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Advanced Harmony Placement Exam

The Advanced Harmony Placement Exam (AHPE) is optional, required only for students who plan to take harmony courses (Music 151A-B-C-D) and who have previously studied four-part chorale-style writing. 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.

The Advanced Harmony Placement Exam is offered at the start of each semester as a take-home exam. In Fall 2022, the AHPE is available from Dr. David Pereira on request between Wednesday 8/17 and Tuesday 8/23 (the sooner the better). Email David Pereira at dpereira at berkeley.edu to request a copy of the exam.

Questions about the AHPE? Email the instructor-in-charge: David Pereira, dpereira at berkeley.edu


Harmony Placement Criteria

Any student may enroll in Music 151A (Harmony I), provided they are confident with written music theory fundamentals (key signatures, major and minor scales, diatonic intervals, triads, and the basics of meter and rhythmic notation). A short diagnostic test will be given on the first day of class. Students unfamiliar with these fundamentals should enroll in Music 20 (Introduction to Musicianship) prior to taking Music 151A.

To place out of 151A and into 151B (Harmony II): students are required to (1) harmonize a four-measure long unfigured bass line in chorale style, adding a soprano line and two inner voices, providing a Roman numeral analysis, and adding appropriate non-harmonic tones; and (2) harmonize a six-measure long soprano line in chorale style, adding a bass line and two inner voices, providing a Roman numeral analysis, and adding appropriate non-harmonic tones.  The required harmony is basically diatonic, but may include the chromatically altered forms of the minor scale.

To place out of both 151A and 151B and into 151C (Advanced Tonal Harmony): in addition to completing the chorales described above, students are required to complete four more exercises:

  • harmonize a 4-bar bass line (unfigured) using secondary (applied) dominant and diminished chords where indicated,
  • harmonize four 2-bar melodic phrases that modulate to closely-related keys via pivot chord,
  • harmonize three short phrases using the Neapolitan 6th chord where indicated, and
  • harmonize three short phrases using the Augmented 6th chords where indicated.

To place out of 151A, 151B, and 151C: in addition to completing all of the above exercises, students are required to:

  • provide harmonic analysis of two passages from the literature which feature advanced chromatic modulations,
  • harmonize a chromatic melodic line, and
  • harmonize a chromatic bass line, demonstrating familiarity with Nineteenth-Century harmonic techniques