Musicianship Placement Exams

All prospective music students who desire to register for any level in the Musicianship sequence of classes will need to take an exam before they can continue (or enroll in) any of those classes.

Incoming Freshmen 

All incoming freshmen (and transfer students with no previous music theory experience), should register for Music 172 (Musicianship 1). These students will then participate in two pre-assessments: a singing exam (submitted electronically on video) and a written theory exam (administered on campus). Those students who do not meet the minimum threshold of proficiency will be dropped from the course and need to remediate themselves before re-registering in a following semester.

The singing exam consists of matching pitch (in the student's most comfortable range), singing a major scale (ascending and descending; solfege syllables preferred but not required), and singing a provided melody (mostly stepwise with chordal leaps and basic rhythms). Specific instructions about submitting the singing exam video will be emailed to the BYU-Idaho email address of all students enrolled in Music 172. 

The written entrance exam (administered on campus immediately preceding the first day of the semester) covers the following:

  • pitch identification on a staff (treble and bass clefs)
  • identification of notes on a keyboard
  • key signatures
  • intervals
  • major and minor scales
  • major, minor, diminished, augmented triads
  • Inversions of triads
  • barlines and rhythm

To help students prepare, three practice exams (with the answer keys) are provided below.  It is highly recommended that all prospective students prepare in advance by developing these rudimentary musical skills.

There are many sources that can help student prepare for this exam. Some of these include:

Textbooks:

  • Roig-Francolí: Harmony in Context (McGraw Hill)
  • Benjamin, Horvit, and Nelson, Techniques and Materials of Music (Thompson-Schirmer)
  • Benward and Saker, Music in Theory and Practice (McGraw-Hill)
  • Kostka and Payne, Tonal Harmony (McGraw-Hill)
  • Turek, Theory for Today's Musician w/ Musical Example CDROM (McGraw-Hill)

Transfer Students

Transfer students (or incoming freshmen) with music theory and ear training experience (community college courses or high school Advanced Placement) must demonstrate theirproficiency in these areas in order to determine whether their prior coursework will apply towards their BYU-Idaho music degree. The exam is administered before the beginning of each semester, after which students will be advised as to which courses in BYU-Idahomusicianship sequence they still need to complete. The dates of the exam are as follows:

  • Fall 2014: Friday, September 12, 2-3 PM Snow 185
  • Winter 2015: Friday, January 2, 2-3 PM Snow 185
  • Spring 2015: Friday, April 17, 2-3 PM Snow 185

All exams will begin at 2:00 p.m. in Snow 185. A study guide for this exam is available here. Additionally, all transfer students should contact the Academic Discovery Center before registering for any classes at BYU-Idaho.