Music Theory Diagnostic Exam Preparation Information


Department of Music

108 Fine Arts

16 Mt. Pelia Rd.

Martin, TN 38238


(731) 881-7402


Dr. Julie Hill, Chair

Music Theory Diagnostic Exam Preparation Information

After you have auditioned and been accepted as a music major or minor, you must take the Music Theory Diagnostic Exam when you come to campus for orientation. This exam is designed to assess your level of mastery in the music theory area in order to place you in the appropriate course: MUS 120 Fundamentals of Music Theory or MUS 131 Music Theory I.


Students must take the diagnostic exam in the morning on the day of their scheduled SOAR, since they have to register for the appropriate theory course during the afternoon registration session. Therefore, if they fail the exam, it is not recommended that they retake it. However, if there is an extenuating circumstance or a student missed passing by a small margin on the first attempt and is otherwise academically strong, then the student may request to retake the exam. The coordinator has the discretion to grant or deny these requests.


Students who have mastered the concepts covered in the Diagnostic Exam (outlined in the links below) will be allowed to register for MUS 131. Students who have not will register for MUS 120.


For those students who have a substantial music theory background, please contact the Music Theory Coordinator, Dr. Michael Mathenia at or 731-881-7410 for more information on special arrangements.


Materials for Preparation:

The text for MUS 120 is Principles of Music by Philip Lambert, 2nd edition (Oxford University Press: ISBN 978-0-19-063814-6). This text may be used to prepare for the theory diagnostic exam. (NOTE: Students who do not pass the diagnostic exam will be able to use their copy of the text in the MUS 120 course.)


The following website may also be helpful: