Graduate/Transfer Music Theory Entrance Exam Primer

First of all, congratulations on being accepted as a graduate student in the School of Music at Georgia State University! We look forward to working with you to help you grow as a musician. The following information is intended to answer some questions you may have regarding the music theory requirements for your graduate degree.

There is a single three-credit course that is required for all masters students, which is MUS 6450 (Advanced Tonal Analysis), a course that is taught every spring semester. With approval of the Graduate Director, students may substitute MUS 6460 (Analysis of Post-Tonal Music) or MUS 6500 (Historical Counterpoint) for Advanced Tonal Analysis; students are always advised that Advanced Tonal Analysis is the preferred option. The School of Music at Georgia State University requires incoming graduate students to take entrance exams for written music theory and music history during the week before classes begin (click here for more information on the date, time, and place for these exams). These entrance exams are designed to make sure that your understanding of the undergraduate curriculum in these areas is sufficient to allow you to succeed in the more advanced classes you will be taking as a graduate student.

If you fail any of these entrance exams, it is not the end of the world! There are remediation classes for both of these topics (MUS 6160-Review of Harmony, Form, and Analysis and MUS 6150-Review of Music History) specifically designed to help you get up to speed with this material. The theory remediation course is taught each fall semester, while the history remediation course is taught each spring semester.

In order to prepare for the written music theory entrance exam, information is found below to help you study for this test. This information consists of a synopsis of what is covered in each semester of the four-semester undergraduate sequence for written theory. Since reference will be made to chapters covered for each semester, here is the title of the text used for this sequences: Harmony and Voice-Leading 4th ed. by Aldwell and Schachter with Cadwallader (two separate workbooks are used for homework assignments). Sample tests are provided for each semester of the four-semester sequence; these tests correspond to the difficulty level of the final exam in each of these classes.
There is an analysis and a part-writing test for each semester. The analysis tests contain a link to an answer sheet so that the student can correct their own work. The part-writing tests are figured-bass assignments, which allows the student to correct their harmonic analysis against the linked realization. Remember that because there are innumerable ways to realize a figured bass in terms of chord voicing, doubling, and voice-leading, your realization will not look exactly like the linked version. It should, however, follow the same rules for four-voice writing.

If you have any questions regarding any of the information relating to this introduction or to the linked written theory exams, do not hesitate to contact Dr. Mark McFarland, Associate Professor of Music Theory and coordinator of the music theory division.

Theory 1

Part-Writing Exam/Analysis Exam
Part-Writing Realization/Analysis Answer Sheet

Theory 2

Part-Writing Exam/Analysis Exam
Part-Writing Realization/Analysis Answer Sheet

Theory 3

Part-Writing Exam/Analysis Exam
Part-Writing Realization/Analysis Answer Sheet

Theory 4

Part-Writing Exam/Analysis Exam
Part-Writing Realization/Analysis Answer Sheet

 

 

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