Incoming students are placed into one of CIM's music theory courses based on diagnostic test results.

  • MUTH 101 (Music Theory and Aural Skills I) is the music theory course designed for typical first-year students at CIM.
  • MUTH 101i (Intensive Music Theory and Aural Skills) is for students whose diagnostic test results indicate they do not yet possess the skills or knowledge for placement into MUTH 101. MUTH 101i is bolstered by the co-requirement MUTH 101i Lab (Intensive Music Theory I Lab), which augments MUTH 101i with an additional 20 minutes of drilling and practice each weekday. 

What to Expect

MUTH 101 & MUTH 101i

The two courses cover roughly the same material, with MUTH 101i meeting an additional 20 minutes each day. There are four main areas of study in these courses. Below is a brief description of each:

  1. Written harmony: Includes written harmonizations of chorale melodies, realizations of figured basses, and harmonic analysis of musical examples.
  2. Keyboard harmony: 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 and other keyboard exercises.
  3. Sight singing: Sight singing of melodies in treble, bass, and alto clefs using fixed-do solfège.
  4. Aural training: Melodic and harmonic dictation.

Note #1: Learn scales, key signatures, and intervals this summer.

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

MUTH 101i Prerequisite Exam

All students who place into MUTH 101i are required to take a short theory proficiency test during orientation week. The test covers four topics:

  • Reading treble and bass clef
  • Key signatures
  • Major and minor scales
  • Intervals

Students will be given three chances to pass this test. Students may not enroll in CIM music theory classes until the proficiency test is passed. Please contact Dr. Timothy Cutler at for study materials and more information.