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Upcoming Events

  • Says You!

    September 13, 2014, 7:00 pm
    Kulas Hall

    Attend a live taping of this public radio wordplay program.

  • Says You!

    September 14, 2014, 1:30 pm
    Kulas Hall

    Attend the live taping of this public radio wordplace program.

  • CIM Orchestra @ Home

    September 17, 2014, 8:00 pm
    Kulas Hall

    Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestra
    Carl Topilow, conductor
    Wesley Skinner, cello, student artist

Incoming students are placed into one of CIM's Music Theory courses (usually MUTH 003 or MUTH 101/105) based on diagnostic test results.

MUTH 101/105 is the music theory course which is designed for the typical first-year student at CIM. Students are placed into MUTH 003 (pre-conservatory theory) because their diagnostic test indicates that they do not possess the skills or knowledge for placement into MUTH 101/105. The course focuses on development of security in knowledge and skills related to basic materials of musical structure.

What to expect in MUTH 101/105

There are four main areas in this course. Below is a brief description of each:

  1. written harmony (MUTH 101) - Includes written harmonizations of chorale melodies, realizations of figured basses, and harmonic analysis of musical examples.
  2. keyboard harmony (MUTH 101) - Illustrate all concepts from (1) at the piano keyboard. Emphasis is on chorale harmonizations using idioms as well as realization of figured basses. Also harmonization of folksong melodies.
  3. sight singing (MUTH 105) - Prepared at-sight singing of melodies in treble, bass, and alto clefs using fixed-do solfege.
  4. aural training (MUTH 105) - Aural identification of all intervals, triads, and seventh chords. Melodic and harmonic dictation.

Note #1: Take piano lessons this summer. Knowledge of the keyboard and the ability to play scales, intervals, and triads will help you considerably. Ask your piano teacher to focus on theory fundamentals as well as learning pieces.

Note #2: The four areas listed above are taught side-by-side. They all share the same concepts.

What to expect in MUTH 003

The topics covered in MUTH 003 include developing fluency in these areas:

  • note reading in treble and bass clefs
  • major and minor scales (writing, playing at the keyboard, aural identification, singing)
  • key signatures for major and minor keys
  • intervals (writing, playing at the keyboard, aural identification, singing)
  • triads (writing, playing at the keyboard, aural identification, singing)
  • sight singing a simple melody which mainly contains stepwise motion
  • writing melodic dictation for a simple melody which mainly contains stepwise motion

Note #1: The above items must be learned securely for fluent use. It is not enough just to understand the principles; the student must be able to demonstrate fluency.

Note #2: Take piano lessons this summer. Knowledge of the keyboard and the ability to play scales, intervals, and triads will help you considerably. Ask your piano teacher to focus on theory fundamentals as well as learning pieces.

Summer Preparation for Theory Placement

While there are many ways in which you might prepare, CIM recommends some of the newer online theory programs developed within the past couple of years, and in particular, the undergraduate and graduate online music theory preparation program offered by The Eastman School of Music.

In co-ordination with Eastman, CIM has negotiated a $20 discount from the normal fees for each course: ($97 for the undergraduate course) The course takes approximately 4 weeks of methodical study to effectively cover the material.

To register and purchase the appropriate E-Theory course for your program of study, please follow these instructions:


Login Instructions for CIM Students

Please follow this link to register.

  1. Click "Add to Cart"
  2. Click "Checkout"
  3. Enter coupon code cim14s. This will subtract $20 from the registration fee.
  4. Complete the Billing Address information to create your account
  5. Click "Place Order"

After checkout, access eTheory from your "My Account" page.

Additional resources

  • Tonal Harmony by Kostka, Stefan, and Dorothy Payne (McGraw-Hill) - This is the harmony textbook which a number of the CIM theory faculty use. Although it is in 6th edition, the content changes very little from edition to edition. While the current edition costs almost $100 for the textbook, an earlier edition (used) can be purchased online for under $10. In this book, there is a section on fundamentals.
  • CIM music theory video series produced by CIM in 2010. Prof. Jeanette Davis explains what is expected for a student to place into MUTH 101 or 107.
  • www.musictheory.net - Outstanding online source for tutorials and exercises.
  • http://www.lightandmatter.com/sight/sight.html - Online sight singing materials