Course Outline: Music & Society

Instructor: Mr. Spinelli

Maximum:  in two sections, total enrollment: 80 combined.  When only one section is taught, enrollment is not to exceed 60.
 Prerequisites: None.
Music and Society is an arts and humanities course involving the historical development of Western music over the ages, from its earliest beginnings in Antiquity and Gregorian Chant, through the various stylistic periods: Middle Ages, Renaissance, Baroque (first trimester); Viennese Classical period (second trimester); and the Romantic, Post-Romantic, culminating in the 20th and 21st centuries (third trimester). Students also have the option to attend musical events, such as trips to the Met opera and orchestral concerts. Homework level:  very light.

Goals of the Course

The goals of Music Appreciation are four-fold:

1. To teach students to discuss music history knowledgeably by acquainting them with the basic terminology of music theory, vocal, and instrumental music.

2. To tie in the development of musical style with corresponding events in the history of art and civilization as a whole: the feudal system, the ascent of Charlemagne, the rise of the middle class and rebirth of Greek ideals in the renaissance, the Divine Right of Kings as established in the Baroque, the construction of the palace at Versailles, the philosophies of John Locke and his contribution to the American Revolution, the ascent of Napoleon, etc., the works of Botticelli, Bramante, Giotto, Watteau, J.L. David, Turner, Dunstable, Goya, Renoir, Rodin, Picasso, Bracque, etc.

3.To teach students discuss, critical, descriptive, and evaluative remarks on the various styles of music from Antiquity to the 21st Century and to create a set of notes taken from the lecture series.

4. To teach students the fundamental theories of music through history, from the hexachordal structure and modal writing of the middle ages to the beginnings of tonality and Equal Temprament in the Baroque, along with an understanding of the overtone series, triadic construction, functional harmony (I-IV-V,) the invertability of chords, through the breakdown of functional harmony in the early 20th century; the 12-tone technique of Schoenberg, modal harmonies of Bartok, etc.

Course Outline

Tri I

I. Introduction

1. Fundamental Terminology

II. The move into the Middle Ages: (1100AD) The beginning of Polyphony.

1. Salient characteristics (society, science, historical events) of the era

2. Music and musicians in society

3. Art, architecture, Painting

4. General characteristics of the style of music

5. Lives and works of the composers

III.The late middle Ages; transition to the Renaissance: 1300-1450
   See 1-5 above.

IV. The Renaissance (1450-1600)
     See 1-5 above.

V.The Baroque 1600-1750
     See 1-5 above.

▪   Tri II

VI. Classicism 1775-1825 - Note: 2nd trimester deals exclusively with the four Viennese Master: Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, and Schubert.
     See 1-5 above (and so on, for the remaining segments)

▪   Tri III

VII Romanticism 1825-1900

VIII Early 20th Century Music: Impressionism, Neoclassicism, and Primitivism

IX Current Trends: The avant garde

X Popular Music

1. Ragtime, Blues, Gospel, Dixieland....

2. Folk, early Rock (19050's-60's)

3. Rock: Current Trends.

XI. European Folk, and Non-Western Music

Unit Objectives

Students will develop more and self-discipline as they learn about, listen to, and discuss the evolution of musical style. Students become critical listeners and thinkers as they identify and solve problems in their studies. They also become creative thinkers as they produce unique solutions or "products" through their thought processes.

Methods of Instruction

▪   Course consists of a series of presentations during which students take notes.

▪   Interspersed with the lectures, a series of works are played and students are taught methods of objective listening, learning to identify changes in style and compositional form.

▪   In addition, students engage in discussions on tempo, texture, rhythm, contour, degrees of consonance and dissonance, instrumentarium, style, etc.

Methods of Evaluation

Students are evaluated three ways:

1. A take-home, cumulative final exam (35%)

2. Students will hand in their notebooks, which will be graded on content Projected outlines fleshed out into coherent notes based on lecture content, neatness, completeness and organization. (35%)

3. Class participation, cooperation, and effort (40%)

Grading Criteria:

A = Excellent Notebook and test, class participation excellent

A- = Very Good notebook and test, A-  class participation very good.

B+ = Good notebook and test, some lack of attention to detail, organization or neatness class part. Good

B to B- = moderately good to acceptable notebook and test, moderate but acceptable to moderate class participation.

C and below = difficulties with notebook and test, class part. inattentive

Grade Weight:                    

Notebook=35% -submitted at the end of each trimester

Test = 35%.  The test will contain:

          25 Mult Choice

          15 Matching

           5 Fill-in

           5 T&F

Attentiveness, effort, cooperation=30%

Listening: proper etiquette -  treats the classroom the classroom as a concert hall  during listening                             

Instructional Material

Texts for reference for teacher use only (i.e., students do not use a text):

▪   Joseph Machlis: The Enjoyment of Music

▪   Donald J. Grout: A History of Western Music

▪   David Crocker: A History of Musical Style.

▪   David Barber: Bach, Beethoven, and the Boys

▪   Kenneth Clark: Civilisation

▪   How to Listen to And Understand Great Music, Prof. Rbt Greenberg

▪   Wili Apel: The Harvard Dictionary of Music

▪   Stanley Sadie, ed: The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians