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SOUTHERN METHODIST UNIVERSITY DIVISION OF MUSIC DEPARTMENT OF MUSIC THEORY AND COMPOSITION GRADUATE ENTRANCE EXAMINATIONS IN WRITTEN THEORY AND AURAL SKILLS ALL entering Master of Music students are REQUIRED to take diagnostic examinations in aural skills and written theory BEFORE classes begin. The date and time for these examinations is listed in the “Orientation Schedule” published by the Division of Music each year and emailed to students. Students are advised to make appropriate end-­‐of-­‐summer plans to be present and on time for these exams. Since these examinations are entirely online, each student must bring to the exam good quality headphones and a laptop computer meeting SMU requirements (for the Meadows laptop requirement, see
ement). AURAL SKILLS For a review of traditional dictation skills, the department recommends the use of MacGamut (MacGamut Music Software International, Inc.), a computer program for Windows and Mac computers. This software can be purchased directly from the MacGamut website,, for a very reasonable cost. The following chart gives a listing of MacGamut drills and the levels recommended for a comprehensive review of basic aural skills. Note: The levels should be completed in the order given with the program in practice mode, not mastery mode. Individuals may work on more or fewer levels depending on their own review needs. MacGAMUT DRILLS RECOMMENDED LEVELS Intervals 7, 10, 18 Scales 5, 8, 10 Triads and Seventh Chords 1, 5, 10 Melodic Dictation 5, 9, 16 Harmonic Dictation 9, 15, 16, 17 The following specific aural competencies are required: 1. Intervals: Identify the interval played (harmonic and melodic intervals). 2. Triads: Select the quality and inversion for the triad played. 3. Seventh chords: Select the quality for the seventh chord played. 4. Scales and modes: Identify the scale or mode played, including major, all forms of minor, diatonic modes, pentatonic, whole-­‐tone, and octatonic. 5. Melodic dictation: Given a played melody, identify errors in pitch and rhythmic notation; select the correct notation from several options. 6. Nontonal fragments (4—5 pitches): Select the correct notation from several options. 7. Harmonic dictation: Given three chords (a pre-­‐dominant, dominant, and tonic), identify the first chord. The pre-­‐dominant chord may be diatonic or chromatic (borrowed, secondary, Neapolitan, augmented sixth). WRITTEN THEORY AND ANALYSIS The following specific written theory and analysis competencies are required: I. TONAL HARMONIC ANALYSIS a. Identify the inversion of a chord using inversion numbers (7, 6-­‐5, 6-­‐4, 6, 4-­‐3, 4-­‐2). b. Identify basic embellishing tones (nonchord tones) in short musical excerpts. c. Given a chord and key signature, select the correct analysis from a list of possibilities including diatonic and chromatic harmonies. Some of the answers require knowing scale degree names such as tonic, supertonic, mediant, etc. II. MUSICAL FORM a. Small structural units and simple part forms: 1. Name and describe the characteristics of the various cadence types in tonal music. 2. Describe the various phrase combinations (repeated period, double period, phrase group, multiple period). 3. Know all the simple part forms and smaller structural units as listed on, topics 5.3 and 5.4. b. Larger forms: 1. List some characteristics of song and trio form that immediately differentiate it from compound ternary form. 2. List some characteristics of rondo form that differentiate it from song and trio form. 3. What is meant by “variation” as a formal principle? 4. Define the characteristics of sonata form. 5. Define sonata-­‐rondo. 6. How does sonatina form differ from sonata form? 7. What is meant by the term double exposition? 8. In a typical four-­‐movement classical sonata or symphony, what would be the expected tempo and form of each of the movements? c. Fugue/invention/canon: 1. How does invention differ from fugue? 2. Give two definitions of the term codetta. 3. Explain the difference between fughetta and fugato. 4. Explain the different types of fugue answers. 5. Define countersubject, episode, and stretto as found in a fugue. 6. In addition to transposition and retrograde, name and define three other contrapuntal devices that may be applied to a fugue subject. 7. Be able to label entries and codetta(s) in a fugue or invention exposition, as well as tell when the exposition ends. III. CONTEMPORARY ANALYSIS a. Identify contemporary scales and modes in given musical examples, including diatonic modes, hybrid modes (e.g. Lydian-­‐mixolydian and Phrygian-­‐dorian), octatonic, whole-­‐tone, and pentatonic. b. Identify contemporary harmonic techniques in given musical examples, including secundal chords, added-­‐note chords, tall tertian sonorities, polychords, quartal/quintal harmonies, and open fifth chords. c. Identify contemporary rhythmic and metric techniques in given musical examples, including polymeter, mixed meter, hemiola, asymmetrical meter, complex meter, metric modulation, ostinato, displaced accent, additive rhythm, nonretrogradable rhythm, and added value. d. Given a tetrachord, identify its prime form, for instance C-­‐C#-­‐D-­‐D# = 0123. e. Given a 12-­‐note row (series), identify whether another row is a transposition, inversion, retrograde, or retrograde inversion of the original row.