Piano Literature Diagnostic Exam

All incoming graduate students must take the diagnostic exam in piano literature. Any student who does not take the exam will be automatically placed in the review courses. The exam will cover the breadth of piano literature, including listening, from 1600-present. Below are materials to help you study. Information about the exam date will be sent from the School of Music Graduate Advisor along with all other entrance exam information. The exam will be offered in August and January each year. Students have 2 chances to pass any section of the exam.

Listening Exam

The listening portion of the exam will have 10-15 examples from the Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and 20th/21st Century. You should answer with a possible composer, and the possible piece, including movement and opus/catalog number if appropriate. Your goal is to have reasonable guesses, not to be perfectly correct with each example.

Written Exam

The written exam will consist of multiple choice, matching, and short-answer questions for each period.

Study Aids

F.E. Kirby:  Music for Piano:  A Short History

Stewart Gordon:  A History of Keyboard Literature

David Burge:  Twentieth Century Piano Music

Listening Lists

You can use the listening lists below as a guide. Some examples may not appear in the lists below.