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.

WRITTEN ENTRANCE EXAM

The written entrance exam (administered on campus) 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

PREPARATION

To help students prepare, three practice exams (with the answer keys) are provided for you, along with sample sight-singing melodies. It is highly recommended that all prospective students prepare in advance by developing these rudimentary musical skills.

PRACTICE EXAMS AND SIGHT-SINGING MELODIES

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 with Musical Example CD-ROM (McGraw-Hill)