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Graduate Placement Test

Applicants for the MA and all MM degree programs must take the School of Music Graduate Placement Test (GPT) prior to admission to the graduate program for placement in music history and theory courses. The examination will be administered twice each semester and twice during the summer session to allow the greatest degree of accessibility for students and to facilitate student progress through degree curricula. The GPT must be taken prior to or during the first semester of enrollment in the graduate program. Students who do not take the GPT during the first semester of enrollment in the graduate program will not be allowed to enroll in subsequent coursework until this requirement is met.

Applicants should click here to register in advance for the test that he/she is planning to take to guarantee there are adequate copies of the examination materials available. Dates may be changed due to WCU events or inclement weather-check ahead of time to verify dates.

Graduate Placement Test Dates 2013-2014  
  Monday, April 21, 2014 6 - 9 p.m. SMB 220
  Friday, August 22, 2014 1 - 4 p.m. SMB 220

Graduate Placement Test Dates 2014-2015  
  Saturday, September 6, 2014 9 a.m. – noon SMB 220
  Monday, November 17, 2014 6–9 p.m. Ware Recital Hall
  Saturday, February 7, 2015 9 a.m. – noon Ware Recital Hall
  Monday, April 20, 2015 6–9 p.m. Ware Recital Hall
  Friday, August 21, 2015 1 - 4 p.m. Ware Recital Hall

 

Preparing for the School of Music Graduate Placement Test

Part I - Music History and Literature

The first portion of the examination will assess student competencies in music history and literature. History/literature-styles, forms and genres of all major periods of music history, representative composers and their works, philosophical and societal issues relating to music history. This knowledge will be assessed through a combination of written questions and aural listening exam.

To prepare for this exam, students may find the following materials helpful:

  • the most recent edition of A History of Western Music By Grout & Palisca, published by W. W. Norton
  • the study guide for A History of Western Music, also published by W.W. Norton.

A study guide for the music history and literature portion of the examination can be found here.

Part 2 - Music Theory

The second portion of the examination will assess student competencies in music theory.

Theory: harmonic and melodic structures, basic arranging and composition, and aural skills. These skills and knowledge will be assessed through a combination of written questions and aural listening exam.

To prepare for this exam, students should review such topics in music theory as:

  • part writing from a figured bass
  • part writing from a given melody
  • structure and resolution of secondary dominant chords and secondary leading tone chords
  • structure and resolution of German Sixth Chords, French Sixth Chords, Italian Sixth Chords
  • modulation-identify change of tonality, transition chords, etc.
  • chordal analysis of chromatic harmony
  • basic form and genre

Stefan Kosta's Tonal Harmony is a useful text to review in preparation for this portion of the Graduate Admission Test. A study guide and sample lead sheet for the music theory portion of the examination can be found here.

The GPT will be administered by the Graduate Coordinator for the School of Music on the dates advertised. Members of the Music History and Literature Department will assess the history/literature component. Members of the Music Theory and Composition Department will assess the theory component. Based upon the results of the examination and other admissions criteria (including, but not limited to, auditions, samples of written work, interviews), the School of Music will recommend one of the following actions:

  • Admission: Full Matriculation
  • Admission: Provisional Status - remedial courses required (MHL 501*, MTC 591**)
  • Admission: Provisional Status - music history remedial required (MHL 501)
  • Admission: Provisional Status - music theory remedial required (MTC 591)
  • Admission: Denied

*MHL 501 - Style, Form, Genre as remedial history course

**MTC 591 - Advanced Chromatic Harmony

Satisfying Remedial Requirements

Each applicant will be notified as to need for remedial courses as identified through this exam.

Students identified as needing remedial coursework must register for and successfully complete such course(s) during the first semester in which the course(s) is/are offered following the examination.

Students identified as needing remedial coursework and attending summer sessions only must register for and successfully complete such course(s) during the first summer session in which the course(s) is/are offered following the examination.

Students identified as needing remedial coursework must register for and complete the required course(s) prior to registering for any other course in the department in which remediation is required.

Remedial course credits will not be counted toward the total number of credit hours required by the student's degree curriculum. Remedial courses must be passed with a grade of C or better.

Students identified as needing remedial coursework who do not register for and successfully complete the required course(s) within the time frame detailed above will not be allowed to register for further graduate study in music until remedial courses are taken.

Students who otherwise meet admission criteria for a degree curriculum (e.g. degree requirement, grade point average in field, departmental assessment through audition, assessment of writing samples, etc.) may be admitted to graduate study in music as "Provisionally Matriculated".