Theory and Ear-training Placement Test

How will the results of my placement test be used?
The results of your theory and ear-training placement test will be used for “placement” purposes only.  Our decision to admit you to the B.Mus. program will be based solely on your B.Mus. audition, and your academic record.  Your theory placement test results will allow us to place you in an appropriate theory course, according to your level, so that you will be able to register for the appropriate course in advance, and “hit the ground running” when you arrive in September.

What if I don’t pass the theory and ear-training placement test?
Students who do not pass will be required to take the preliminary theory course MUSI 1107.  While this half-course does not count toward the B.Mus. degree, it can be taken in your first year, concurrent with other B.Mus. courses.  Successful completion of this preliminary course will be required for eventual placement into MUSI 1700 and 1701, our first-year (B.Mus.) theory courses, in the second year of your program.  Completion of MUSI 1107 will add a relatively small additional load to your degree, and will not delay the completion of the degree.

What if I already know music theory rudiments?
In that case, you should pass the theory component of our placement test.  Students who pass the placement test will be placed directly into MUSI 1700, our first-year (B.Mus.) theory course.

What level of music theory rudiments do you require?
While we do not formally recognize Royal Conservatory of Music credentials in our placement procedure, students who have completed Intermediate Rudiments (Grade 1 Rudiments) should enable you to pass the theory component of our placement exam, though completion of Advanced Rudiments (Grade 2 Rudiments) is recommended.

How can I prepare for the theory placement test?
A number of good preparatory texts are available.  Barbara Wharram’s “Elementary Rudiments of Music” can be found in most music stores.  You will pass the theory placement test comfortably if you are able to handle the materials found in Chapters 1 through 5.

Does Carleton University grant credit for advanced theory courses taken elsewhere
Unless a student is transferring to us from another University or accredited college, we do not offer advanced theory credits to students entering the B.Mus. program.  In certain circumstances, however, students who have taken advanced theory (through the Royal Conservatory and elsewhere), may be granted a course-waiver for one or more of our required theory courses.  If you think you might qualify for such a waiver, you should contact our Undergraduate Supervisor prior to starting classes in September.