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Sample Music Theory Diagnostic Exam

A summary of the major sections and main types of questions

Attempt each of the following questions. If you come to a question that addresses a topic with which you are unfamiliar, just leave it blank and go on to the next one. Your performance on this test will determine proper placement within the pre-theory and the theory curriculum (MU101, MU201, MU241, and MU243).

  1. AURAL SKILLS: INTERVAL RECOGNITION.
    1.  You will hear four intervals. Each will be played three times. In the space provided, name the quality and size of each interval (e.g., “major second,” “minor third.,” “perfect fourth,” etc.

  2. AURAL SKILLS: RECOGNITION OF TRIAD TYPES. 
    1. You will hear four triads. Each will be played three times. Name the type (quality) of each triad (major, minor, augmented, or diminished).

  3. NOTATION.
    1. A. Write the following note values and pitches (staff provided with clef) – for example, write a quarter note on G#.
    2. B. Supply the proper time signature for each of the following notated fragments. (notes and bar lines provided)

  4. INTERVALS.
    1. A. Add a second note at the specified interval from each given pitch:
    2. B. Name the inversion of each interval provided.

  5. TRIADS & SEVENTH CHORDS.
    1. A. Identify the root, quality (major, minor, etc.), and the inversion of each triad given.
    2. B. Identify the root and quality of each seventh chord given.

  6. SCALES & KEY SIGNATURES.
    1. A. Write out the indicated scales on the staff provided, using accidentals
    2. B. Name the major and minor key indicated by each key signature given.

  7. COUNTERPOINT
    1. A. Write 2nd species counterpoint (2 half notes for each given whole note) above the cantus firmus provided.
    2. B. Write 3rd species counterpoint (4 quarter notes for each given whole note) above the cantus firmus provided.

  8. FIGURED BASS.
    1. Realize the following figured bass in four voices.

  9. ANALYSIS. 
    1. Provide complete Roman numeral and figured bass labels for the following Bach Chorale phrases.

  10. FIGURED BASS. 
    1. Realize the following figured bass exercise. Label all harmonies; complete in four voices.
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