Criteria for Musicianship Placement

Requirements for placing into 52A

Eligibility for placement in 52A will be determined by consideration of the following criteria as demonstrated in the student’s performance on the Musicianship Placement Test:

  • some musical accomplishment (ability to sing, play an instrument, or compose music); and/or
  • mastery of music theory rudiments; and/or
  • aptitude for the study and performance of applied music (such as sight singing and/or ear training).

And, while it is not required for entry into 52A, keyboard proficiency will be required to complete the music major, so it is strongly recommended that students avail themselves of keyboard training as soon as possible.

Requirements for placing into 52B

All of the above, including some keyboard proficiency, plus:

  • Performance:
    • sight-sing a diatonic melody fluently;
    • at sight, sing and play (at the keyboard) fluently the bass and soprano of a Bach chorale or a simple Schubert song;
    • sing specified ascending and descending intervals up to the size of a perfect octave.
  • Dictation:
    • write down rhythm and pitches of a simple diatonic melody;
    • write down the bass, soprano and chord symbols (and rhythm!) of a diatonic chord progression and/or comparable example of music literature;
    • identify all ascending and descending intervals up to the size of a perfect octave.

Requirements for placing into 152A

All of the above plus:

  • Performance:
    • sight sing fluently a diatonic melody with some functional chromaticism;
    • at sight, sing and play (at the keyboard) fluently bass and soprano of a more complicated song by Brahms, Wolf, or Debussy.
  • Dictation:
    • write down rhythm and pitches of a diatonic melody with some functional chromaticism;
    • write down bass, soprano, chord symbols (and rhythm) of a diatonic chord progression or comparable example of music literature which includes tonicizations (or applied or secondary dominants).

Waive all

All of the above plus:

  • the ability to perform and write out examples of tonal music with extensive chromaticism AND atonal music; and
  • evidence of extensive performance and experience with wide variety of music.

Exam preparation

The Musicianship Placement Exam is a diagnostic test to ensure that student begin in a course most appropriate for their skill level. It is not necessary for students to study extensively for the exam. However, if desired, students may use the following texts as resources for preparation:

Straus, Joseph Nathan. Elements of music. Boston: Pearson, 2014.
Rogers, Nancy, and Robert W. Ottman. Music for sight singing. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson, 2014.
Hall, Anne Carothers. Studying rhythm. New Jersey: Pearson Education, 2005.