Entering music graduate students should plan on taking the Music History Placement Exam prior to their first semester of study. Starting in Fall 2020, this exam is now given as an online exam in the weeks leading up to the start of a given semester. If you are an entering music graduate student and have not yet received word from the music office on taking this exam, please contact Dept Chair Dr. Stephen Gorbos (GORBOS@cua.edu).
The Music History Placement Exam tests your general knowledge of all eras of music history. The exam consists of three sections. In the first section, you are to write short definitions of music-historical terms, including musical genres, composers, compositional techniques, and aesthetic movements. In the second section, you are given the titles of well-known musical works and are asked to provide the composer and era in which the work was composed. The final section consists of two short essays describing common musical genres or compositional techniques. Those wishing to study for the exam are encouraged to review any standard textbook used in Music History surveys, such as the latest edition of the Burkholder/Palisca/Grout, A History of Western Music. In particular, you should ensure that you are familiar with the terms in boldface in the text, written in the margins, and/or listed in the Glossary. You should also take note of any specific compositions discussed at length in the text and/or make sure that you can identify the composer and era of the works included in the textbook’s anthology. If you have any further questions after reading this, please contact Dr. Andrew Weaver (firstname.lastname@example.org), the Area Head of Music History.