CCOG for MUS 291 Spring 2024

Course Number:
MUS 291
Course Title:
Guitarology: History, Players and Innovators
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:

Course Description

Covers the history of the guitar and associated instruments from neolithic and classical civilizations to current times. Introduces major figures in the development of the instrument including composers, luthiers, and performers. Includes cross-cultural appeal of the instrument and how it has been adapted and distributed globally through media with a focus on the music of the 20th and 21st centuries. Prerequisites: WR 115, RD 115 and MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon completion of the course students should be able:

  1. Articulate an understanding of the development of civilization through the history of the guitar.
  2. Analyze the connection between global and ancient traditions with contemporary trends through an understanding of the guitar and its history.
  3. Articulate personal preferences through an understanding of artistic and aesthetic values found in a multitude of global music genres.

Integrative Learning

Students completing an associate degree at Portland Community College will be able to reflect on one’s work or competencies to make connections between course content and lived experience.

General education philosophy statement

The study of music provides the opportunity to experience the art form both as listeners and as creators. It is an expression of culture developed from rich historical traditions, each with unique aesthetic and artistic values reflected through organized sound. This is an introductory musicology course that presents many topics in the context of the guitar. It covers the complex history of the instrument and puts it in social contexts. It also includes an analysis of the associated technology, the commercialization of the industry, and issues around sustainability and how they impact instrument manufacturing.

Aspirational Goals

Recognize that contemporary music instruments are the result of thousands of years of evolution and development across a multitude of global cultures and civilizations.

Identify the influence of culturally-based music practices to assess intercultural connections in music.

Course Activities and Design

Lectures and readings that survey of the history of plucked chordophones including instruments form ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, Asia, Greece and Rome through Common Era Europe and evolution of the guitar in the Americas.

Listening and viewing of major performers and repertory (both Western and non-Western) with focus on global distribution of the guitar through print, audio, video and web-based media in the 20th and 21st centuries. Ideally there should be a balance between Western and non-Western genres.

Lectures and readings on the development of the guitar including design innovators and associated technology with focus on 20th and 21st centuries.

Small and large group discussions

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Research papers/presentations

Scheduled written examinations

Aural and/or visual identification of major performers/repertory

Participation in, and contribution to, all class and group discussions and activities

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Evolution of plucked chordophones

Popular and classic guitar repertory

Developments and innovations in instrument designs

The electric guitar and associated technology

Global distribution of music via technology

Identification of critical repertory and performers