top_tabs University of Alabama College of Arts and Sciences

We invite prospective students to explore this website, particularly the documents linked below. For more detailed information about areas or programs, prospective students may contact appropriate faculty directly. See the Faculty and Staff page to locate faculty members by name or area.

Undergraduate Admission Application Form

Auditions for Admission and Scholarships

All students must audition for School of Music faculty before being admitted.

Million Dollar Band

Much information about UA’s renowned marching band, the Million Dollar Marching Band and various camps, may be found at their website.

Instrumental Ensembles

Information about other instrumental ensembles, including the Alabama Symphonic, Alabama Wind Ensemble, Huxford Symphony Orchestra, Alabama Jazz Ensemble, and others can be found on the Ensembles page.

Vocal Ensembles

To learn more about our many vocal ensembles: University Singers, University Chorus, and UA Opera Theatre please see our Vocal Ensembles page.

Transfer of Credit from Alabama Colleges and Junior Colleges

A student who plans to transfer credits from an Alabama state college or junior college must read this document, which describes the official policy.

The University of Alabama Undergraduate Catalog

How is College Different from High School?

[Off site] A helpful document from Southern Methodist University.

Preparing for Courses in Music Theory

All freshman music majors are required to enroll for MUS 115 Theory I in their first semester. The theory faculty recommend that students acquire at least the basic musical skills listed below before entering MUS 115.

  1. Using treble and bass clefs, be able to read and write notes on the staff.
  2. Be able to quickly identify and write signatures for all major and minor keys. Know the relative and parallel minor of each major key; know the relative and parallel major of each minor key.
  3. Be able to quickly identify and write all major and minor (natural, harmonic and melodic) scales.
  4. Be able to write and identify major, minor, perfect, augmented, and diminished intervals. Know the inversion of any interval.
  5. Be able to write, clap, and count simple rhythm patterns.
  6. Be able to sing major scales using letter names or scale-degree numbers.
  7. For students who have experience in sight singing and ear training, practice singing and dictating simple diatonic melodies. Practice singing major and minor scales in all keys.

Information regarding note reading, key signatures, scales, and intervals can be found in most theory texts. If you plan to study a theory text to acquire skills beyond those listed above, we recommend Harmony and Voice Leading, 2d ed. (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc. 1978) by Edward Aldwell and Carl Schachter.

Undergraduate Transfer Examination in Music Theory

All transfer students who wish to receive credit for music theory courses taken at other institutions are required to take a placement examination. The examination, which is given one or two days before the beginning of each term, includes but is not limited to the following.

  • Melody harmonization in chorale style
  • Diatonic and chromatic harmony and part-writing
  • Roman numeral/figured bass analysis
  • Figured bass realization
  • Analysis of form

Special emphasis is placed on the music of the common-practice era.

Students take one of two examinations, depending upon the number of course hours they wish to transfer. One test draws upon materials covered in the first two semesters of the core music theory sequence at the University of Alabama and consists of portions of the final examinations from those semesters; the other draws upon materials covered in the third and fourth semesters of that sequence and consists of portions of the final examinations from those semesters.

In preparation for the examination students may wish to review one or more standard undergraduate textbooks. We recommend the following.

Part-writing and Analysis

Harmony and Voice-Leading, Edward Aldwell & Carl Schachter. New York: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1989. This is the textbook used in the first four semesters of the core music theory sequence at the University of Alabama, and is the one we most strongly recommend. The table below lists the chapters covered in each semester of that sequence.

Semester 1 (MUS115): chapters 1-10; 20, 21
Semester 2 (MUS117): chapters 11-19; 23, 25, 26
Semester 3 (MUS215): chapters 22, 24, 27, 28, 29
Semester 4 (MUS217): chapters 30-32

Other texts that cover essentially the same material include Allen Forte’s Tonal Harmony in Theory and Practice and Robert Gauldin’s Harmonic Practice in Tonal Music.

For those who feel the need to review the rudiments of music we recommend Scales, Intervals, Keys, Triads, Rhythm and Meter, a programmed text by John Clough, Joyce Conley, and Claire Boge, published by Norton.


Form in Tonal Music, Douglas Green
Form in Music, Wallace Berry