School of Music

Future Students

Music Theory Placement And Preparation

(download a PDF of this information)

All incoming music students must qualify for enrollment in MUS 251 (Materials and Structures of Music I… i.e., first-semester music theory). This is done by receiving either:

  • a  score of 80% or higher on our online diagnostic exam, proctored through connect4education.com, OR
  • a grade C or better in MUS 151 (offered online in summer session II, or on campus spring semester).

 

To take the connect4education online diagnostic exam ($10):

  1. Go to http://www.student.connect4education.com/online_store/index.htm
  2. Click the Online Store image to access the Online Store.
  3. Click on “Placement Exams” on the left side of the page (near the bottom of the list) and select “OnMusic Fundamentals – Placement Exam ONLY.” Follow the prompts to check out.
  4. Once your payment is processed you will receive an email with a serial number and directions to log on to the exam. (Please note that this exam will be listed as Spring 2017, which is correct for Fall admission.)

 

To take MUS 151 Music Fundamentals online for university credit, contact the Registrar’s office.

 

FAQ

What is on the exam?

The online exam consists of 175 multiple-choice questions and must be completed within 105 minutes. It includes questions that will test your knowledge on the following subjects:

  • Reading pitches in bass and treble clefs;
  • Reading and understanding rhythmic note and rest values;
  • Time signatures, both simple and compound;
  • Building and/or identifying written triads—major, minor, diminished, augmented;
  • Building and/or recognizing written major and the three minor scales;
  • Building and/or recognizing written major and minor key signatures;
  • Aural interval, triad quality, and scale (major and minor) recognition.

 

How should I prepare for the online exam?

If you feel that you have a basic knowledge of this information but would like some review, you are encouraged to use the following websites to practice both written and aural skills.

  • Teoria.com: the exercises section of this website contains drills for building and identifying (which the site calls "construction" and "recognition") intervals, scales, chords, and key signatures, as well as practice for reading a variety of clefs.
  • MusicTheory.net: the exercises section of this website has a variety of drills for identifying notes on the staff and the keyboard, as well as recognition of key signatures, intervals, and chords.

Both sites have lessons and tutorials that present fundamentals information in a simple, easy to read format.

 

What happens if I do not pass the online exam?

If you do not earn 80% or better on the diagnostic exam, you have three options:

  • You may retake the exam ONE time after an unsuccessful attempt at no extra cost. Make sure you have properly prepared before retaking the exam. If you need to retake the exam, contact Dr. Scott Blasco (scott.blasco@wsu.edu) to have your initial score reset.
  • You may take the online MUS 151 course for credit. Earning a C or better will exempt you from the online diagnostic exam requirement, and will qualify you for entrance to MUS 251 in the fall.
  • You may also wait until the WSU school year begins and take MUS 151 in either the fall or spring semester. As with the online version, earning a C or better will exempt you from the online diagnostic exam requirement, and will qualify you for entrance to MUS 251. It is important to understand that while this will delay you in taking the core theory courses by a year, it will not affect your ability to complete the music major in four years.

 

Summary of Theory Placement Exam Requirement

To qualify for entry to MUS 251, incoming music majors must earn:

  • a  score of 80% or higher on our online diagnostic exam, proctored through connect4education.com, OR
  • a grade C or better in MUS 151 (offered online in summer session II, or on campus spring semester).

 

For questions about or assistance with the diagnostic/qualification process, registering for the for-credit online summer offering of MUS 151 or the not-for-credit Introductory Music Theory course, or related issues with preparing for music theory study at WSU, please contact Dr. Scott Blasco at scott.blasco@wsu.edu.

You can download a PDF copy of the information above HERE.

Music

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