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Entrance Exams

Undergraduate Placement Examinations

Music Theory Placement Examination:

Students StudyingThis examination, which includes both written and ear-training components, is required of all junior college students and undergraduate transfer students who have not completed a four-semester theory sequence with an accredited NASM school. New freshmen (non-transfer) students who have received training in music theory may take the exam; however, new freshmen students are not required to take the exam. The placement exam is only used for theory and aural skills placement and has no credit attached to it. If theory/aural skills are required for your degree, then you must take music credits to replace them to reach your required total credits for graduation.  This is usually 120 total credits for a music major and 24 credits for a music minor.

The subject material for each exam may be gleaned from the following sources:

Theory I: Jane Clendinning and Elizabeth West Marvin, The Musician's Guide to Theory and Analysis, 3rd edition, chapters 1–13 (notation of pitch and rhythm, simple and compound meters, major and minor scales and key signatures, intervals, triads and seventh chords in root position and inversions, species counterpoint, scoring for SATB, tonic and dominant chords)

Theory II: Jane Clendinning and Elizabeth West Marvin, The Musician's Guide to Theory and Analysis, 3rd edition, chapters 13–22 (diatonic chords, 6/4 chords, deceptive and Phrygian motions, sequences, applied dominant and applied leading-tone chords, modulation)

Theory III: Laitz, Chapters 21–31 (Chromatic harmony, symmetrical divisions of the octave, enharmonic reinterpretation, large forms such as ternary, sonata, rondo, variation, additional 19th-century harmonic techniques)

Theory IV: Jane Clendinning and Elizabeth West Marvin, The Musician's Guide to Theory and Analysis, 2nd edition, chapters 33-40 (modes, non-diatonic scales, set class, twelve-tone procedures, and other post-tonal techniques)

This examination is given on the Friday prior to the first day of classes in the fall and spring semester. Advanced registration for the exam is not necessary; incoming students interested in taking the exam may simply arrive at one of the specific times and locations listed below:

Fall 2021
Music Theory Undergraduate Placement Exam: Friday, August 20, 2021, 1–3 p.m. in 238 Murphy Hall

Spring 2022
Music Theory Undergraduate Placement Exam: Friday, January 14, 2022, 1–3 p.m. in 238 Murphy Hall

Keyboard Skills Placement Examination:

piano keys

Freshman and transfer students with no previous piano study experience should sign-up for PIAN 144. No examination or permission number is necessary. Check with your advisor about your particular degree requirements.

If you have a background in piano playing, you may choose to take a Quiz-Out test. Successfully passing the Quiz-Out will exempt you from having to take that particular class. Check with your advisor about how this will impact your particular degree requirements.

Links to the Quiz-Out test information for each class are here: PIAN 144 , PIAN 148, PIAN 284, PIAN 288 & PIAN 310

Fall 2021
Quiz-Outs for Fall semester 2021 will take place online. Deadline for recording submission is Friday August 20 at 11:59 p.m. Submit your recordings, uploaded to an unlisted YouTube file. It's permissible to send multiple files, or combine all the elements into one file. Send the completed

YouTube video link(s) to Yudi Ouyang, KU Group Piano Coordinator, at yudi_oy@ku.edu.

Spring 2022
Quiz-Outs for Spring semester 2022 will take place online. Deadline for recording submission is January 14 at 11:59 p.m. Submit your recordings, uploaded to an unlisted YouTube file. It's permissible to send multiple files, or combine all the elements into one file. Send the completed YouTube video link(s) to Yudi Ouyang, KU Group Piano Coordinator, at yudi_oy@ku.edu.

Graduate Diagnostic Examinations

All new graduate students except those in music education, music therapy, or M.M. opera are required to take the music history and music theory diagnostic exams. New graduate piano majors must also take an exam in piano literature.

Fall 2021 exams:
Music History

Wednesday, August 18, 2021, 8 a.m. - 2 p.m. The exam will be available online through Blackboard during this time. Students are encouraged to study a Music History textbook from their undergraduate courses as preparation for the Musicology diagnostic exam.

Please log onto Blackboard one or two days before the exam to download the required Respondus lock-down browser. Instructions are on Blackboard.

Music Theory

Thursday, August 19, 2021: 8 a.m.- 1 p.m. Online through Blackboard. All incoming graduate students will take the following 4 exams (60 minutes each) 1) aural skills, 2) basic harmony and voice leading, 3) form, and 4) post-tonal theory. Keyboard players, composers, theorists, and musicologists will take an additional exam in counterpoint (60 minutes).

A Practice Exam is available for those wishing to practice before the actual exam.

Piano Majors (New graduate student piano literature exam)

Tuesday, August 17, 2021, 9 a.m. - 12 p.m., 402 Murphy Hall

Spring 2022 exams:

Music Theory

Thursday, January 13, 2022: 8 a.m.- 1 p.m. Online through Blackboard. All incoming graduate students will take the following 4 exams (60 minutes each) 1) aural skills, 2) basic harmony and voice leading, 3) form, and 4) post-tonal theory. Keyboard players, composers, theorists, and musicologists will take an additional exam in counterpoint (60 minutes).

Music History

 

Friday, January 14, 2022, 8 a.m. - 2 p.m. The exam will be available online through Blackboard during this time. Students are encouraged to study a Music History textbook from their undergraduate courses as preparation for the Musicology diagnostic exam.

A Practice Exam is available for those wishing to practice before the actual exam.

Piano Majors (New graduate student piano literature exam)

There is no formal piano major graduate diagnostic exam in the spring semester. This exam is only offered prior to the fall semester. If for any reason a student must take the exam prior to the spring semester, please communicate directly with Dr. Michael Kirkendoll, 310 Murphy Hall, michaelkirkendoll@ku.edu.


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