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Course Description

This is a music appreciation course intended for non-music majors. This course explores the sonic codes of western art music (“Classical” music) as they developed in their original contexts, as well as their use and meaning in today’s film soundtracks. The works chosen for study are those likely to be encountered in modern concert and opera halls and are selected primarily from the Baroque, Classical, and Romantic eras. Offered through Distance Education format only.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, the learner should be able to:

  • Describe the aesthetic principles, selected composers, and selected music genres of the Baroque, Classic, and Romantic eras, as well as the influence of socio-cultural, socio-economic, and/or socio-political factors upon the music of each era.
  • Discuss the meanings that the aesthetics, genres, and specific sounds of "classical" music carried in their original contexts.
  • Employ the knowledge of "classical" music to analyze unknown works and determine in what era, for what venue, in what genre, were the works composed, as well as the potential meanings of various sonic codes within the works.
  • Analyze how "classical" music or modern music in the same tradition is applied in film scores and interpret what meaning(s) it carries in this new context.
  • Create and defend, as a group, an analysis of the meaning(s) carried by works of "classical" music in specific film contexts.

Course Topics

  • The Fundamental Elements of Western Art Music
  • The Rise of Baroque Opera from Renaissance Humanism
  • Sacred Drama: The Baroque Oratorio
  • The Flowering of Instrumental Genres in the Baroque; Baroque Sounds in a Modern Context
  • From Absolute to Enlightened: The Rational Man Emerges; Classical Opera at the Movies
  • The Classical Symphony: Absolute Music? What Does Beethoven Have To Do With Jaws and Die Hard?
  • Classical Chamber Music and Early Lieder: Chamber Music in Pride & Prejudice and Game of Shadows
  • Romanticism and the Individual; Star Wars Is Essentially Neo-Romantic Program Music
  • Virtuosity and Performance Superlatives: The Romantic Concerto
  • Character Pieces and the Unusual Case of Clara Wieck Schumann
  • German Nationalism in the 19th Century and Two Lords of the Ring
  • The Problem of New-World Nationalism

Additional Requirements

Prerequisite(s): 2.00 credits

Restriction(s): MUSC*1060, Not available to students registered in a Music specialization.


Assessment Weight
Course Site Navigation Quiz 2%
Listening Quiz 1 5%
Group Discussion 1 and Report 20%
Midterm 10%
Listening Quiz 2 5%
Group Discussion 2 and Report 20%
Listening Quiz 3 5%
Online Final Exam 33%
Total 100%


Technical Requirements

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*Course details are subject to change.


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