Graduate/Transfer Music Theory Entrance Exam Primer:
Theory 3



Theory III Coverage

The first year of music theory (theory I & II) is devoted to diatonic harmony, or harmony derived exclusively from notes that belong to the scale in use. This topic is completed with a discussion of seventh chords in sequences in chapter 25 and seventh chords with added dissonances in chapter 28. Aside from this chapter, theory III explores the topic of chromatic harmony beginning with the most commonly used chromatic chord, the fully diminished leading tone seventh chord in the major mode (chapter 23). The topic of borrowing scale degrees from the parallel mode (minor from major and vice versa) is explored during the discussion of mixture (chapter 24). Chapter 26 introduces a type of chromaticism that is separate from mixture, one that involves applied chords (dominant and leading tone). Finally, chromaticism on a large-scale is discussed in chapter 27, one devoted to modulation to closely-related keys.

Theory III Part-Writing

Below you will find a figured bass exercise—the bass line to one of Bach’s own chorales—to realize in a four-voice texture. When you are done with your realization, please provide a Roman Numeral analysis of your composition, indicating any modulations with the correct notation (please note that the appearance of a fermata indicates a cadence). Please also identify all cadences according to location and type. Once you have completed your chorale, you can see one possible realization and check your harmonic analysis against the linked answer sheet.

Theory III Analysis

Below you will find a complete minuet which you will analyze using Roman Numerals to indicate the chord function and figured bass to indicate the chord inversion. You will also circle all non-harmonic tones found within this excerpt and label them according to type (passing tone, neighbor tone, suspension, etc.) and label all cadences according to location and type. You must also analyze any modulations—either pivot chord or sectional—using the correct notation. There are applied chords in this minuet, so make careful to separate the appearance of accidentals that bring about a temporary change of key (modulation) from those that simply highlight a single diatonic chord without changing keys (tonicization). As always, if a sequence appears in this minuet, please identify it by location and type and also label all 6/4 chords according to type. Once you have completed your analysis, you can check your results against the linked answer sheet.

Click Here for Part-Writing Realization and Analysis Answer Sheet

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