B-04. Freshman Barrier Examination

Freshman Barrier Examination

All students intending to major in composition must pass the Freshman Barrier Examination before continuing in Intermediate Composition I (MUCP 2180). Students who have completed MUCP 1180-1190 but do not intend to major in composition are not required to take this examination.

  1. Prospective composition majors who have met the following conditions may request to schedule the Freshman Barrier Examination:
    1. Completion of MUCP 1180-1190 with a grade of B or better.
    2. Completion of MUTH 1400-1410 and 1500-1510 (Theory and Aural Skills I-II) with a grade of B or better.
    3. Demonstrated record of regular attendance at Composition Division events during each long semester of enrollment in MUCP courses.

    Students who do not meet all of the above requirements at the time of the FBE will be advised to declare another major. Transfer students with at least two semesters of college-level composition courses who place into MUTH 2400-2410 or higher will be reviewed by the Composition Division chair and advised accordingly prior to enrollment.

  2. This 45-minute oral examination, administered by the composition division chair, is in two parts:
    1. Aural examination, testing recognition of pitch materials used in contemporary music:
      • Melodic: whole-tone, pentatonic, octatonic, modal.
      • Harmonic: major, minor, augmented, diminished; extended tertian, quartal, quintal, secondal.
    2. Repertoire and terminology:
      • Recognition of major contemporary composers and works through score and listening examples.
      • An understanding of basic musical concepts and terminology pertinent to contemporary styles and techniques.
  3. Students are strongly encouraged to review their notes and assignments from 1180-90 prior to taking this examination. The division chair may terminate the FBE at any time during the exam if it is clear that the student is not adequately prepared.
  4. Students who do not pass the Freshman Barrier Examination may enroll in Secondary Composition lessons (MUCP 2080) and may retake the examination within one year of completing MUCP 1190. Students who pass the examination at that time may petition to substitute up to two semesters of MUCP 2080 toward the Intermediate Composition (MUCP 2180-90) requirement for the degree.
  5. The Freshman Barrier Examination may be taken no more than twice; students who do not pass the examination after the second attempt will not be allowed to major in composition.