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School of Music


Graduate Music Diagnostic Examination

Theory Diagnostic Exam

The Music Graduate Diagnostic Examination (MGDE) in Theory is a 2-hour placement examination for incoming graduate students that is offered in May, August and January. Email Traci Hair or call 803-777-4208 in the graduate music office to find out when this exam is offered.

What the exam covers

The exam covers tonal theory and post-tonal theory. The tonal theory part of the exam covers aural comprehension (intervals, pitch patterns, melodic dictation, two-voice error detection and 4-part harmonic dictation), part writing (four-part chorale texture) and analysis (roman numeral analysis of a passage that modulates). The post-tonal part covers the materials and techniques of 20th-century music (scales, chord structures, rhythm and meter), basic atonal theory and twelve-tone serialism.

See the details.