The music theory curriculum at Northeastern is divided into two tracks. Music majors with a concentration in Composition and Technology or History and Analysis take the following sequence of courses:

MUSC 1201: Music Theory 1
(and MUSC 1241 & 1242: Musicianship 1 & 2)

MUSC 1202: Music Theory 2
(and MUSC 2343 & 2344: Musicianship 3 & 4)

MUSC 2303: Music Theory 3

MUSC 2304: Music Theory 4

MUSC 3541: Music Analysis Seminar

Music majors with a concentration in Music Industry take the following sequence of courses:
MUSC 1203: Music Theory for Music Industry 1
MUSC 1204: Music Theory for Music Industry 2

In order to begin taking courses in either track, a student must demonstrate mastery of the material covered in our fundamentals course, Fundamentals of Western Music Theory (click here for MUSC 1119 guidelines). Students who do not have a firm grasp of fundamentals must take MUSC 1119 before enrolling in MUSC 1201 or MUSC 1203.

Incoming music students have the opportunity to take a placement exam in order to demonstrate their knowledge of theory and fundamentals (see below for sample questions on fundamentals). Students will be placed in Fundamentals or one of the theory classes based on their performance on this exam. The exam is offered during summer orientation sessions, and during the first weeks of fall and spring semesters.

There are many websites with free content that you may find helpful if you wish to prepare for the exam. is one of the most comprehensive, with a wide variety of tutorials, customizable theory and ear training exercises, and definitions of terms.

Sample questions

Sample answers