Music Theory



The validation/exemption exam for T251 includes both listening and written components, covering music from the very early Baroque through the Classical period, approximately the years 1600-1800. The listening exam consists of a few excerpts about which students could be asked general stylistic questions (possible composer, approximate date), and possibly questions about genre, form, and other technical aspects of the style. The questions are designed so that students with a good grasp of the music of the full breadth of these periods should be able to answer them even if they are not familiar with the specific excerpts.

The written part of the exam will provide some scores from which more detailed analytical questions are posed; these questions ask about harmony and counterpoint as well as larger formal prototypes in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century music.  Finally, students will also be expected to complete various part-writing exercises such as the realization of a figured bass and modulatory harmonizations.  Portions of texts such as The Complete Musician, 2nd  edition, by Steven Laitz and Harmony in Context by Miguel A. Roig-Francolí cover some of this material well and might be useful to students preparing for this exam.

The listening and written exams together take about 90 minutes. To exempt T251, a student must earn a Conditional Pass on the exam and complete one additional requirement, a compositional assignment, usually a two-part invention in the style of J.S. Bach, to be completed during the semester in which the exam is taken. Students who pass the exam will receive additional information about the composition assignment.