SAMPLE DEPARTMENTAL QUALIFYING EXAMINATIONS

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CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, FRESNO
DEPARTMENT OF MUSIC
MA QUALIFYING EXAMINATION
JANET SMITH, PERFORMANCE OPTION,
INSTRUMENTAL EMPHASIS

  1. Historical Question (46%)

    Discuss the history and development of the clarinet. Please be sure to include compositions (concertos and sonatas) that have been written for various clarinet performers and comment on the historical significance of each piece. What features of form, and style are particularly important? What influences does each work reflect and/or what impact did it have on subsequent works?
  2. Analysis (46%)

    Provide an appropriate melodic, harmonic and formal analysis of the following two movements selected from your Master's recital program. Please be sure to include a discussion that points out any differences or similarities between these two works. You may want to tie in examples of other compositions discussed in the literature class taken this semester to help clarify your discussion.
  3. Clarinet Performance (8%)

    Since great teachers and performers of the clarinet shape and influence the style and interpretation of clarinet repertoire, knowledge of clarinet virtuosi of today can be invaluable to you. Please list major clarinet performers/teachers and their current positions in orchestras or musical institutions that are in the United States and Europe.

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CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, FRESNO
DEPARTMENT OF MUSIC
MA QUALIFYING EXAMINATION
MAX PLANK, PERFORMANCE OPTION,
CHORAL CONDUCTING EMPHASIS

Use either large format bluebooks for this exam or computer-print your answers. You have six hours in which to complete your answers.

  1. Rehearsal and Performance Problems (25%)

    Attached are four scores. Select one marked “A: and one Marked “B” and discuss rehearsal and performance problems relative to each piece. Comment specifically on the individual points of the question as they relate to each of the scores and compare and contrast where appropriate. Please mark measure numbers where needed so that you are able to refer to specific passages in the music. Feel free to mark the scores to illustrate your points. Before beginning, describe the choral organization you would be using to prepare each of these works.

    A. What kind of preparation would you make before introducing this music? What kind of warm ups would you use before rehearsing it?

    B. How does the historical period in which this work was composed affect its preparation and performance in terms of overall style, articulation, phrasing, vocal tone, ornamentation, conducting, gestures, etc.? (For “A” score only).

    C. What do you envision as the rehearsal time line required to prepare this piece for performance? Draw up a series of rehearsal plans and goals you would employ in order to bring this work to performance level. Enumerate the various rehearsal techniques you would utilize. Be sure to make reference to specific places in the score.
  2. Conducting Analysis (25%)

    Mark the score of “Ich jauchze, ich lache” (one of the “A” pieces from question #1) with appropriate indications for each of the following:

    A. Subject material F. Form

    B. Countersubject material G. Cues -- both entrances and important cut offs

    C. Dynamics H. Important textual stresses

    D. Important cadential material I. Phrasing, breath marks

    E. Textural characteristics/ changes J. Other

    Please develop a color key and attach it to the score (i.e. blue = subject material)
  3. Educational Pedagogy (25%)

    Select three of the following elementary classroom approaches and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of each. Compare and contrast:

    A. Dalcroze D. Education Through Music

    B. Orff E. Gordon

    C. Kod·ly F. Suzuki
  4. Curriculum Development (25%)

    Select two contrasting grade levels (i.e. 2nd and 5th, or 1st and 4th). Focus on one general topic or concept that could be taught at both levels (melody, steady beat, timbre, etc.) Outline a short music unit (3 - 4 lessons) for each grade level. Describe how you would prepare, present, and reinforce the concept. Cite specific song literature and activities that would be appropriate for each level. Discuss ways in which the presentation of the concept would change from the early grade to the upper level.

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California State University, Fresno
College of Arts and Humanities
Department of Music

MA RECITAL COMMITTEE

Student's Name:

Today's Date:

Committee Chair:

Additional Members:

NOTE: Each MA recital committee must be comprised of at least 3 faculty members, of whom one must be your studio teacher.

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California State University, Fresno
College of Arts and Humanities
Department of Music

MA PROJECT COMMITTEE

Student's Name:

Today's Date:

Committee Chair:

Additional Members:

NOTE: Each MA project committee must be comprised of at least 3 faculty members, of whom one must be your faculty mentor.

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California State University, Fresno
School of Arts and Humanities
Department of Music

MA THESIS COMMITTEE

Student's Name:

Today's Date:

Committee Chair:

Additional Members:

NOTE: Each MA thesis committee must be comprised of at least 3 faculty members, of whom one must be your faculty mentor.

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