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Music Theory & Composition

Music Theory and Aural Skills Diagnostic Tests

When graduate students enter the University of Tennessee School of Music, they must take both a Music Theory and an Aural Skills diagnostic exam.

Music Theory Diagnostic Exam

The Music Theory Diagnostic Exam will be taken at UT on the day designated for Diagnostic Exams (usually the Monday before classes start).

The test consists of: 

  • Section 1: analyze and resolve chromatic chords; part-writing with chromatic chords/modulation
  • Section 2: analyze chords in a short example
  • Section 3: provide textbook versions of various forms; provide form for a short piece.

Test will be graded holistically and students will be given a grade of pass or fail. If a student passes the diagnostic exam, they may take their 500 level theory class. If they receive a failing grade, they must take MUTH 400: Grad Theory Review.

MUTH 400 will be offered each fall semester.

Aural Skills Diagnostic Exam

Graduate students must also take an Aural Skills Diagnostic Exam on the day designated for Diagnostic Exams (usually the Monday before classes start)

The test consists of 20 questions on the following:

  • Scales/modes
  • Intervals
  • Triads/seventh chords
  • Rhythm
  • Melodies – pitch patterns 5 chords, melodies (7-8 measures)
  • Harmonic progressions – short (3 chords) and long (9-10 chords)

Students will hear each example played (through a recording) 2 times.

Test will be graded holistically and students will be given a grade of pass or fail. If the student fails the Aural Skills Diagnostic Exam, s/he must register for MUTH 410: Grad Ear Training Review. The review class will contain work on the above topics as well as error detection, transcription, aural analysis of simple forms, and sight singing.

MUTH 410 will be offered each fall semester.

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