Placement Exam Information

All entering graduate students are required to take placement examinations in music theory and music history before registering. In addition, MM students in performance and literature, accompanying, early music, conducting, and opera stage directing are required to take a listening exam.


Music Theory:

Thursday, August 25th at 8:30am in Annex 902

Music Theory placement exam study guide

Attention Continuing ESM Graduate Students: Students entering a doctoral program with an MM or MA from Eastman will take only Part 2 of the music theory placement exam.  Please see the orientation schedule for more details.


Music History:

Friday, August 26th at 1:00pm in ESM 120 (Ray Wright Room)

Music History placement exam study guide

Attention Continuing ESM Graduate Students: Students entering a doctoral program with an MM or MA from Eastman must have achieved passing scores on the Medieval and Renaissance portions of the music history placement exam when first taken.  Deficiencies in these areas will be evaluated prior to registration, and students will be advised as to recommended or required courses as needed.


Listening Exam:

Saturday, August 27th at 9:00am in ESM 120 (Ray Wright Room)

MM listening exam 2015

The Listening Exam is required for Master of Music degree students in the following majors: Performance and Literature (PRL), Piano Accompanying & Chamber Music (ACM), Early Music (EMH), Conducting (CNC and CNO), and Opera Stage Directing (OPS).

The MM Listening Test evaluates the student’s ability to identify by ear specific works taken from a published list of works which represent a broad spectrum of historical periods and performance media. It also tests the student’s ability to identify works not on the published list, by style-period rather than by title, with some brief description of the characteristics of the work that suggest the period choices. The exam consists of 25 excerpts, 20 of which involve identification of specific works from the published list and 5 of which cover style-identification. The basic list of works is published annually and serves as the source for the Listening Test administered during orientation week. Streaming audio of all the repertiore is available at (you will need your NetID to log on; see the orientation website for information on obtaining your NetID).


Piano Literature Exam (piano majors only):

The Piano Literature Exam is designed to test general knowledge of piano repertoire, and consists of listening identification and short answer questions.  There is no study guide, nor is any additional information provided.  All incoming MM and DMA Performance and Literature students majoring in Piano are required to take this exam.  New DMA students who received a MM degree from Eastman are not required to re-take the exam.


Special Note for Jazz Majors:

MM students in Jazz Performance (JCM) and Jazz Writing (JCW) must take the traditional music history exam as well as the jazz theory exam (MM JCM and JCW students do not take the traditional music theory exam). DMA Jazz students must take both traditional music history and music theory exams in addition to jazz theory exams. For more information about the graduate jazz placement exam, please contact Jeff Campbell at