Graduate Students

Incoming M.M. and M.M.E. students must take the Graduate Theory Test. The purpose of this test is to ensure that your understanding of music theory is commensurate with holding an undergraduate degree in music. If the test shows significant gaps in your knowledge of music theory, you will be required to undertake remedial work in consultation with the music theory faculty. (If you graduated from UNF with a B.M. or B.M.E. degree within the past two years then you are not required to take the test.)

(If you are entering the School of Music to pursue a performer’s certificate then you do not need to take the Graduate Theory Test. However, if you are interested in taking music theory courses as part of your program of study, you should contact Dr. Gosden.)

The Graduate Theory Test covers the following topics:

  • clefs (treble, bass, alto, tenor) and scientific pitch notation
  • major and minor scales and key signatures
  • intervals
  • rhythm and meter
  • triads and seventh chords
  • part writing
  • chromatic chords
  • harmonic analysis
  • non-chord tones/melodic figuration
  • cadences
  • 20th-century scales

Below are some resources to help you prepare for the test.

Clefs and Scientific Pitch Notation

The concept of scientific pitch notation is covered at 13:23 in this video, while the four clefs (soprano, bass, alto, and tenor) are covered in this video. You may also wish to consult this page (which refers to scientific pitch notation as the “International Standards Organization [ISO] system”).

Scales and Key Signatures

Major scales and key signatures are covered in this video and this video, while minor scales and key signatures are covered in this video. You may also wish to consult this page (on scales) and this page (on key signatures).

Intervals

Intervals are covered in this video and this video. You may also wish to consult this page.

Rhythm and Meter

Meter, time signatures, and rhythmic notation are covered in the following set of videos:

  1. The Elements of Rhythmic Notation
  2. Meter and Time Signatures
  3. Simple Meters
  4. Compound (and Irregular) Meters
  5. Beams
  6. Ties
  7. Rests
  8. More on Beams
  9. Tuplets, Double Dots, and One More Thing on Compound Meters

(For the test you should focus especially on the third, fourth, and fifth videos – i.e., simple meters, compound meters, and beams.)

The rules for notating rhythms correctly in a given meter (from videos 5–9) are summarized in this handout.

Triads and Seventh Chords

The basics of triads and seventh chords are covered in the following videos:

  1. Triads
  2. Seventh Chords
  3. Figured Bass
  4. Diatonic Triads and Seventh Chords

You may also wish to consult this page (on triads and seventh chords) and this page (on thoroughbass).

Make sure you understand what is meant by the root, quality, and position of a chord. For example, given the following chord

you should be able to identify that its root is F, its quality is major-minor (or dominant) seventh, and its position is first inversion.

Part Writing

The basics of SATB part writing are covered in this handout, as well as the following videos:

  1. The Chorale-Style Vocal Score
  2. Voice Leading
  3. The Leading Tone
  4. The Authentic Cadential Progression

You may also wish to consult this video (on inversions of V7) and this video (on leading-tone and supertonic seventh chords).

Chromatic Chords

The chromatic chords covered in the above exercises are discussed in the following videos:

  1. Secondary Dominants
  2. Augmented Sixth Chords
  3. The Neapolitan Sixth Chord

Harmonic Analysis

Non-Chord Tones/Melodic Figuration

The different types of non-chord tone are explained in this handout.

Cadences

The different types of cadence are explained in this handout. You may also wish to consult the following videos:

20th-Century Scales

The scales covered in the above exercises are explained on this page. You may also wish to consult this handout.