Keyboard Harmony Placement

close up of piano keys

All students in the Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Musical Arts degree programs at Blair are required to pass a piano proficiency exam before graduation. The Keyboard Harmony sequence of courses allows students to master skills tested on this exam.

Placement interviews for Blair majors for the Keyboard Harmony sequence are held during Blair orientation (on the Monday before the start of classes) to determine the appropriate course for your level of accomplishment.

No Piano Experience

If you have no piano experience, you should register for Introduction to Keyboard Harmony, MUKH 1130. No placement interview is necessary.

Some Piano Experience

If you have some piano experience, you will need to do a placement interview. Reviewing some of the following skills before the placement interview might help you place into a higher level of keyboard harmony. (Please don't worry if you have not yet covered this material - you will be placed into the appropriate class for your level. It is certainly acceptable to start at the beginning of the sequence.)

  • Two-octave major and harmonic minor scales (one octave for natural and melodic minor), hands together, using standard, correct fingering
  • Three-octave major and minor arpeggios, hands together, using standard, correct fingering
  • Chord progressions, major and minor: I, IV, V7, I
  • Sight reading

Piano Major

If you are a piano major, you should register for Accelerated Keyboard Harmony, MUKH 2133. No placement interview is necessary.

At the end of the Keyboard Harmony sequence, the final piano proficiency exam will include the following skills:

  • All major scales (two octaves), minor scales (two-octave harmonic and one-octave natural/melodic), and major/minor arpeggios (three octaves)
  • Chord progressions and scale harmonization
  • Modulation
  • Harmonization/transposition of folk melodies
  • Score reading
  • Sight reading
  • Star-Spangled Banner
  • Improvisation on the 12-bar blues
  • Tunes by ear
  • Solo repertoire and/or accompanying repertoire