Math/Music: Structure and Form

Exam 1 Review Questions

Below are some types of questions you should expect to find on the exam. This is certainly not an exhaustive list but is intended to provide a general overview.

Listening Questions:

1. Be able to recognize the time signature or rhythmic features of a piece by listening. (CD#1)

2. Be able to hear the difference between a chromatic, whole tone, major or minor scale.

3. Be able to recognize different types of tonality in music: major, minor, Gregorian chant, early polyphony, atonal music, etc. (CD#2)

General Questions:

1. How many eighth notes do you need to fill up a measure in 7 - 4 time? in 5 - 8 time?

2. In 5 - 4 time, how many beats does a triple-dotted quarter note get? How many beats does it get in 3 - 2 time?

3. What is the sum of an infinite geometric series that begins with 3 and has a ratio of -2/3? Write out the first five terms of the corresponding geometric sequence (the terms being summed).

4. Suppose you come across a measure of music that asks you to play a polyrhythm of 10 against 6. How many pulses would you subdivide the measure into in order to see precisely where the pulse of each rhythmic pattern goes?

5. Give an example of two integers a and b such that the lcm(a,b) = b. What must the gcd(a,b) be equal to for this to be true?

6. What popular type of music and dance, which features a fast, rhythmic 2 count in 2 - 4 meter, originated in the Dominican Republic?

7. What famous piece featuring polyrhythms and polytonality caused a riot at its premiere in Paris? Name the composer.

8. Write out a whole tone scale, using correct accidentals, beginning on D, in both clefs.

9. Without using key signatures, write out an F# major scale in the treble clef using correct accidentals.

10. Without using key signatures, write out a C# harmonic minor scale (diatonic) in the treble clef using correct accidentals. What is the relative major of C# minor?

11. What key has 5 flats? Write the major scale for this key in the bass clef. List the flats for this key in correct order.

12. If you start at middle C, go up a perfect fifth, then down a major third, what note have you arrived at? Notate all three notes in the treble clef. Be able to find all three notes on the piano keyboard.

13. The first jump in the melody of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star is what interval?

14. What is the opening interval of Leonard Bernstein's Maria?

15. How many half steps are there in a major sixth? How many whole steps are there in an octave? Name a song that begins with an octave.

16. Using key signatures, transpose Twinkle Twinkle Little Star from the key of C major to the key of E flat major. Also transpose it to the key of F sharp major.

17. How many keys are there on the modern piano keyboard? Roughly how many octaves fit into the piano keyboard?

18. If two scales are considered identical when they contain the same set of notes, how many different major scales are there? Explain why.