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Music Theory Placement Tests are given during February auditions for applicants for the DMA degree, for applicants to the Master of Music in Music Theory Pedagogy degree, and for those applying for assistantships in Music Theory (classroom, ear training, and keyboard skills). See below for more information.

Matriculating students in undergraduate and in MM and MA degrees will be given placement exams either online in the summer or during August orientation. Information will be sent with your admissions letter.

Undergraduate Music Theory Tests

All students applying for admission to an undergraduate program must take a rudiments test during orientation week.  Students whose test scores are less than excellent will be placed into Music Theory 1/2 (Intensive) for their first year at Peabody.

Some students come to Peabody having studied figured bass and counterpoint. These students are encouraged to take the Advanced Placement Undergraduate Exam (AP-Ugrad), also offered in August before classes begin. An excellent performance on this test would make a student eligible for placement into Theory 1-4 (Accelerated), an accelerated course that covers two years of material in one year. Transfer students normally take this exam.

We do not accept AP credits in music theory.

A good website for rudiments review is

Sample Rudiments Test

Sample AP-Ugrad Test

Graduate Music Theory Tests

Graduate students are expected to enter their degree programs with a thorough understanding of tonal harmony.

In May, entering students will be given an Online Graduate Theory Basics Test.  Those who score poorly will be advised to take an online course in basic music theory, which they must pass before being allowed to take any required seminars in Music Theory.

During Orientation Week,  all graduate students will be given a Written Graduate Review Theory Test, covering more advanced theory topics in figured bass; melody harmonization; Roman numeral, non-chord tones and formal analysis of examples from the repertoire; and 20th-century techniques. Students doing exceptionally well on these tests may then take any music theory seminars they choose; others will have to take at least one designated Tonal Analysis seminar.

More information for DMA and GA applicants

DMA, Theory GA, and MM/MTP applicants must take the Graduate Assistant and Doctor of Musical Arts Exam (GADMA). The GADMA is a ninety-minute examination that tests your knowledge of figured bass realization in four parts and analysis; melody harmonization in four parts and analysis; Roman numeral, non-chord tones and formal analysis of examples from the repertoire; counterpoint (18th Century); and 20th Century materials.

The GADMA is a factor in admissions decisions for the DMA and MM/MTP degrees.  For other degrees, the exam is only used in the assistantship-granting process, not for admissions decisions.

Review Materials

Textbooks which will be helpful for review include:

Graduate Review of Tonal Theory, by Steven Laitz (a concise review text — highly recommended)

The Complete Musician, by Steven Laitz (textbook aimed at undergraduates)

Tonal Harmony, by Kostka/Payne (textbook aimed at undergraduates)

GADMA Sample