
The result of this test does not have an impact on a student's admission into the School of Music.
Music Minors and Non-Music Majors
All prospective music minors must also take the Theory Placement Exam.
The Theory Placement Exam will be offered on CarmenZoom on the following dates:
- Monday, August 9 at 2 p.m.
- Thursday, August 19 at 10:30 a.m.
Registration is required.
Allow up to 1½ hour to complete the exam.
How to Prepare
The Theory Placement Exam will test skills such as reading notation in treble and bass clef, matching rhythms to time signatures, scales and intervals, and identifying the quality of triads and seventh chords.
Sample Test Item
Resources to Help You Prepare
- Andrew Surmani, Karen Farnum Surmani, and Morton Manus, Alfred’s Essentials of Music Theory: A complete Self-study Course for All Musicians (Book and two CDs) Alfred Music, 2004. ISBN-13: 978-0739036358
- Joseph N. Straus, Elements of Music. Prentice Hall, 2008. ISBN 0-13-034341
- John Clough and Joyce Conley, Scales, Intervals, Keys, Triads, Rhythm, and Meter. W.W. Norton & Co., 1999. ISBN 0-393-95189-8
Music Theory Software:
- MFun by Elisabeth Sayrs
What Happens Next?
You will be contacted by the School of Music regarding the next steps. Please reach out to Emily Klepinger with questions.
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