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Theory Proficiency Exam for Bachelor's Degrees


Students seeking teacher certification must pass the Theory Proficiency Examination no later than the semester before student teaching. All other music majors, with the exception of sound recording technology, must pass the theory proficiency examination before applying for graduation. A passing score is also a prerequisite for advanced theory coursework. Theory proficiency requirements are as follows:

· There are three parts to the Theory Proficiency Exam: Theory II, Theory III, and Theory IV.
· The Exam may be taken in parts, separately, or together.
· A grade of 70 or better on each part is considered a passing grade.
· Students may re-take parts as many times as necessary to pass.
· The Exam is typically given each fall and spring semester on the “study” days (the first weekday following the last day of classes) AND at other times announced by email.
· Bring only a pencil to the Exam—no ink pens. Books, papers, backpacks, cell phones, smart phones, laptops, pads, etc. will NOT be allowed.
· The music office will email your results to you.

Guidelines for tested materials in each part:

(The chapter numbers reference the textbook used by Texas State University School of Music: Tonal Harmony, Kostka/Payne/Almén, 7th ed., McGraw-Hill, 2013). Taking the “Self-Tests” at the end of each chapter would be good preparation.
THEORY II (Chapters 1-17)
· Part writing and Roman-numeral analysis of diatonic and secondary (applied) harmony
· Non-chord tone analysis
· Cadence analysis
· Small forms analysis (phrase, period, sentence)

THEORY III (Chapters 18-23)
· Part writing and Roman-numeral analysis of diatonic, secondary (applied), and 19th-century harmony (aug. 6ths, Neapolitan (bII)), and modulation
· Enharmonic modulation

THEORY IV (Chapters 24-27)
· Modal, exotic, and synthetic scales
· Post-tonal developments in harmony
· Post-tonal developments in rhythm
· Set theory
· 12-tone technique