Ohio University

Music Theory Placement

As part of the BSO experience, all music majors must complete an online music theory evaluation to measure their theory knowledge. It 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does the Music Theory Placement typically take to complete? 

Students can expect to spend between 20 and 50 minutes taking the theory placement. 

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. 

Placement Test Instructions 

  1. Log onto Blackboard Learn using your OHIO ID and password. (If you are unable to login to Blackboard, follow directions below.)
  2. At the top of the page, you will see a list of Blackboard areas. Click on My Organizations (top right).
  3. You will see Music Theory Placement Exam in the list of organizations you belong to. Click the link. (If you do not see this link, follow the directions below.)
  4. You will see sections for Written Theory Placement Exam and Aural Skills Placement Exam.
  5. Begin by clicking the link for the Written Theory Placement Exam. Follow the instructions to begin the exam. Exit the exam when you are finished.
  6. Begin the Aural Skills Placement Exam by clicking the link. Follow the instructions to begin the exam. Exit the exam when you are finished.
  7. When you finish the Placement Exam, exit Blackboard.

If you have any questions about the process of taking the music theory placement or do not see the Music Theory Placement Exam in your organizations, please email Ciro Scotto.

If you are unable to login to Blackboard, please contact the Office of Information Technology.