BMCC: The first exam will take place in class on W Oct 16. The second exam will take place W Dec 18.

QCC: The midterm exam will take place during the first half of class on T Oct 29 / Th Oct 24.

Preparing for an exam

You have several resources that you should consult to make sure you’re on top of all the material we’ve covered this term:
  1. Any notes you took in class
  2. Lecture notes — on the class website, use the top navigation bar (marked “Course Materials”)
  3. Listening — recordings of pieces we studied in class (in the playlist to the right in this window)
  4. Skim all reading assigned this term (or notes you took on the readings) from both the textbook and other sources (use the top navigation bar marked “Course Materials — Assigned Reading”)
  5. Your own writing assignments — look for things that you had difficulty with and think of questions that you want to clarify about those topics
Don’t do all of this at once! It’s way too much material (a whole semester’s worth, actually!), and you won’t absorb it meaningfully if you try to do all this in one session. Instead, set aside 10 minutes every day to refresh your memory on the things you’ve learned this term (you can do this with all your classes). Taking 10 minutes a day is more than enough time to be on top of everything, to quiz yourself, and to make all this material manageable.
There are also study tips and links to other schools’ exam tips available on the website:

Exam questions

On both the midterm and final exams, you can expect the following kinds of questions:

  • True/False
  • Multiple choice
  • Vocabulary word bank
  • Listening identification: instruments, tempo, texture, meter, dynamics, etc. and likely time period (Baroque, Classical, Romantic, 20th century — be prepared to give a reason why a piece is likely from that time period or what makes it typical of music from that time period)
  • Questions about music history chronology:
    • Matching composers with their respective time periods
    • Matching composers with their respective countries
    • Matching artistic philosophies with their respective time periods

Past exam prep materials

Spring 2019:

Fall 2018: Midterm review

Midterm review, Fall 2017: Fall 2017 midterm review

Midterm review, Spring 2017: midterm review – spring 2017

Midterm review, Fall 2016: midterm-review

PowerPoint from Fall 2016: 14-final-review

List of pieces covered in class (Fall 2016): 14-review-list

PowerPoint from Spring 2016 (includes sample exam questions not covered in class): 14 exam review – May 13, 2016

Exam review worksheet to organize the material you’ve covered in class by major composer (Spring 2016): 14 Final exam review – composers

As you go through your class notes and class PowerPoint slides to complete this worksheet, try to answer the following questions for each composer:

  • When did they live? (Years and time period: Baroque, Classical, Romantic, 20th century)
  • Where did they live? (Country)
  • Why did we study them in class? Put another way, what was significant about their life, the influence they had on other musicians or artists, and how did we approach their music (did we use their music as a case study to think about art, or power, or music in the home, or to understand opera/symphonies/Lieder, etc.)?
  • What genres of music did we study from them, and what is typical about that genre?

Organizing all your thoughts and notes this way will be a helpful tool in studying for the exam.