- Students seeking exemption from first-year theory and musicianship courses can take placement tests online between June 15 - July 15, 2022.
- All placement exams are optional. You only register for them if you wish to seek exemption from one or more first-year theory and musicianship courses in the music program.
Note: Aside from Western Musical Traditions (MUHL 186) or Jazz History Survey (MUJZ 187), students do not receive exemption from first-year theory and musicianship courses even if they completed equivalent courses in a Music DEC, music conservatory or university.
Requests for exemption after placement examination period will be refused, or in special cases, subject to a late fee of $50 per exam.
Depending on the admitted program, you may take placement exams to seek exemption from first-year core courses in Theory, Musicianship or Jazz if you wish to register for 200-level courses in these subjects.
All undergraduate music placement exams will take place remotely.
- Written exams for Theory courses will use MyCourses, McGill’s online learning management system.
- Individual interviews for Musicianship and Jazz courses will take place in Zoom meetings.
|Written Placement Exams Available on MyCourses||Zoom Individual Interviews|
|Who may write these exams?|
|For students who are admitted to B.Mus. Performance Orchestral Instruments, B.Mus. Piano Performance, B.Mus. Performance Guitar/Organ, B.Mus. Voice Performance, B.Mus. Early Music, B.Mus. Faculty, B.Mus. Faculty Jazz, B.Mus. Composition, B.Mus. History, B.Mus. Theory, concurrent B.Mus./B.Ed., L.Mus. except Jazz, and students from other faculties who wish to pursue a music minor or major.||For students who are admitted to B.Mus. Performance Orchestral Instruments, B.Mus. Piano Performance, B.Mus. Performance Guitar/Organ,B.Mus. Voice Performance, B.Mus. Early Music, B.Mus. Faculty, B.Mus. Composition, B.Mus. History, B.Mus. Theory, concurrent B.Mus./B.Ed., L.Mus. except Jazz, and students from other faculties who wish to pursue a music minor or major.||For students who are admitted to B.Mus. Jazz Performance, B.Mus. Faculty Jazz and L.Mus. Jazz.|
|Placement Exam Dates|
|Between Wednesday, June 15 and Friday, July 15, 2022||Between Wednesday, June 15 and Friday, July 15, 2022||
Wednesday, July 6, 2022
OrFriday, July 8, 2022
|How and when to sign up for exams|
There is no sign ups for theory placement exams.
Students can take the exam via MyCourses between June 15 and July 15, 2022.
The deadline to complete the theory placement test i sat 11:59 pm on Friday, July 15, 2022..
See “Register for Placement Tests” below for instructions on how to access MyCourses.
Students can sign up for musicianship and keyboard placement exams between May 16 and June 15, 2022.
See “Register for Placement Tests” below for sign-up instructions.
Students can sign up for jazz placement exams between May 16 and July 4, 2022.
See “Register for Placement Tests” below for sign-up instructions.
Information about preparation for each placement exam subject is found under “Placement Exam Information by Program” below.
Register for Placement Tests
Theory placement tests (MUTH 150/151)
- Students will be examined in the topics covered in both MUTH 150 and 151 in one placement test.
- Depending on the results, the outcome could be: (i) the student is exempted from both MUTH 150 & 151, (ii) the student is exempted from MUTH 150 but not MUTH 151, or (iii) the student is not exempted from either MUTH 150 or MUTH 151 and must take both courses in the first year.
- Students can take the test via MyCourses.
MyCourses is a Learning Management System at McGill. Course syllabus and contents for most courses are posted on MyCourses.
Ready to take the placement tests? Access MyCourses here.
Note: You can only access MyCourses to take the theory placement test as of June 15, 2022.
If you are unable to access the placement tests on MyCourses, email studentaffairs.music [at] mcgill.ca
Musicianship and Keyboard placement tests (MUSP 140/141/170/171/240/241)
Placement exams in Musicianship and Keyboard take place in individual five-minute Zoom interviews from late June to early July. Please sign up no later than Wednesday, June 15, 2022, using the link below.
Once you sign up, you will receive an invitation to a Zoom meeting via your McGill email address.
Jazz placement tests (MUSP 123/124 & MUJZ 160/161/170/171)
Jazz placement exams take place in individual 15-minute Zoom interviews.
- Log into McGill 365 with your McGill username and password.
- Find an excel file located in One Drive labelled “2022 Jazz Placement Tests Sign-Up Sheet”.
- Please sign up no later than July 4, 2022.
Placement exam results
Placement exam grades will not appear on your McGill transcripts. The results are used for course assignments. Credit will be given for courses for which an exemption is granted and will count towards the total number of credits required for the program.
- For B.Mus. and L.Mus. students, after results are compiled, you will find out if you are exempted from one or more course(s) on your Program Audit (PA) by mid-August.
- For students from faculties outside of the Schulich School of Music, we will email you the results (pass/fail) to your McGill email account by mid-August.
Placement exam information by program
The information in this section is divided into two program streams:
B.Mus., L.Mus. (except Jazz streams)/Students in B.A., B.Sc., or other degree programs outside of Music pursuing a minor or major in Music
All new students in B.Mus. or L.Mus. (except Jazz streams), and students in the B.A./B.Sc. or other degree program from other faculties who pursue a music major or minor, may take the following placement tests in theory (MUTH) and musicianship (MUSP), regardless of previous college or university courses and credits. These placement tests are optional.
Note for B.A./B.Sc. (or other faculty outside of Music) students who wish to take MUTH and MUSP courses:
All new students from out-of-province are placed in the following freshman/prerequisite courses. Students coming from music programs in CEGEP, or from another university music program, may choose to seek advanced standing by taking the optional placement exams to test out of the required courses, MUTH 150 and 151.
List of placement tests available:
- Musicianship MUSP 140/141/240/241
- Keyboard Proficiency MUSP 170/171*
*Note: B.Mus. and L.Mus. students whose main instrument of study at McGill is piano, organ, or harpsichord are automatically exempt from MUSP 170 and 171. Lute players may request to use any Continuo course (MUPG 272, MUPG 372, or MUPG 670) as equivalent to both MUSP 170 and MUSP 171, once they complete the Continuo course.
MUSIC HISTORY (MUHL 186)
There is no placement test for MUHL 186.
Those students who have successfully completed History I, II, III & IV from a Music DEC at CEGEP or post-secondary courses in Western Musical Traditions, or passed RCM Level 10 History exam, will be given advanced standing for MUHL 186 (determined by transcript record.)
DETAILED EXAM INFORMATION:
Students wishing to have advanced standing and be exempted from prerequisite courses may do the following exams in theory and musicianship by July 15:
1. THEORY (MUTH 150/151
Please note that the first-year theory placement exam is a single exam incorporating material from both MUTH 150 and MUTH 151. Students will be tested on both theory courses.
MUTH 150 Music Theory and Analysis 1
- Resolution of dominant and diminished seventh chords
- Principles of four-part writing in keyboard and chorale styles
- Harmonic analysis with Roman numerals and figured bass
- Labeling nonharmonic tones (passing, neighbor, suspension, anticipation, echappée, incomplete neighbor)
- Labeling cadence types (PAC, IAC, HC, DC)
To prepare, you may consult any standard undergraduate music theory textbook, such as The Musicians’ Guide to Theory and Analysis (Marvin/Clendenning), The Complete Musician (Laitz) or Concise Introduction to Tonal Harmony (Burstein/Straus). It is recommended to visit websites such as MusicTheory.net or Teoria.com for tutorials and drills.
MUTH 151 Music Theory and Analysis 2
Content includes all of the above, plus
- Analysis and classification of sequences
- Modulation and tonicization (secondary dominants)
- Standard chromatic harmonies (augmented sixths, Neapolitan sixths)
- Types of 6/4 chords (neighbour, cadential, passing, arpeggiating)
To prepare, you may consult any standard undergraduate music theory textbook, such as The Musicians’ Guide to Theory and Analysis (Marvin/Clendenning), The Complete Musician (Laitz) or Concise Introduction to Tonal Harmony (Burstein/Straus).
- MUSICIANSHIP (MUSP 140/141/240/241)
A. First Interview. This will determine possible exemption from Musicianship Training MUSP 140/141. You sight-sing (with or without solfège) a melody that appears on the screen and identify intervals and triads by quality (e.g., major, minor, diminished, augmented) and inversion (e.g., 6/3 or first inversion, etc.). If you succeed in these tasks you will be asked to take a second interview. If you qualify for a second interview, you will receive notification via your McGill email address shortly after your first interview.
B. Second Interview. This will determine possible exemption from Musicianship Training MUSP 240/241. You sight-sing atonal melodies and identify chromatic chords in a harmonic progression, including seventh chords, applied dominants, augmented sixths, and modal mixture, by quality and inversion.
- KEYBOARD PROFICIENCY (MUSP 170/171)
- Sight read a short example in two parts.
- Transpose a simple melody at sight
- Construct chords at the keyboard (root position and inverted triads and 7th chords).
- Resolve dominant and diminished 7th chords in 4 voices.
- Play progressions from chord symbols (for example, I–V6/ii–ii–V6–I) in keys with up to 4 sharps or flats, or playing a similar progression from figured bass
- Read a simple score in more than two staves using treble, bass and alto clefs.
B.Mus., L.Mus. Jazz Performance and B.Mus. Faculty Program (Jazz)
All incoming B.Mus. Jazz Performance, B.Mus. Faculty Program (Jazz) and L.Mus. Jazz Performance can seek advanced standing for first year core jazz courses by completing a Jazz Placement Exam interview to be held remotely by Zoom. This placement test is optional. The interview will be of 10 -15 minutes duration and will cover placement in Jazz Materials, Jazz Ear Training, and Jazz Keyboard Proficiency. Students will have to sign up for an interview time and day according to the published schedule.
If you do not wish to take the placement test, you are expected to register for the 100-level MUJZ core courses as shown in the sample first year course plan for your program.
By default, all new students are placed in the following prerequisite courses:
- Jazz Materials MUJZ 160/161
- Jazz Keyboard Proficiency MUJZ 170/171
(Note: Jazz guitar and jazz piano students are automatically exempt from MUJZ 170 and MUJZ 171)
- Jazz Ear Training MUSP 123/124
- Jazz History MUJZ 187
*Note: Students in B.Mus. Faculty Jazz have the option to take MUTH 150 & 151 placement tests alongside the jazz ones. Detailed info about the MUTH placement tests can be found under Placement Exam information by program for B.Mus., L.Mus. (except Jazz streams).
- The level (and section assignment) for each prerequisite course will be determined by the results of the interview.
- There is no placement exam for MUHL 187 Jazz History.
- Students will be exempt from MUJZ 187 if they have successfully completed an equivalent course from Cegep and college/university.
Placement Test Format:
Each placement test takes between 10 and 15 minutes. It will be conducted by individual interview via zoom. You are required to have both audio and video functions for this placement test. Preparation for Placement Test: For placement in Jazz Materials MUJZ 160-161: You will be tested orally on your knowledge of scales, voicings and chord-scale relationships. For placement in Jazz Ear Training MUJZ 123-124: You will be asked to identify chords, sing various scales by ear and sight-sing a short passage.
Preparation for Placement Test:
For placement in Jazz Materials MUJZ 160-161: You will be tested orally on your knowledge of scales, voicings and chord-scale relationships.
For placement in Jazz Ear Training MUJZ 123-124: You will be asked to identify chords, sing various scales by ear and sight-sing a short passage.
For placement in Jazz keyboard proficiency, MUJZ 170-171: Your keyboard skills will be assessed according to both your prior experience in piano and your ability to identify chord voicings as presented to you on a keyboard during the interview.
Those who have a keyboard at home should try to do the interview in the same room, so that we can hear you play. But a keyboard will not be absolutely necessary for this part of the placement test.
Contact the studentaffairs.music [at] mcgill.ca (Music Student Affairs Office) if you receive a program or prerequisite restriction on Minerva when trying to add the music course(s) after receiving your placement exam results, or if you are inquiring about late placement exams.