• Production still from SERSE
  • french horns
  • choir and orchestra
  • pianist, clarinetist, and violinist
  • violin section of orchestra
  • wind orchestra
  • Jazz Band on stage

Graduate Placement Exams

The Music History/Literature Exam 

Dr. Alexandra Monchick

— Please bring to the Music History/Literature exam the following:  #2 pencil, pen, blue book, Scantron 100 question test form —

Exam Content

The music history area reserves the right to slightly alter the format of the exam from year to year. Currently the exam consists of fifty multiple choice questions followed by listening. In the listening examples, students are asked to identify the piece and composer, describe the selection in musical terms, and situate it historically. 

Download Practice Graduate History Placement Exam (.pdf)

Suggested Texts and Recordings for Review

  • J. Peter Burkholder. History of Western Music 8th edition. W. W. Norton & Company, 2009. ISBN-13: 978-0393931259
  • J. Peter Burkholder. Norton Recorded Anthology of Western Music, 6th edition, vol. 1, 2, and 3
  • J. Peter Burkholder. Norton Anthology of Western Music, 6th edition , vol. 1, 2, and 3. W. W. Norton & Company, 2009.


The Form/Analysis Exam

Dr. Liviu Marinescu

— Please bring to the Form/Analysis exam the following: #2 pencil, eraser —

Exam Content

This exam consists of two sections, one in functional theory and one in form and analysis.

1) Functional Theory

This portion of the exam tests the student's knowledge of traditional harmony. It consists of short pieces that must be analyzed harmonically. It also contains Four voice chorale phrases with specified harmonies that must be filled in by the student. Harmonic vocabulary includes all diatonic triads and seventh chords, all secondary dominants, Neapolitan sixth chords, all augments sixths, and chords in major keys borrowed from parallel minor. Material involving chromatic harmony is included.

2) Form and Analysis

This portion tests the student's knowledge of traditional musical form. Students are given scores to a movement of a work and are asked to divide the movement into principal sections according to traditional formal analysis.

Suggested Texts for Review

• Kostka/Payne, Tonal Harmony - all the way to the end, especially chromatic harmony.

• Any traditionally based books on form: Green: Form in Tonal Music | Berry: Musical Form