For Incoming Freshman

Music Theory FAQs for Incoming Freshmen


Welcome to the College of Music at UNT! Below you will find frequently asked questions for incoming freshmen who are preparing for the first day of college.

Q: As an incoming music major, what music theory concepts should I know on Day 1 of college?
A: Be fluent in:

a. Reading pitches in both treble and bass clefs,
b. Notating and singing major and minor scales (including natural, harmonic, melodic minor forms),
c. Identifying and writing key signatures (both major and minor),
d. Analyzing and spelling intervals.

To help prepare for college-level theory, the faculty recommends (but does not require) the Oxford Music Theory Skill Builder found here.  Access to this site is free with the purchase of the textbook required for core theory and aural skills courses.  

Q: What if I still feel like I’m going to be too far behind?
A: We do offer a music theory course for non-music majors (MUTH 1300) where you will start from the beginning. The class is designed for non-specialists and moves a bit slower than Theory I (MUTH 1400). More importantly this course will not count toward your degree and may slow your degree progress. We encourage you to pursue the options above, but if you have any questions or concerns, don't hesitate to contact the theory coordinator.

Q: I studied music theory extensively in high school. I aced the AP Theory test. What if I’m ready for Theory 2 on Day 1?
A: We do not accept AP Music Theory exam credit to validate core theory courses; however, we do offer a credit by exam option.