MUSIC 2116: SURVEY OF MUSIC FROM c. 1750 TO c. 2010
CRN #15012--Spring Semester 2012--Prof. John R. Howell

2116 Home - Instructor - Calendar - Syllabus - Concert Schedule - Recording Index - Writing


This page has been updated for Spring 2012.




Quick Facts
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. Email with your schedule for appointment.
Telephone: Office 231-8411; Department 231-5685; Home 953-1928.
(Please do not call at home unless it is really necessary.)

Course Objectives
Students successfully completing Music 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 of Western Art Music and Popular Music in the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries; 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.

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Course Specifics
1. This is a history course, the subject matter of which is the art music ("classical" music) of Europe and later America from the mid-18th century to the present day, plus the development of American popular music, jazz, and musical theater. (The companion course, MUS 2115, covers the art music of Europe from Classical Greece to about 1750.) The two courses may be taken in either order, or either may be taken separately. The ability to read music, while helpful, is not a prerequisite for this course.

2. This course satisfies Core Curriculum (General Education) requirements in either (but not both) Area 2 or 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 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. This course is taught under the tradition and procedures of the University Honor Code. ( Find it at <>.) Cheating and plagiarism are unacceptable at this university and in this course, and suspected or proven instances will be turned over to the Student Honor Court for investigation and resolution.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 suggested to read this article explaining what is expected in research papers at North American Universities.. Use of PDAs, cellphones, text messaging or camera phones 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.

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

5. Regular class attendance is expected, depending on the Grading Option the student contracts for (See Evaluation and Grading below). Announcements made in class apply to all students. 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 supported by a doctor's note or similar document. Tours by Music Department ensembles, travel on official university business, and travel for professional reasons are excused if arrangements are made in advance. Travel by varsity or club sports teams are excused if arrangements are made in advance and a memo from the coach is received by the Instructor. 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.

6. Students are required to have an e-mail account and to provide the instructor with an e-mail address no later than the second Wednesday of class if the account is not active at the beginning of the semester. This is especially important if students are not using the university-assigned email address, which the instructor will use 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 2116 and nothing else as the "Subject" line so the instructor can identify class posts and deal with them immediately. Always include a signature with your own full name. 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. Please do not scan documents, including concert programs, and email them to me; they take too much time to deal with and will be ignored.

7. Students are also required to have Internet access. The instructor's homepage can be found at <>. The course Homepage can be found at <>. This Syllabus, the Course Calendar giving all assignments and Quiz dates, details on the Writing Assignments, Index of Recordings, Chapter Outlines, links to concert schedules at Virginia Tech and Radford University, and other study aids for this course will only be available at this Website. They will not be handed out on paper.

8. Scholar is used very little and for very specific things in this course. Do not look for important course information there, and NEVER send emails or assignments there.

9. Written assignments must be submitted electronically, as email attachments, and 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 papers, and they will be graded and returned electronically. For email attachments use a standard word processing file like Microsoft Word or WordPerfect. Some other file formats cannot be opened, and may even crash the instructor's machine. 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. Files that cannot be identified cannot be graded.

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.

10. There is no midterm exam. There will be Quizzes on each Chapter (on the Pearson Online Study Space) for each chapter, depending on the Grading Option contracted by the student. There will be three Unit Quizes (given in class) covering three or more chapters each, including the identification of Listening examples, with multiple-choice questions. There will be a comprehensive final exam covering Listening identifications (multiple choice; required of everyone), and your choice of Term identifications (multiple choice), or Essay questions (which will be provided ahead of time but must be written during the exam). An alternate final exam time is freely available without hassles or paperwork. See below for Grading Options, and see the Final Exam page for additional information.

11. 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. The instructor will do whatever is necessary and possible to accomodate such students.

12. The Due Dates for Concert Reviews or Research Papers will be distributed throughout the semester. Please see the page on Written Assignments for the details. You have the opportunity during the first week of class to sign up fot the Due Date that best fits your schedule, after which they will be assigned at random, and you are responsible for knowing your Due Date.

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Evaluation and Grading:

The way a student's work is evaluated depends on which of the Grading 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 Option by the second Wednesday of the semester, and those emails will be kept in case of any 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 Department of Music. Regular class attendance will increase the student's ability to score well on Unit Quizzes and the Final Exam. Class attendance and preparation for the Pearson Online Chapter 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.

Please note that under each Option, the Unit Quizzes count far more than the Final Exam, about double.


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 & Listening Quizzes (on the Pearson Website)

15% of Final Grade

Concert Review

10% of Final Grade




Option 3: "Play it safe"

Three Unit Quizzes

45% of Final Grade

Final Exam

20% of Final Grade

Chapter & Listening Quizzes (on the Pearson Website)

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:

Introductory Unit Quiz (before 23:55 Thu Jan 26; on Scholar)

Up to 3% added to Final Grade

"Rules" Quiz on the 2116 Rules Web Page (before 23:55 Wed Feb 1; on Scholar)

Up to 3% added to Final Grade

Pre-Review Assignment (before 23:55 Mon Jan 30; by email)

2% added to Final Grade

Bonus for Reviews turned in by "Very Early" date (Two weeks early)

15% added to Score for Assignment

Bonus for Reviews turned in by "Early" date (One week early)

10% added to Score for Assignment

But please note that Reviews turned in up to a week late will earn a 10% Penalty, and will not be accepted more than one week late.


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, 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!)

Most problems can be solved. Questions? Ask! 

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Course Materials

Required Text:
Bonds, Mark Evan. A History of Music in Western Culture. 3rd edition. Vol. 2 (note: the complete textbook containing both Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 is also usable). Pearson Education, 2010. (Used for both 2115 & 2116.) ISBN 978-0-205-24892-6 for the Package that includes the Required Recordings. ISBN 978-0-205-66173-2 if you purchase the textbook Vol. 2 alone. On reserve in the Library. Note: Should come with Registration for the Pearson Online Website. Registration may bepurchased separately from Pearson if you have a used textbook. The complete textbook should be on Reserve in Newman Library.

Required Recordings:
Bonds, Mark Evan. A History of Music in Western Culture, 3rd edition, Vol. 2, set of 9 CDs. Pearson Education, 2010. (Also on reserve in the Library Media Center.) Note: You will save money by purchasing the Package with the textbook, the Online Registration and the Recordings

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. 2nd ed. Boston: Bedford Books of St. Martin's Press, 1992. (Or whichever style manual is currently used in Tech English Courses.)

New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians and The New Harvard Dictionary of Music (Library Reference Room)

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Core Curriculum Goals
This course addresses selected goals in Area 2 and Area 6 of the University Core 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 are 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 by 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 are 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 the humanistic attitudes of the Renaissance, the influences of the Enlightenment on Baroque and Classical musical traditions, and the influences of the Romantic movement are discussed, and students have the option of writing papers covering these subjects.

Goal #6: Consider the contributions of philosophical, ethical, or religious systems to human life. A very large proportion of the music that has survived into modern times was conceived and intended for use in religious contexts. The philosophy of Nationalism in the 19th century had profound effects on music well into the 20th. Both are discussed.

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 unlike what one is familiar with will 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.

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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, either classical or popular, is encouraged, and students have the option of writing additional Concert Reviews.

Goal #2: Understand how the artists or designers who produce these events and works have shaped their ideas. The social, political, economic and religious influences on the composers of each historical period are 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 are considered, and the extent to which composers of various historical periods used musical metaphor in the form of text painting or tone painting are 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 are 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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