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Undergraduate Placement

In order to be admitted to MUS 2731 (Theory I) or MUS 2733 (Theory I Honors), all first-year School of Music undergraduates and transfer students must either take and pass MUS 1701 (Foundations of Music Study), or take and pass an entrance diagnostic exam. Aural skills and music theory are strongly integrated parts of our curriculum; we encourage incoming students to prepare themselves for music study at LSU by consulting some of the aural skills tools available via the Internet or elsewhere.

The LSU School of Music music theory faculty strongly recommends that incoming undergraduates interested in majoring or minoring in music purchase and complete eTheory, a self-paced online course offered by the Eastman School of Music. Eastman’s eTheory is a self-paced course that generally takes four to six weeks to complete.

Completion of eTheory should prepare incoming students for success on the music theory/aural skills placement exam required of all first-year undergraduate students in the School of Music, and thus open a fast track to the required core courses in the music theory curriculum.

LSU students who purchase eTheory are eligible for a $20 institutional discount. eTheory may be purchased at http://www.esm.rochester.edu/iml/store/product/music-theory-fundamentals/. Enter code lsu12s to receive the discount.

Some Useful Aural Skills and Music Fundamental Sites (free)

musictheory.net
good-ear.com

Some Useful Sight Singing and Rhythmic Dictation Texts

Berkowitz, Fontrier and Kraft, A New Approach to Sight Singing (Norton)
Ottman and Rogers, Music for Sight Singing (Pearson)

A Useful Music Fundamentals Text

Clough, Conley, and Boge, Scales, Intervals, Keys, Triads, Rhythm, and Meter (Norton)

Sample Questions on the Theory Placement Exam for Undergraduates Scales

Scales
1. You will hear a series of scales. Identify each as a major scale, a natural minor scale, a harmonic minor scale, or none of the above.
(A) Major ____ Nat. Major ____ Harm. Minor ____ None of the Above ____
(B) Major ____ Nat. Major ____ Harm. Minor ____ None of the Above ____

Intervals (Aural Recognition)
2. You will hear a series of intervals. Identify each as a minor third, a major third, or none of the above.
(A) Major 3rd ____ Minor 3rd ____ Neither ____
(B) Major 3rd ____ Minor 3rd ____ Neither ____

3. You will hear a series of intervals. Identify each as a minor second, a major second, an augmented second, or none of the above.
(A) Minor 2nd ____ Major 2nd ____ Augmented 2nd ____ None of the Above ____
(B) Minor 2nd ____ Major 2nd ____ Augmented 2nd ____ None of the Above ____

4. You will hear a series of intervals. Identify each as a perfect fifth, a perfect fourth, a diminished fifth, or none of the above.
(A) Perfect 5th ____ Perfect 4th ____ Diminished 5th ____ None of the Above ____
(B) Perfect 5th ____ Perfect 4th ____ Diminished 5th ____ None of the Above ____

Chords
5. You will hear a series of three-note chords. Identify each as a major, minor, or diminished triad, or as none of the above.
(A) Major ____ Minor ____ Diminished ____ None of the Above ____
(B) Major ____ Minor ____ Diminished ____ None of the Above ____

6. You will hear a series of four-note chords. Identify each as a dominant (Mm) seventh, a major (MM) seventh, a minor (mm) seventh, a fully diminished (dd, ?) seventh, or none of the above.
(A) Dom 7 ____ Major 7 ____ Minor 7 ____ Fully dim 7 ____ None of the Above ____
(B) Dom 7 ____ Major 7 ____ Minor 7 ____ Fully dim 7 ____ None of the Above ____

Melody and Rhythm
You will hear a brief song you probably know.
7. Write down the time signature and the rhythm of the first phrase.

8. What scale degree does the song starts on (do = 1, mi = 3, etc.)? ______

You will hear a brief song you do not know; the key will be clearly established beforehand.
9. Write down the time signature and the rhythm of the first phrase.

10. What scale degree does the song starts on (do = 1, mi = 3, etc.)? ______