Music Theory Entrance Exam

Bach's Literacy Series

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All freshmen music majors and minors, as well as transfer students are required to take a placement exam as a part of the audition and entrance process to the music program. This basic test will be given on all audition days and during the Getting Started Days before Fall Semester officially begins. Upon completion of the exam, you will be placed into the appropriate theory level based on your score. Topics covered on the exam include keys, scales and intervals along with simple aural concepts, such as matching pitch and singing simple melodies at sight.

You can prepare for the Theory Entrance Exam by purchasing an introductory music theory textbook and working through the material on your own. Introductory texts usually include titles such as Introduction to Music Theory, Basic Music Theory, or Fundamentals of Music Theory. A particularly useful text is Basic Materials in Music Theory: A Program Course by Paul O. Harder.

As you prepare, you should become very familiar with the following topics:

  • Rules of basic music notation
  • Major and minor key signatures
  • Relative and parallel keys
  • Simple meter and rhythm
  • Major and three minor scale forms
  • Basic interval spelling and recognition (up through the octave)
  • Matching pitch
  • Singing simple diatonic melodies at sight.


For additional information:

Dr. Bruce Curlette
(937) 766-7565

Purpose and Eligibility Supporting Materials Preparation Entrance Exam Scheduling