Placement Exams

There is no longer a placement test for the music theory curriculum; instead we invite students to identify the right course for them by using our self-placement guide, and in consultation with the course instructors.
 
In addition to the more detailed information on the self-placement guide, the following summaries may be useful: 
 
For a broad introduction to the study of music theory, or review of basic music theory topics, try MUSI 100 or 110. Neither course depends on prior knowledge of music theory or music notation. Both courses teach basic literacy in Western analytical notations, including names and structures of chords, modes, and scales; Roman-numeral and lead-sheet harmony; key signatures, time signatures, and clefs; and solfege.
 
MUSI 100 has a broader and more conceptual focus than 110, and is grounded in pedagogical practices from outside the Western classical tradition. MUSI 100 emphasizes singing, oral musical traditions, melody, rhythm, mode, and the theory of staff notation as a transcription tool.
 
MUSI 110 has a deeper focus more closely resembling “AP music theory” than 100 does, and is based on Western classical training. MUSI 110 emphasizes the piano keyboard, written musical traditions, harmony, scales, chords, and the practice of staff notation as a compositional tool.
 
For approaches to analyzing commercial and popular music in the contemporary idiom, try MUSI 207.
 
For a more traditional approach to classical counterpoint, part writing, and analysis, try MUSI 210
 
For analytical and theoretical approaches to 19th- and 20th-century music, including chromaticism and modulation, try MUSI 216.
 
For a piano keyboard-based musicianship class focusing on score reading, harmonization, and improvisation, try MUSI 217. Note: this course requires access to a personal piano or electronic/midi keyboard.
 
For a hearing & singing-based musicianship focusing on sight reading, aural identification, and dictation/transcription, try MUSI 218 (basic) or MUSI 219 (intermediate). 
 
If questions remain, contact Nathaniel Adam (nathaniel.adam@yale.edu) or Anna Zayaruznaya (anna.zayaruznaya@yale.edu).