Preparation / preliminary courses

On this page you can find out what to expect in the written and oral exams in music theory and aural training and how you can prepare for them.

Exam contents

Applicants to all artistic and artistic-pedagogical Bachelor's degree programmes, including the interdisciplinary Bachelor's degree programme (including school Music) but with the exception of the Bachelor of Music Jazz and Jazz-related Music and Popular Music degree programs must take part in a written ear training exam at the beginning of the entrance examination. In addition, knowledge of music theory and aural skills are also tested orally. The examination of the relevant knowledge for the Bachelor's degree programmes in Jazz and Jazz-related Music and Popular Music is exclusively oral.

In the examination, you will be expected to play standard cadences (I-IV-V-I) from memory with the common versions of the subdominant (sixth chord, fifth sixth chord) and dominant (with fourths, fourths, sevenths) in three positions in major and minor keys up to three accidentals.

You should also be able to write a few cadences with correct voice leading and know what a fallacy and a half-final are.

We recommend basso continuo schools or harmony lessons as preparation.

Two specific literature recommendations (in German):

  • Laura Krämer, Allgemeine Musiklehre (link)
  • John Leigh: Orlando Band 2, Trisonate, Konzert, Choral, Sinfonie  (link, currently not available for sale)

Preparing for the exam

If you don’t have the opportunity to take part in a preliminary course, there are good preparation options online that have been developed by experts at other music universities and are available free of charge to anyone interested.

We highly recommend the free ear training programme provided by the Mannheim State University of Music and Performing Arts.

Orlando, an application offered by the Dresden College of Music, is at a more complex entry level but also highly recommended.

You can also find good preparation options on the Open Music Academy website, e.g. on cadences.

Preliminary courses at HMTMH

The HMTMH offers applicants for the academic year 2025/26 preparatory courses for the entrance examination in the compulsory subjects of aural training and music theory, containing these topics:

  • Composition and aural training
  • General music theory
  • Music theory

The course content is based on the specific requirements of the oral and written entrance examinations at the HMTMH. The courses are supervised by professors and qualified major subject students.

Period: November 2024 to June 2025 | 18 course dates of 90 minutes each
Saturdays (initially fortnightly, later weekly)

Time: either from 11:30 to 13:00 or from 15:00 to 16:30

Place: Hanover University of Music, Drama and Media, Neues Haus 1, 30175 Hanover

The registration deadline is 15 October 2024. The course fee is 180 euros.

To participate, please fill out the registration form and send it to


Last modified: 2024-06-19

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