Format overview of Graduate Music History Placement exam

The Graduate Music History Placement examination is taken by all entering graduate students. Its purpose is assessment, not prohibition: on the basis of scores on the Placement examination, students are either (a) cleared to enroll in graduate musicology courses; (b) advised to enroll in MUHL5300: Graduate Music History Review, offered each Spring semester; or (c) required to enroll in MUHL5300. The examination is of 90 minutes duration, and its format will typically include the following:
I. A section on a supplying score excerpt, requiring the student to identify and label its essential formal components (exposition, P and S theme, recap, coda, phrase structure, cadences and cadence types, instrumentation, transpositions, etc);

II. A section of 15 audio excerpts, asking the student to indicate, on the basis of style characteristics, the historical period of composition (or target century). NOTE: the student is not required to identify either the composer or the specific composition--only the time period or target century;

III. A section of 15 score excerpts, asking the student to indicate, on the basis of style characteristics, the historical period of composition (or target century). NOTE: the student is not required to identify either the composer or the specific composition--only the time period or target century;

IV. A section of 15 brief, 1 to 2-sentence identifications of terms (referencing theory, history, form, stylistic schools, etc);

V. A short essay (250-300 words) on a specific assigned topic from music history, typically addressing the interaction of a genre's musical style characteristics and various contextual/cultural/philosophical issues shaping those characteristics.