Placement Exam Information

All entering graduate students are required to take placement examinations in music theory and music history before registering. In addition, MM students in performance and literature, accompanying, early music, conducting, and opera stage directing are required to take a listening exam.


Music Theory: Thursday, August 24 at 8:30am-12:00pm in Annex 902. 

Music Theory placement exam study guide

Attention Continuing ESM Graduate Students: Students entering a doctoral program with an MM or MA from Eastman will take only Part 2 of the music theory placement exam, which will take place on Thursday, August 24 at 10:30am-12:00pm in OSL 101.  Please see the orientation schedule for more details.


Music History: Friday, August 25 at 9:00am-12:00pm in EEW 415.

Music History placement exam study guide

Attention Continuing ESM Graduate Students: Students entering a doctoral program with an MM or MA from Eastman must have achieved passing scores on the Medieval and Renaissance portions of the music history placement exam when first taken.  Deficiencies in these areas will be evaluated prior to registration, the Musicology Administrative Assistant will contact students individually should they need to retake any part of the exam, and students will be advised as to recommended or required courses as needed.


Listening Exam: Thursday, August 24 at 1:30pm-3:00pm in EEW 415.

The Listening Exam is required for Master of Music degree students in the following majors: Performance and Literature (PRL), Piano Accompanying & Chamber Music (ACM), Early Music (EMH), Conducting (CNC and CNO), and Opera Stage Directing (OPS).

The MM Listening Test evaluates the student’s ability to identify by ear specific works taken from a published list of works which represent a broad spectrum of historical periods and performance media. It also tests the student’s ability to identify works not on the published list, by style-period rather than by title, with some brief description of the characteristics of the work that suggest the period choices. The exam consists of 25 excerpts, 20 of which involve identification of specific works from the published list and 5 of which cover style-identification. The basic list of works is published annually and serves as the source for the Listening Test administered during orientation week. Streaming audio of all the repertoire is available at (you will need your NetID to log on; see the orientation website for information on obtaining your NetID).


Special Note for Jazz Majors: the Jazz Theory and Ear Training Placement Test will occur on Friday, August 25 at 4:00pm-6:00pm in Annex 624.

MM students in Jazz Performance (JCM) and Jazz Writing (JCW) must take the traditional music history exam as well as the jazz theory exam (MM JCM and JCW students do not take the traditional music theory exam). DMA Jazz students must take both traditional music history and music theory exams in addition to jazz theory exams. For more information about the graduate jazz placement exam, please contact Jeff Campbell at