Ohio University

Music Theory Placement

Music Theory Placement

As part of your BSO experience, we will measure all music students’ theory knowledge with an online music theory evaluation. It will take no more than 50 minutes and will determine which theory class you will register for in the fall. No prior theory knowledge is required or expected and for many incoming students, the fall will be their first theory exposure.

Theory Evaluation Exams will take place during the check-in time on your BSO date. You should plan to arrive to BSO check-in by 8:00 a.m. to ensure you have enough time to complete all elements of check-in and still have time to complete your music theory placement exam. After completing check-in for your orientation program and visiting the BSO Resource Fair, you will need to go to Glidden Hall 424, between 8:45 a.m. and 9:15 a.m. to take your music theory placement exam.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Should I study/prepare for the Theory Evaluation? If so, what is the recommended preparation? 

No prior theory knowledge is required or expected. For many incoming students the fall will be their first theory exposure – therefore, advanced preparation/study is not required. However, if you would like to prepare in advance, our Music Theory faculty recommend using a college theory text book and review at least the first seven chapters. The Ohio University theory curriculum uses The Musician’s Guide to Theory and Analysis by Jane Clendinning and Elizabeth Marvin (ISBN978-0-393-26305-3). Many online theory websites can help you practice for the exam. Here is one example: http://www.musictheory.net/

Can I take the test again after orientation?

If you plan to review your high school theory materials over the summer or if you will take an online college theory prep course prior to the start of fall semester, you can make arrangements with your Orientation Advisor to take the placement exam again in the fall prior to the first day of class. 

I was running a little late for Orientation and was not able to make it to take the exam, what should I do?

You should make arrangements with your Orientation Advisor to take the exam at another time during Orientation.