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Criteria for Harmony Placement


To place into 53A (Harmony I): any student who places into Musicianship 52A or higher is automatically eligible to enroll in 53A. Otherwise, students may not enroll in 53A.

Students who wish to place out of 53A(Harmony I), 53B (Harmony II), or 153A (Advanced Tonal Harmony) may take the optional Advanced Harmony Placement Exam, offered at the start of each semester on the same day as the Music Department Entrance Exam from 3-6pm in Morrison Hall. This exam is intended only for students who have already studied 4-part Harmony.

To place out of 53A and into 53B: students are required to harmonize a complete 12-bar chorale melody in four parts. That means writing a bass line and two inner voices below a given melody, providing Roman numeral chordal 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 53A and 53B: in addition to completing the chorale described above, students are required to complete four more exercises:

  • harmonize a 4-bar bassline (unfigured) using secondary (applied) dominant and diminished chords where indicated,
  • harmonize three 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 53A, 53B, and 153A: 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.