Undergraduate Music Theory Placement

Incoming students are placed into one of CIM's Music Theory courses (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.

Note #3: Do you think that you should be placed in a higher section than 003 (such as MUTH 101)? You can be re-tested. First, you should study the appropriate material in these sources:

  • 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.
  • www.cim.edu/conservatory/theory/videos.php - 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.
  • www.lightandmatter.com/sight/sight.html - Online sight singing materials.
  • www.esm.rochester.edu/iml/entrepreneurship/eTheory - Music Theory Fundamentals in Four Weeks, produced by the Eastman School of Music in a sequential course designed to prepare music students for collegiate music theory. CIM students receive a $20 discount by following these instructions:

    1. Follow this link to register: www.regonline.com/checkin.asp?eventid=724522
    2. Enter your email address in the appropriate box.
    3. In the box labeled Eastman, please enter "cim12s". This will reduce the registration fee to $67 rather than $87.

    Once you complete the registration, your login information will be sent to you within 24 hours.

Student Affairs

David Gilson

Associate Dean for Student Affairs

216.791.5000 ext. 299

david.gilson@cim.edu

Caryn Reynolds

Administrative Assistant to the Dean

216.791.5000 ext. 273

clr87@cim.edu

Alister Englehart

Resident Director

alister.englehart@cim.edu

Student Groups

Student Government Association

SGA page

dwg@cim.edu

Mu Phi Epsilon

MPE page

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