Course Content and Outcome Guide for MUS 204

Course Number:
MUS 204
Course Title:
Music of the Western World
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Designed primarily for music transfer students and those with the ability to read music. Provides a survey of the music of the western world. Major periods, forms, styles, and music scores from the ancient period through the contemporary music of our time will be covered. Prerequisites: WR 115, RD 115 and MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes for the course

The material for the course will be presented in a lecture/discussion format. Other educational methods will be employed to enhance the lectures. Music scores, multimedia presentations, listening activities both in-class and out-of-class, research projects and listening reports. In addition, students will be asked to attend concert performances on campus or in the community.

Students will be able to describe the basic elements of music: melody, rhythm, harmony, and tone color.

Students will be able to recognize basic form structures in music.

Students will be able to recognize the various textures, monophonic, polyphonic, homophonic, heterophonic.

Students will be able to discuss important composers and how they relate to the social climate of their era.

Students will be able to critically evaluate a symphonic work.

Students will be able to follow a musical score while listening to music.

Students will be able to identify music by composer, style and period.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Methods used to evaluate student progress and the criteria for assigning a course grade

should be made clear by the instructor at the beginning of the course.

The individual instructor will determine the method of assessment. Assessment methods may include:

Qualitative and/or quantitative examinations

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

  1. Homework assignments
  2. Listening assignments
  3. Concert reports
  4. Research project
  5. Class participation


Basic Fundamentals of Listening

• Melody €“ conjunct, disjunct, rising, falling, wave-like

• Rhythm €“ beat, meter, syncopation, simple, compound, polyrhythm

• Harmony €“ consonance, dissonance, diatonic, chromatic, chord, interval, tonality

• Texture €“ monophonic, polyphonic, homophonic, heterophonic, contrapuntal devices

• Form €“ binary, ternary, variation, sonata-allegro, rondo, strophic, through-composed,

motive, phrase, ostinato, fugal

• Tempo and dynamics

• Tone color €“ soprano, alto, tenor, bass, instruments of orchestra

Music of the Ancient Period

• Music of ancient Greece and Rome

• Early Byzantine Chant

Music of the Middle Ages

• Sacred music €“ monophonic chant, mass, organum, early motet

• Secular music €“ troubadour, trouvere, minniesinger, meistersinger, bard, estampe

• Ars Nova €“ polyphony, early instrumental music

Music of the Renaissance

• Arts in the Renaissance €“ instruments of the renaissance

• Sacred music €“ motet, mass, reformation, counter-reformation

• Secular music €“ court life, chanson, madrigal, instrumental dances

Music of the Baroque

• The Baroque Spirit €“ religious, secular, monody, harmonic structures, style, women,

rise of virtuoso, doctrine of affections, internationalism

• Vocal music €“ opera, cantata, oratorio, motet, madrigal