CRN 948925--2:30-3:20 MWF--Squires Recital Salon
Fall Semester 2012--Prof. John R. Howell

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This Page has been updated for Fall 2012.


Time and Place: 2:30-3:20, MWF, Squires Recital Salon
Instructor: Prof. John R. Howell
Office: 157 Squires (Ground Floor, Music Wing)
Office Hours: E-mail 24 hours a day: In person by appointment. There are no posted Office Hours because they never line up with students' schedules.
Telephone: Office 231-8411; Department 231-5685; Home 953-1928.

(Please do not call at home unless it isreally necessary, but don't hesitate if it's a real emergency.)

Go to:
Course Objectives
Reference Materials
Course Specifics
Core Curriculum Goals
Evaluation & Grading
Course Materials


Course Objectives

Students successfully completing Music 2115 and/or 2116 will understand the historical processes through which musical styles begin, grow, mature, and decline; will be able to recognize and identify the elements that define specific styles and style periods in the tradition of Western Art Music; will understand and be able to use the terminology associated with each style period; and will be familiar with the contributions of important individuals active in specific styles and style periods.

Course Specifics

Subject matter of this course
Computer & network requirements
Core Curriculum requirements
Types of assignments to expect
Honor System
Class attendance
Students with disabilities

1. This is a history course, the subject matter of which is the art music ("classical" music) of Europe from Classical Greece to about 1750. (The companion course, MUS 2116, covers the art music of Europe and America from about 1750 to the present, plus the development of American popular music, jazz, and musical theater.) The two courses may be taken in either order. The ability to read music, while helpful, is not a prerequisite for this course.

2. This course satisfies General Education requirements in Area 2 and Area 6, but not if it is audited or taken Pass/Fail. It does not satisfy graduation requirements in Music History for Music Majors, but may satisfy other Core Curriculum requirements as an elective. It is a required course for Music Minors. Please refer to the way this course addresses specific Core Curriculum goals at the end of this Syllabus.

3. There will be both reading and listening assignments to prepare for almost every class, depending on which option the student contracts for (see Evaluation and Grading). In addition, students are expected to attend and submit a written review of one concert of classical ("art") music or jazz. (See the Reviews page for details.)

4. Regular class attendance is expected, depending on which option the student contracts for (see Evaluation and Grading). Missed assignments and quizzes may not be made up unless absence is excused by the instructor in advance, or unless serious illness or family emergency is documented by a doctor's note or similar document. Tours by Music Department ensembles are excused if arrangements are made in advance. Trips on official University business and varsity or club sports are excused if arrangements are made in advance. Absences for specific religious holidays are excused if arrangements are made in advance. Contact the instructor in advance either in person, by e-mail, or by voicemail. Please note that Music Minors who are in Wind Ensemble have a direct conflict at the 2:30 hour, and should inform both the Instructor of 2115 and the Conductor of Wind Ensemble about that conflict.

5. Students are required to have an e-mail account and to provide the instructor with an e-mail address no later than Monday of the second week of class. This is especially important if students are not using the university-assigned email address, which the instructor will use and which Scholar will use for class emails unless told otherwise. Quiz grades, class announcements, comments, and changes in assignments or due dates will be distributed on the class e-mail list, and questions or comments may be sent to the instructor at any time and will be answered as quickly as possible. Always put 2115 and nothing else as the "subject" line so the instructor can identify class posts and deal with them quickly. And always provide a singature with your own full name on every email message; that is simple netiquette. DO NOT SEND EMAIL AS HTML CODE!! Plain Text is the only universal standard for email. If you use your browser for email, you may need to reset it for Plain Text. Your message will be read by Eudora, not by a web browser, and raw html code can turn a message into garbage.

Students are also required to have Internet access. The instructor's homepage can be found at on the Music Department Server. This class syllabus, the course calendar, instructions for concert reviews, chapter outlines, concert schedules, and other study aids for this course will only be available on the Class Website (which is NOT on Scholar), or on the Pearson Website. They will not be handed out in class. There will also be a few Quizzes and study aids available on Scholar at <>.

Written assignments must be turned in electronically as a Word attachment to e-mail. If another word processor is used, the files must be openable in Word 2007 (Windows) or Word 2008 (Mac). Assignments submitted electronically are on time if they are sent by 11:59:59 p.m. on the date due. This way I will always have an electronic copy of your paper. I will acknowledge receipt of all assignments, and if you do not receive a receipt email please check with me. Because of the prevalence of viruses, a file that does not show a standard word processing icon will not be opened and will not be read or graded. In case of doubt, save your file in RTF format before sending. ALWAYS include your last name as part of the filename, and always include a heading including your name in the body of the paper itself.

If you are a foreign student and your word processor is set for A4 size paper, please change it to U.S. Letter size. If I print your assignments our printer will stop the printing queue if it senses a need for A4, and we don't have any!

Save your files for all work turned in. If it should happen that an assignment is damaged or misplaced, be prepared to provide a new copy. Never wipe your computer files for a course until you absolutely know that you have been credited with everything you have earned.

6. There is no midterm exam. This course will probably use Scholar <> for a few extra credit Quizzes, with multiple choice questions (see Evaluation and Grading). There will be an Introductory Unit Quiz (on Scholar) and at least three additional Unit Quizzes (given in class) covering three or four chapters each, with multiple choice questions and including listening examples. There will be a comprehensive Final Exam covering listening identifications (multiple choice), and your choice of term identifications (multiple choice), or essay questions (which may be found on the Final Exam page but must be written during the Final Exam). An alternate final exam time is scheduled and freely available without hassle or paperwork. Expect to turn in an assignment or take a quiz on almost every class day, depending on the option contracted by the student.

Additional study aids that will be available on Scholar may include copies of the class PowerPoint presentations, and possibly additional things added during the semester. (Scholar thinks it's running the class, but it isn't, so ignore its grade averages and such. I transfer the scores that count into my gradesheet.)

7. This course is taught in accordance with the University Honor System and Honor Code, which each student should be familiar with. ( Find it at <>.) Violations of the Honor System will be turned over to the Student Honor System for investigation and resolution. Plagiarism or cheating in any form is not acceptable at this university or in this course. Turning in written work or opscan answer sheets is deemed to be acceptance of the Honor Pledge. All students are asked and foreign students are strongly recommended to read the article on what is expected in research papers at North American Universities; the Plagiarism link is on the Music 2115 Homepage. Use of PDAs, cellphones, text messaging or computers during a Unit Quiz or Final Exam will be considered prima facie evidence of cheating and will result in a doubly-weighted zero for that Quiz or Exam, subject to the recommendation of the Student Honor Court.

8. Any students who need special consideration because of disabilities should email the instructor with this information and furnish the instructor with a copy of the university form from the Dean of Students. The instructor will do whatever is necessary and possible to accomodate such students.

Evaluation and Grading:

1. The way a student's work is evaluated depends on which of the three options below the student chooses. These are designed to allow students to choose the learning activities they find most effective and to choose the degree of class preparation and participation they are willing to put in. Each student is required to email the instructor with a choice of options by the second Monday of the semester, and those emails will be acknowledged and kept in case of any later question. There will be one, and only one, opportunity to change options, again by email, during the week following Unit Quiz 1. The student's choice is a contract between the student and the university. Class attendance will increase the student's ability to score well on Unit Quizzes and the Final Exam. Class attendance and preparation for Chapter Terms Quizzes is expected under Option 2 and Option 3, and can be expected to increase the student's learning and exam scores. Any student who does not make a choice will automatically be assigned a contract under Option 1.

Option 1: "Bet it all!"

Three Unit Quizzes

60% of Final Grade

Final Exam

30% of Final Grade

Concert Review

10% of Final Grade


Option 2: "Hedge your bets"

Three Unit Quizzes

50% of Final Grade

Final Exam

25% of Final Grade

Chapter Terms & Listening Quizzes (on line)

15% of Final Grade

Concert Review

10% of Final Grade


Option3: "Play it safe"

Three Unit Quizzes

45% of Final Grade

Final Exam

20% of Final Grade

Chapter Terms & Listening Quizzes (on line)

15% of Final Grade

Concert Review

10% of Final Grade

2 additional Written Assignments (Reviews or Papers)

10% of Final Grade (5% each)



2. Extra Credit available for all three Options:

Preliminary Unit Quiz (on Scholar, completed by 23:55 on the 2nd Tuesday of the semester )

Up to 3% added to Final Grade

"ReadMe" Quiz on the 2115 Rules Web Page (on Scholar, completed before 23:55 on the second Friday of the semester)

Up to 3% added to Final Grade

Preliminary Review Assignment (turned in by email by 23:55 third Friday)

2% added to Final Grade

Bonus for Reviews/Papers turned in 2 weeks before the Due Date:

15% added to Score for Assignment

Bonus for Reviews/Papers turned in 1 week before the Due Date:

10% added to Score for Assignment


3. Grade Percentage Scale:

Some items treated as opportunities for Extra Credit in past years have now been incorporated into the three available Options. To offset this lack of extra credit opportunities, the Grade Percentages below have been adjusted downward slightly. Grades are earned, not assigned. They are never curved and they are never "rounded up." Decide what grade you want and work for it from the first week of class, and don't ignore the extra credit opportunities.


97 - 100%


86- 88.99%


74 - 77.99%


62 - 65.99%


0.00 - 53.99%


93 - 96.99%


82 - 85.99%


70 - 73.99%


58 - 61.59%


89 - 92.99%


78 - 81.99%


66 - 69.99%


54 - 57.99%

(Note: The grade A+ will be awarded if earned, but the Registrar will not accept it. Go figure!)

Course Materials

Required Text:
Bonds, Mark Evan. A History of Music in Western Culture. 3rd edition. Pearson Education, Inc., 2010. (Used for both 2115 & 2116 and available as a single complete textbook or separate Volume 1 and Volume 2.) On reserve in the Library. Note: Includes a free Registration Code to access online music, composer biographies, study aids, quizzes, and more on the Pearson student website. Students buying a used book may need to purchase that website access separately.

Required Recordings:
Bonds, Mark Evan. A History of Music in Western Culture, 3rd edition, Volume 1 (6 CDs which will be used for Music 2115; Volume 2 will be used for Music 2116), Pearson Education, Inc. 2010. (Also on reserve in the Library Media Center.) Note: You will save money by purchasing the Package with the textbook, the Recordings, and access to the on line materials.

Not Required:
The Anthology (a printed book of musical scores) to go with the textbook and CD set.

Reference Materials:

Grun, Bernard. The Timetables of History: A Horizontal Linkage of People and Events. New, updated ed. New York: A Touchstone Book published by Simon and Schuster, 1979. ( Library reference room)

Hacker, Diana. A Writer's Reference. Boston: Bedford Books of St. Martin's Press, 1992. (Or any other style manual used in Freshman English.)

New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 2nd ed. (30 vols.) (Library Reference Room)

The New Harvard Dictionary of Music (1 vol.) (Library Reference Room)

Virgina Tech Online Glossary of Musical Terms (Link on Music 2115 Homepage)

General Education Goals

This course addresses selected goals of Area 2 and Area 6 of the University General Education Curriculum in the following manner.

Area 2 Goals:

Goal #1: Examine some of the formative ideas and cultural traditions that have shaped Western experience. The importance of musical ideas and traditions in illuminating the formative ideas and cultural traditions of each historical period will be examined.

Goal #2: Study classic and contemporary texts that have influenced or exemplified currents in Western thought and imagination. "Texts" will be studied in two different senses, both the musical texts that transmit to us the musical works which influenced currents in Western society and the literary texts about music which help us interpret those influences.

Goal #3: Gain an understanding of some aspects of human achievement and experience that have been persistently overlooked in mainstream Western culture, including those of women, minorities, and non-Western peoples. The contributions of women and minorities to musical achievement have long been overlooked, and will be addressed both through selection of a text which includes those achievements and through emphasis on those achievements in lectures. Non-Western music is not covered in this course.

Goal #4: Analyze creative works of various mediums both in the arts and technology from the viewpoints of cultural meanings and influence. Intrinsic to the art of music are the instruments used to produce or accompany that music. The changes in musical instruments, in the technologies of designing and making them, and in the way they were used as part of the creative process of performance in different historical periods will be examined.

Goal #5: Gain acquaintance with historical traditions and with humanistic methods of studying and interpreting them. The development and change in historical traditions in music is a core concept in this course, and the contrast among medieval attitudes, the humanistic attitudes of the Renaissance, and the influences of the Enlightenment on Baroque and Classical society and musical traditions will be discussed.

Goal #6: Consider the contributions of philosophical, ethical, or religious systems to human life. A very large proportion of the historical music that has survived into modern times was conceived and intended for use in religious contexts, and cannot be discussed without reference to and discussion of those changing religious systems and contexts.

Goal #7: Recognize how the interaction of tradition and innovation nourishes both individuality and community. Two thousand years of musical development and change is the direct result of constant interaction between traditional concepts and musical forms and innovative concepts and musical forms, and examination of both the musical communities that defined historical style periods and the individuals whose innovations led to changes in style is a core concept for this course.

Goal #8: Gain critical and appreciative perspective upon one's own culture by studying other historical periods and other cultural traditions. Listening to and studying music totally u måÄ nu`s familiar w m Pwill lead to discussion of how to critique and appreciate unfamiliar musics and place them in historical and cultural perspective as precursors to the music of today.

Goal #9: Study the life, thought, and creative activity of men and women of achievement in various fields of human endeavor. The life, thought, and creativity of men and women of achievement and influence in the field of music in each historical period is a core concept for this course.

Area 6 Goals

Goal #1: Participate in cultural events and activities on campus, in both popular and classical arts. Attendance at a minimum of one on-campus concert and writing of a carefully considered review of that concert is required. This concert must contain classical music, but may also include popular music. Attendance at additional concerts, classical or popular, is encouraged.

Goal #2: Understand how the artists or designers who produce these events and works have shaped their ideas. The social, economic, and religious influences on the composers of each historical period will be examined in detail.

Goal #3: Examine intuitive and metaphorical thought processes and their relationship to the human imagination and other intellectual abilities. The way in which our intuition causes us to interpret the music of the past in new ways will be considered, and the extent to which composers of various historical periods used musical metaphor in the form of text painting or tone painting will be examined.

Goal #4: Explore the interaction of art and society, including the contributions of diverse groups to cultural life, such as women and members of minority groups. The interaction of music and society and the interaction of music with other arts in each historical period are core concepts in this course, and the contributions of women, minorities, and members of different national and linguistic groups will be examined.

Goal #5: Study selected classic works of fine and applied arts. Selected classic musical works will be studied through listening and discussion with regard to their structure and function as well as their esthetic goals and effects.

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