Music

  • Production still from SERSE
  • french horns
  • choir and orchestra
  • pianist, clarinetist, and violinist
  • violin section of orchestra
  • wind orchestra
  • Jazz Band on stage

Audition & Placement

This information pertains to the Bachelor of Arts in Music Education, Music Therapy, Music Industry and Breadth Studies, and  the Bachelor of Music in Performance, Composition and Media Composition. Your audition material should reflect your best musical and technical proficiency.

Students wishing to audition for entrance into the CSUN Music program must submit an audition application by the specified deadline. Students auditioning must be in the process of admission to the University for the semester they are auditioning for.

The CSUN Music Department does not offer a Minor in Music. 

Those students who already hold a master's degree in music will not be able to receive a second masters from CSUN at this time.

For information pertaining to the Masters of Music degrees, please visit the page for our graduate degrees. 


Fall 2021 Entrance Auditions

Please see your major option below for information on auditions. Jazz Studies is accepting auditions by video submission only. Most of the other areas will give the student an option of selecting a Zoom audition date or submitting a video by the video submission deadline. You must fill out a music department audition application AFTER completing your CSUN application. The music audition form will allow you to select your submission date and will also allow you to apply for a music department scholarship.

JAZZ PERFORMANCE

Audition videos must be submitted by January 15, 2021. Those students who pass the performance round will be scheduled for zoom interviews during the month of February. 

CLASSICAL PERFORMANCE & COMPOSITION (BM & MM)

(Note: The classical percussion area will only be doing auditions via video submission.)

February 6      Live Zoom Audition

February 13    Live Zoom Audition

February 13    Deadline for those who choose to submit a video audition

March 6          Live Zoom Audition 

BA - MUSIC EDUCATION, MUSIC THERAPY, MUSIC INDUSTRY, BM COMMERCIAL & MEDIA WRITING

February 6      Live Zoom Audition (all majors except jazz and percussion)

February 13    Live Zoom Audition (all majors except jazz and percussion)

February 13    Deadline for those who choose to submit a video audition 

In addition to the dates listed above, some areas will interview select candidates as part of the audition process. In most cases these interviews will occur within two weeks of the audition.

MASTER'S IN MUSIC INDUSTRY ADMINISTRATION

Graduate students interested in the master’s program Music Industry Administration should go to the following link:

https://tsengcollege.csun.edu/programs/MIA

MM CONDUCTING,  MM COLLABORATIVE PIANO & MM COMPOSITION APPLICANTS 
You will need to contact the appropriate faculty member for specific audition requirements and procedures once the department is accepting new applications; your audition date should be 'arranged' with:

Band/Wind Ensemble Conducting, Dr. Lawrence Stoffel 
Choral Conducting, Dr. Katherine Baker
Orchestral Conducting, Dr. John Roscigno
Collaborative Piano, Tali Tadmor
Composition, Dr. Liviu Marinescu

*NOTE: Applicants for the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Music programs must first apply to the university for the Fall 2021 semester October 1-December 4, 2020 through https://www2.calstate.edu/apply

Audition Application link 

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Placement Examinations for Spring 2021

Undergraduate Placement Tests:

Musicianship & Theory

This test will be administered online in December. Students will be contacted via email with the exams - these exams are NOT required if you wish to start at level one in musicianship and theory. For questions about test administration, please contact Nicole Hovland: nicole.hovland@csun.edu. For questions regarding exam material, please contact A.J. McCaffrey - arthur.mccaffrey@csun.edu.

Keyboard

Students will receive a keyboard questionnaire to fill out by early December. This questionnaire will help us to place you. In addition, any junior college transcripts will also be used in the placement process.

Contact: Gayle Kowalchyk - gayle.kowalchyk@csun.edu

WHO NEEDS TO TAKE THE EXAMS?

Any student who wants to start at a higher level than beginning in any of the areas of Keyboard, Musicianship and Theory here at CSUN must take the placement exam(s) in those areas. Transfer students receive credit for courses taken based on the level of skill they demonstrate during these exams. You do NOT have to take the exam of any area you want to start in level one.

WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT?

1) Keyboard Placement Exams will be given on an ongoing basis and it will consist on 4 basic pieces that will test your sight-reading and piano playing skills. The test normally takes only a few minutes, so stop by anytime between the hours posted and you’ll be done in about 10 minutes. DO NOT take this exam if your main instrument (auditioned & accepted) is Piano.

2) The Musicianship Placement Exam will take approximately one hour.  Students should bring a pencil to complete the exam.  The exam will consist of a short section covering the identification of key signatures, scale degrees, and "movable Do" solfege syllables, followed by a series of melodic and harmonic dictations moving from diatonic to chromatic material.  Please note that this exam is used only to determine which level of musicianship is most appropriate for you. For more information on this exam, please email Dr. A.J. McCaffrey (arthur.mccaffrey@csun.edu).

3) A Theory/Harmony Placement Exam is available for students wishing to place out of Harmony I (diatonic harmony only) and/or Harmony II (chromatic harmony and advanced chord progressions). This placement test is focused on evaluating knowledge of 4-part writing, figured bass, and the ability to construct proper chord progressions involving traditional voice leading techniques. Topics such as Roman numeral analysis, cadences, secondary dominants, modulation, non-chord tones, the Neapolitan sixth chord and augmented sixth chords will be covered. The standard textbook used in the Music Department is "Tonal Harmony" by Stefan Kostka and Dorothy Payne.

 IMPORTANT: These exams are intended for placement only and CANNOT be taken more than once. You must begin the course sequence at the level indicated in your outcome and continue until ALL sequences required in your option have been met.

If you’re not accepted into a music option, you CANNOT enroll in any major courses until you are officially admitted into a music option, therefore DO NOT take placement exams until you are admitted into a music option.

The current course rotation for these courses is:

  • Levels I, III and V – offered Fall semester only
  • Levels II, IV and VI – offered Spring semester only 

If you test into a higher level than what is required in your Music Option, you do not have to complete the course unless you change your option to a higher required level option. Refer to your major sheet to see which is the highest level required for your degree option in each specific area.

All levels of keyboard are required for all music options except for students whose main instrument is piano.

Updated 8/17/15

 

Graduate Placement Tests for Spring 2021:

Music History

The music history placement exam will be online for Spring 2021. It will take approximately 15 minutes and will consist of five music excerpts. There will be three excerpts from the Common Practice Period (Approximately 1600-1900), one excerpt will be from the Medieval/Renaissance Period and one from the 20th/21st century. Each excerpt will be approximately thirty seconds to one minute and will be drawn from the Burkholder Norton Anthology of Western Music (8th edition). The student will be asked to describe each piece musically (may include its form, harmony, melody, rhythm, and other salient features) and to provide historical context. The interview tests will be scheduled on January 20th between 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. Pacific Time. Please sign up at the following link. You must sign up by January 15th to take the test.

Contact: Alexandra Monchick | alexandra.monchick@csun.edu

Sign-up for History Placement Meeting

Music Theory

The Graduate Online Placement Test in Music Theory will be sent by email on Wednesday, January 20th at 1 p.m. PST, and will need to be completed and returned by email no later than 3 p.m. PST. Please contact Dr. Liviu Marinescu at   no later that Sunday, January 17th in order to register for the test using a current email address.

The test questions may be answered directly by email, or may be written using a paper and pencil, in which case a photo of the answer sheet will be required.

Contact: Liviu Marinescu | liviu.marinescu@csun.edu


Study Guides for the Graduate Placement Exams

Sample tests and study materials 
Download pdf version of sample tests and study materials (.pdf)