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Graduate Entrance Exams

Music Theory Diagnostic Exam

Thursday, January 8th, 2015
10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Location: FA 340

Candidates for admission to the graduate program at the Bass School of Music at Oklahoma City University will have two hours to complete the entrance theory diagnostic exam.

Part I is a complete analysis of a J.S. Bach chorale using Roman numerals. Part II is a complete analysis of a Romantic era piano piece, likely involving some sort(s) of chromatic modulation(s). Part III asks for diagrams of smaller forms (e.g. sentence, period, rounded binary, small binary, small ternary, etc.), as well as sketches of large forms (sonata, rondo, ternary, etc.). Part IV will ask students to spell and correctly resolve various chromatic chords in four voices. Enharmonic respellings/reinterpretations may occur in Part IV.

Review textbooks: Typical undergraduate theory textbooks will generally suffice. We currently use Clendinning/Marvin's "The Musician's Guide," but theory texts authored by Kostka/Payne, Aldwell/Schachter, Roig-Francoli, Laitz, etc., should provide an adequate review.

Topics to review include, but are not necessarily limited to, diatonic triads and seventh chords, secondary dominants, secondary leading-tone chords, modulation, phrase structure, smaller forms, augmented sixth chords, the neapolitan chord, enharmonic spellings of chromatic chords, twentieth-century composers and style/trends/-isms.

Theory Exam – Sample Questions:

Romantic Analysis Piece
Romantic Analysis Piece Solution
Directions for Romantic Analysis
Directions for Romantic Analysis Solution
Bach Chorale
Bach Chorale Solution

Aural Skills Exam

Thursday, January 8th, 2015
1 p.m.
Location: FA 340

The aural skills diagnostic consists of three sections: rhythmic dictation, melodic dictation, and harmonic dictation. The rhythmic dictation will be played on a neutral pitch, and meter, number of measures, and duration of the first note will be given. You will be asked to complete the rhythm using appropriate beaming based on the given meter. The melodic dictation will consist of a melody, likely involving chromatic pitches. Meter, clef, key signature, number of measures, duration of first pitch, and the first pitch will be given. You will be asked to write the melody, with appropriate durations and beamings, based on the meter. The harmonic dictation will be in a four-part chorale style, and will likely involve chromatic chords. You will be asked to provide Roman numerals, all four voices, and the cadence type at the end of the example. All examples on the diagnostic will be played five times.

To prepare: Please review rhythmic, melodic, and harmonic dictation with your respective undergraduate materials.  Other methods of review may include on-line review and/or downloading dictation applications from the internet.


Diction Exam

Friday, January 9th, 2015
3 p.m.
Location: BASS A318

In addition, students entering the Master of Music programs in vocal performance, opera performance, and musical theater will undergo a diction examination as follows:

Vocal Performance and Opera Performance: English, French, German, Italian, and International Phonetic Alphabet

Musical Theater: English and International Phonetic Alphabet

Students will be asked to read and/or intone texts in the requisite language(s) and in IPA. Appropriate study materials include:

Marshall, A Singer’s Manual of English Diction (little use of IPA)
Montgomery, English Lyric Diction Workbook (Marshall’s principles with IPA)
Colorni, Singer’s Italian
Grubb, Singing in French
Odom, German Diction for Singers
Wall, IPA for Singers

And these general diction books may also be helpful:

Moriarty, Diction (no English diction included)
Wall, Diction for Singers

Each student will be examined separately, and the test will last approximately ten minutes. A sign-up sheet will be posted outside Bass A 318 five days prior to the examination date.

Music History Exam

Friday, January 9th, 2015
8 a.m.
Location: FA 340

The Music History Diagnostic Examination is an instrument designed to evaluate incoming students' familiarity with general topics in Western music history from Antiquity to ca. 1950. Students will have two hours to complete the exam. The recommended media for study are:

1.) Burkholder, Peter, Donald J. Grout, and Claude V. Palisca. A History of Western Music, seventh edition (Norton, 2006)
2.) Norton Anthology of Western Music. Vols. 1 & 2: fifth edition (accompanying anthology of scores)
3.) Norton Recorded Anthology of Western Music. Vols. 1 & 2 (CD set)
4.) Davison, Archibald T. and Willi Apel. Historical Anthology of Music. Vols. 1 & 2 (Harvard, 1950, rev. 1977)

The exam will be divided into four sections:

1. Multiple choice (12 items): This objective portion of the exam will consist of 12 multiple-choice questions covering a range of topics.

2. Terminology ID (12 items): Students will be asked to define in their own words (and briefly) self-selected terms and concepts from a large list of general music history items. The list will consist of bold-texted items located in the chapters and glossary of the Norton History of Western Music (7th ed.) (see terminology study guide below).

3. Listening ID (3 examples, 6 items): Students will be asked to identify the genre, date, and composer of three listening examples. Also, students will be asked to qualify their answers with a brief stylistic analysis (harmonic & melodic language, form, compositional technique, cadences, texture, etc. where applicable).

4. Score ID (3 examples, 6 items): Students will be asked to identify the genre, date, and composer of three score excerpts. Also, students will be asked to qualify their answers with a brief stylistic analysis (harmonic & melodic language, form, compositional technique, cadences, texture, etc. where applicable).

Students will be evaluated according to their performance in items related to two chronological periods: Antiquity to ca. 1730, and ca. 1730 to ca. 1950. Moreover, course deficiencies will be determined according to their performance in these two chronological periods.

Study Guide & Sample Items

Acting Exam

Friday, January 9th, 2015
2 p.m.
Location: BASS A102

The Acting Examination is designed to evaluate incoming students' level of acting training, language and acting ability, and familiarity with general acting/theatre terms and topics.

The candidates must prepare two contrasting monologues for performance, no more than two minutes each. They will also do a cold reading.

The candidate should be prepared to discuss their respective approach/method as it relates to building a character, interpretation, and communication to an audience.

Knowledge of basic stage and rehearsal terminology, as well as rehearsal protocols/processes, will be evaluated.

Improvisational skills will be evaluated.

The following is a list of recommended books for review and/or study. Since the Stanislovski and Meisner techniques are core to the acting program, particular attention should be given to the first three:

Building a Character by Konstantin Stanislovski

An Actor Prepares by Konstantin Stanislovski

The Sanford Meisner Approach: An Actor’s Workbook

Respect for Acting by Uta Hagen

Stella Adler: The Art of Acting

Strasberg’s Method As Taught By Lorrie Hull: A Practical Guide for Actors,
Teachers, Directors
by Lorrie Hull

A Dream of Passion: The Development of the Strasberg Method by Lee Strasberg

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