Music Theory



 T132 is the first aural skills course at IU; it covers diatonic pitch materials, and the validation/exemption exam involves both a written portion and a hearing.

The V/E exam includes identification of ascending, descending and harmonic intervals within an octave, and sonorities in inversion including major, minor, augmented, and diminished triads as well as major-minor seventh chords. Root-position fully-diminished and half-diminished seventh chords are also tested. Students are asked to complete several dictation examples, including a pitch pattern, rhythm, melody, harmonic progression, and two simultaneous melodies (two-part counterpoint). Simple and compound meters are covered, as well as different forms of minor scales including harmonic and melodic. Harmonies are all diatonic; in harmonic progressions, students are asked to notate the soprano and bass voices in a four-voice texture and provide a Roman-numeral harmonic analysis.

Students scoring at least 72.5 percent on the written portion of the exam are eligible to complete a hearing with the instructor. This hearing involves both sight-singing and keyboard skills. Students should be able to sing a harmonic or melodic minor scale, read a rhythm at sight (syncopation and ties are minimal), and sightread a diatonic melody in alto or tenor clef. Individual keyboard sonorities given the root and inversion will be tested, as well as reading a straightforward diatonic harmonic progression (from Roman numerals only) with proper voice leading. The written and hearing grades are averaged, and a minimum grade of 72.5% is required to validate T132.

Students who wish to practice for this exam are encouraged to obtain a copy of the course packet from university bookstores; the Unit 4 exercises represent the highest level of difficulty that might be encountered on the V/E exam.