Placement Procedure for Music Major Courses

Student practice musicianship.

Musicianship students practicing outside Morrison Hall.

Students who plan to major in music or wish to take music major classes MUST complete the Musicianship Placement Exam before beginning music major classes. Students may pre-enroll (see below) in classes before the Music Placement Exam and make adjustments to their schedule during the add/drop period if necessary.


Undergraduate Orientation

An Undergraduate Orientation is held once before the beginning of each semester. The orientation reviews important information such as placement exams, major requirements, program planning, major resources, and student life. It is imperative that prospective music majors make every possible effort to attend.


Fall 2017 Undergraduate Major Orientation: Wednesday, 08/16, 10am-12pm, 125 Morrison.


Musicianship Placement Exam

The Musicianship Placement Exam for Fall 2017 is held in two parts:

Audition: Friday (08/18) 10-11:30am & Tuesday (08/22) 12-2pm; by appointments only (sign up for an appointment in the online registration form below)
Theory & Dictation Tests: Wednesday (08/23), 11am-12pm, 125 Morrison

To register for the Musicianship Placement Exam complete the online registration form.

Written portion: a short written theory exam and musical dictation required of all incoming music majors or students who plan to take music major classes. This portion is expected to last up to an hour.

Audition and sight singing portion: required of all incoming music majors or students who plan to take music major classes; administered individually by appointment, this portion is expected to take about 10 minutes.If you play an instrument (other than piano, organ, or harpsichord) that you are unable to bring to the Musicianship Placement Exam, you may be able to borrow one from the department. Please check in advance with Mark Mueller to be sure that the instrument you need is available to borrow.

Note that this audition appointment pertains to the Musicianship Placement Exam only. If students intend to join a performance ensemble or another course that requires an audition, they must still audition for them separately (see audition information).

Be sure to bring a pencil with an eraser to the Musicianship Placement Exam (and to the Harmony Advanced Placement Exam, if you take it).

For more information on placement criteria and preparation, see musicianship placement criteria.


Harmony Advanced Placement Exam

Required only for those incoming music majors or students who plan to take music major classes, who have previously studied four-part writing and can realize a figured bass or harmonize a melody. In other words, if you have sufficient background that you think you may place ahead in the harmony sequence, rather than at the beginning of the harmony sequence, this test is for you. This is an optional exam and can take up to 2 hours.

Fall 2017 Harmony Advanced Placement Exam: Friday (08/18) 9:30-11:30am, 117 Morrison. No registration necessary.

See harmony placement criteria for more information.



Piano Music 405 Placement

If you are an intending music major and have little or no keyboard experience, you are strongly encouraged to take Piano 405 while you are completing your musicianship and harmony requirements. For admission to Piano 405, you must take the Musicianship Placement Exam and the Piano 405 Placement Exam. Priority for enrollment is given to Music Majors enrolled in Musicianship 52A, 52B, or 152A. A sign up sheet for the Music 405 Placement Exam will be posted on the bulletin board outside room 107 during the first week of classes. Be sure to sign up.


Pre-enrollment Recommendations

Students wishing to pre-enroll in music major courses before completing the Placement Procedure should enroll in 52A and 53A unless they have had considerable formal training in musicianship and/or harmony. Those who have had formal training should look at the placement criteria for musicianship and harmony and estimate where they will place. Adjustments to your schedule can be made during the add/drop period during the semester.

Students with little musical background should sign up for 20A before beginning the music major classes in musicianship and harmony. Once they have acquired more musical skills, they may take the Musicianship Placement Exam to see if they qualify for music major classes. See the criteria for placement in the musicianship series if you think this might apply to you.


Placement Exam Policy

Students should plan to take Music 52A (Musicianship I) and 53A (Harmony I) concurrently. An exception can be made for qualified students who are unable to take both classes concurrently due to heavy course loads or schedule conflicts, in which case students should take Music 53A first unless instructed otherwise. However, the Musicianship Placement Exam is required even if students are only taking 53A.

The Music Department only offers one section of 52A and 53A in spring semesters. Entry into these classes will be competitive based on Placement Exam results. The continuing sequence of those classes (Fall 52B-53B, Spring 152A-153A) will also have only one section each. Students should plan to take their musicianship and harmony classes without interruption to maximize their chances of securing a spot.