The Music History Placement Test is required. The test assesses your command of the main historical eras and the association of genres, composers, concepts, and terms with the eras to which they belong. We also ask you to name the composers of a number of significant compositions and to identify the composer or theorist associated with several important musical concepts and terms. You must also classify genres as secular or sacred. The test is entirely multiple choice and takes less than an hour to complete.
The Music History Placement Test determines whether transfer students who have taken a two-semester music history survey sequence at the 3000 level or above must take:
MUH 3211, Music History Survey I and MUH 3212, Music History Survey II
and whether graduate students must take:
MUH 5219, Graduate Music History Review – Note that this is a fully online class.
If you are an entering FTIC (first time in college, i.e., freshperson), have not taken any music history, or music history at the 3000 level or its equivalent at another institution, you do not need to take the placement test and must register for MUH 3211 at your first opportunity.
Upcoming Exam Dates
The next Music History Placement Tests will be given online Saturday, November 14 or Sunday, November 15. Contact Dr. Dolata at email@example.com for details or to enroll in the exam.
FIU accepts MUH 3211 and MUH 3212 transfer credits from other State of Florida universities to satisfy the music history requirement. Since students at two-year colleges such as Miami-Dade and Broward take music history at the 2000 level, these courses do not transfer. Thus, students from MDC and BC cannot take the test and must register for MUH 3211.
Students from universities outside of Florida or private Florida universities may pass out of either MUH 3211 and MUH 3212 on the condition that they have taken the music history sequence at the 3000 level or above and possess the same level of knowledge of music history as do FIU students who have completed the music history course sequence here. The placement test assesses this level.
All incoming and transfer graduate students except those in Jazz Performance, Music Technology, and Performing Arts Management are required to take the Music History Placement Test. Students must take the test at their first opportunity because the remedial course MUH 5219, Graduate Music History Review, which students must take if they do not pass the test, is offered only every other year.
MUH 5219 is normally offered every other Fall semester, however, this year it will be offered in Spring 2021. The next time it is offered will be Fall 2022.
Passing the Music History Placement Test or earning a grade of B or better in MUH 5219 is required to fulfill the prerequisite for MUH 6937 Special Topics in Music History, the graduate music history course most FIU graduate programs require. MUH 6937 is usually offered every Spring semester as a land class. Since owing to the vagaries of scheduling, MUH 5219 and MUH 6937 are both offered in Spring 2021, students will be permitted to take MUH 5219 and MUH 6937 simultaneously this semester only.
Note that graduate students may elect to not take the placement test and enroll directly into MUH 5219.
See your advisor to determine which music history courses you must take depending on your year of entry at FIU.
Music History Placement Test Policies
The music history test is given to each student only once. There are no “retakes.” Therefore, it is best to take the test after you have had some time to study for it if that is your intention.
Watch this space for upcoming testing dates.
Music History Placement Test Content & Format
The Music History Placement Test assesses your command of the main historical eras and the association of genres, composers, concepts, and terms with the eras to which they belong. We also ask you to name the composers of a number of significant compositions and to identify the composer or theorist associated with several important musical concepts and terms. You must also classify genres as secular or sacred. The test is entirely multiple choice and takes less than an hour to complete.
In addition to reviewing the material in your music history textbook (Stolba, Grout, Hanning, Wright, Boyd, etc.) and class notes, two other short music history review books are worth your attention:
Wold, Milo and Edmund Cykler. An Outline History of Music. Dubuque, Iowa: W.D. Brown, 1985.
Poultney, David. Studying Music History: Learning, Reasoning, and Writing about Music History and Literature. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1983.
In all cases, any edition of the book will be helpful. There are other fine review texts available in addition to these.
At FIU we currently use Hanning’s Concise History of Western Music for the undergraduate music history sequence and the graduate review classes.
You will receive your test results by e-mail within 24 hours of taking the exam with a copy sent to your applied instructor or area coordinator and School of Music Undergraduate Advisor or Director of Graduate Studies.
All incoming undergraduates who take music theory at FIU must take a theory placement test. They should take this test at the time of their audition, unless they are currently enrolled in a theory class (ie., a high school AP theory class or a theory class at another university), in which case they may wish to postpone until just before the start of the semester in which they enter FIU.
Music Theory Placement Test
There is no formal bachelor’s or master’s degree in Music Theory. Interested undergraduate students may pursue a concentration in theory within the context of the B.A. in music. Admission to the B.A. in music, like all of our undergraduate programs, requires an instrumental or vocal audition. To audition for the School of Music, please contact the Area Coordinator for yourperformance area.
All incoming undergraduates who wish to (or need to) take music theory at FIU must take a theory placement test. They should take this test at the time of their audition, unless they are currently enrolled in a theory class (ie., a high school AP theory class or a theory class at another university), in which case they may wish to postpone until just before the start of the semester in which they enter FIU.
Graduate students in the M.M. program in Composition study some advanced theory and may have the opportunity to serve as a Graduate Assistant in Music Theory. There is no audition for the M. M. in Composition. Rather, applicants should contact Dr. Orlando Garcia at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange for an interview and submission of a portfolio.
Upcoming Placement Exam Dates
The next Music History and Music Theory Placement Tests will be given on Thursday, August 16, 2017 from 11:00am until 2:00pm and will be located in the Herbert and Nicole Wertheim Performing Arts Center (WPAC), Room 150. Students should allow themselves between one to three hours to take the exam.
Expectations for Theory Placement Exams
To place into Theory I, we expect familiarity with the following:
• notation of rhythm and meter, including compound meters
• scale types: major, natural minor, harmonic minor, melodic minor
• triad types: major, minor, diminished, augmented
• seventh-chord types: dominant, major, minor, diminished half-diminished
• inversions of triads and seventh chords and the figured-bass symbols that denote them (6, 6/4, 7, 6/5, 4/3, 4/2 or simply 2; note that the absence of a figure indicates a 5/3 chord).
If you are rusty on figure-bas symbols or they are new to you, you can still get into Theory I if the rest of the test is sound.
To place into Theory II, we expect the above plus the following:
• ability to realize figured and unfigured basses and melodies using diatonic triads and seventh chords (along with their idiomatic inversions)
• ability to use the cadential 6/4 chord
• ability to modulate to V in major and to III in minor
To place into Theory III, we expect the above plus the ability to recognize and use the following:
• diminished and half-diminished leading-tone seventh chords
• applied (i.e., “secondary”) dominant and leading-tone chords
• harmonic sequences
• diatonic modulations beyond those mentioned for Theory II
• melodic and rhythmic embellishments (various kinds of passing tones, skips, neighbor tones, suspensions, and anticipations)
To place into Theory IV, we expect the above plus the ability to recognize and use the following:
• borrowed chords (i.e., chords generate via modal mixture)
• ninth chords (and other extensions)
• the Neapolitan (also known as bII or “Phrygian II)
• the various augmented-sixth chords
• chromatic voice-leading techniques
• chromatic modulations
To place completely out of the Theory Sequence:
• All of the above plus individual appointment with Professor Joel Galand
To place out of Graduate Theory Review:
• All of the above, plus some knowledge of classical form (e.g., binary forms, sonata forms, etc.) plus some familiarity with post-tonal materials (e.g., ability to recognize whole-tone and octatonic collections).
You may review the appropriate chapters from our undergraduate tonal harmony textbook Aldwell, Edward, and Carl Schachter. Harmony and Voice Leading. 4th ed. Belmont, CA: Schirmer, 2011. We suggest you try your hand at the chapter exercises. Fundamentals covers materials in chapters 1-4 and 6, Theory I goes through chapter 14, Theory II through chapter 23, Theory III through chapter 28, and Theory IV through the end. The reason the more advanced courses move more slowly is that we increasingly incorporate other topics not reflected directly in the text, such as form, model composition, and post-tonal techniques.
For further information, contact Dr. Joel Galand at email@example.com or 305-348-7078.