Music Theory



T331 deals with musical skills in the context of music since 1900. The validation/exemption exam for T331 has two components: an aural exam and a hearing. The pitch materials that students should expect to encounter include extended tertian, quartal, and quintal sonorities; well-known sonorities (Tristan, Elektra, Petrushka, and Prometheus); modal, pentatonic, whole-tone, octatonic, acoustic, and augmented scale patterns; trichords and all-interval tetrachords; melodic transformations (transposition, inversion, retrograde, and retrograde inversion); and melodies without a specific tonal center. The exam involves both contextual and acontextual identification of these elements. Rhythmic materials include polyrhythms; non-traditional beat divisions; changing meters; metric modulation; and asymmetrical meters (e.g. 5/4, 7/8). The exam includes melodic and rhythmic dictations as well as error-detection exercises.

The aural exam takes about 60 minutes. Students who pass the aural exam are eligible to take a hearing in order to complete their exemption from T331. The hearing involves sight-singing melodies and performing rhythms that involve the concepts detailed above, as well as performing these elements acontextually (singing various scales/collections, trichords, melodic transformations, etc).

The T331 course packet summarizes all of the topics above in greater detail and provides examples of exercises one might encounter while taking the course. This packet is available at university bookstores.