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Audition & Placement

This information pertains to the Bachelor of Arts in Music Education, Music Therapy, Music Industry and Breadth Studies, and to the Bachelor of Music in Performance, Composition and Media Composition. Your audition material should reflect your best musical and technical proficiency. You must audition in ONE instrumental area. Additionally the Bachelor of Arts options and all Composition and Media Composition programs require an interview.

Students wishing to audition for the department, for entrance into the Music program, must submit an audition application by the specified deadline. Students auditioning must be in the process of admission to the University for the semester they are auditioning for.

Spring 2015 Entrance Auditions

*Please note* We have encountered an issue with our audition application system.  The problem has been fixed.  If you requested an audition between September 1 and October 6 and did not receive a confirmation email, please fill out the application again.  We apologize for the inconvenience

Auditions for the Spring 2015 semester will be held on:

Saturday, October 25, 2014 (deadline to apply is Oct 15th)

Audition Application


Fall 2015 Entrance Auditions

Auditions for the Fal 2015 semester will be held on:

Dates and application to be announced (deadline to apply is TBA)


Applicants for the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Music programs may apply to the university for the Fall 2015 semester October 1-November 30, 2014 through

Students will be able to choose their audition date on their application. The audition application period for Fall 2015 will be November 2014 through January 2015 for all audition dates. Dates, deadlines and application will be posted on this site once decided upon.

Audition applications for all listed dates can be submitted electronically through the following link:

Audition Application

Placement Examinations for Fall 2014

Fall 2014 Late Undergraduate Placement Tests:

Tuesday – August 19, 2014
No appointment required. YOU WILL BE ASKED FOR YOUR STUDENT ID # - bring this information with you.

Keyboard Placement Exam
Dr. Jacqueline Salas
CY 239, 9-10 am - This test takes approx. 10 min.

Musicianship Placement Exam
Prof. David Aks
CY 105, 10:30 am - The exam is about 1 hour, please bring writing utensils: pen, pencil, etc.

Theory Placement Exam
Dr. Liviu Marinescu
CY 113, 12 noon This exam will last about 1-2 hours


Any student who wants to start at a higher level than beginning in any of the areas of Keyboard, Musicianship and Theory here at CSUN must take the placement exam(s) in those areas. Transfer students receive credit for courses taken based on the level of skill they demonstrate during these exams. You do NOT have to take the exam of any area you want to start in level one.


1) Keyboard Placement Exams will be given on an ongoing basis and it will consist on 4 basic pieces that will test your sight-reading and piano playing skills. The test normally takes only a few minutes, so stop by anytime between the hours posted and you’ll be done in about 10 minutes. DO NOT take this exam if your main instrument (auditioned & accepted) is Piano.

2) Musicianship Placement Exam will take approximately an hour and will consist of a short written portion covering basic note reading, key signatures, intervals, and major/minor scales and a dictation portion covering interval identification, melodic dictation, rhythmic dictation, and harmonic dictation. Please bear in mind that this test is used only to determine at which level of musicianship it would be most appropriate for you to begin. For more information on the musicianship exam, you can contact the instructor proctoring the exam.

3) A Theory/Harmony Placement Exam is available for students wishing to place out of Harmony I (diatonic harmony only) and/or Harmony II (chromatic harmony and advanced chord progressions). This placement test is focused on evaluating knowledge of 4-part writing, figured bass, and the ability to construct proper chord progressions involving traditional voice leading techniques. Topics such as Roman numeral analysis, cadences, secondary dominants, modulation, non-chord tones, the Neapolitan sixth chord and augmented sixth chords will be covered. The standard textbook used in the Music Department is "Tonal Harmony" by Stefan Kostka and Dorothy Payne.

 IMPORTANT: These exams are intended for placement only and CANNOT be taken more than once. You must begin the course sequence at the level indicated in your outcome and continue until ALL sequences required in your option have been met.

If you’re not accepted into a music option, you CANNOT enroll in any major courses until you are officially admitted into a music option, therefore DO NOT take placement exams until you are admitted into a music option.

The current course rotation for these courses is:

  • Levels I, III and V – offered Fall semester only
  • Levels II, IV and VI – offered Spring semester only 

If you test into a higher level than what is required in your Music Option, you do not have to complete the course unless you change your option to a higher required level option. Refer to your major sheet to see which is the highest level required for your degree option in each specific area.

All levels of keyboard are required for all music options except for students whose main instrument is piano.

Updated 05/18/12


Fall 2014 Graduate Placement Tests:

Graduate Music Theory/Analysis Placement Test
Thursday August 21 at 12 pm
Location: CY 105

Graduate Music History Placement Test
Friday August 22  at 12 pm
Location: CY 105

Study Guides for the Graduate Placement Exams

Dowload sample tests and study materials