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MUSC-101 Music Appreciation

This course is an introduction to Western Art Music. The student will listen to, read about, and discuss the great music of the Middle Ages, Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Modern Periods.

Credits: 3
Instructor: Cathleen Jeffcoat

Overall Course Objectives | Major Course Topics | Course Format | Orientation | Course Requirements | Materials | Exams

Overall Course Objectives

Once you have completed this course you will be able to:

  • Define the major elements of Western Music.
  • Define and analyze timbre (instruments, voices, groups of instruments).
  • Identify any major style period of Western Art Music and explain the unique ways in which each style treats sound, harmony, melody, rhythm, and form.
  • Recognize and describe the formal outlines of structure in a given musical excerpt.
  • Recognize the following types of musical form: binary, ternary, variation, sonata, and rondo.
  • Write three intelligent, educated critiques of live classical music concerts.
  • List the major composers in each of the style periods of Western Art music.
  • List the major compositions in each of the style periods of Western Art music.
  • Reflect on the emotional impact of a piece of music and draw some conclusions about what aspects of the music might be responsible for those emotions.

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Major Course Topics

• The course progresses in chronological order through the music of the Middle Ages, Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Modern Periods.

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Course Format
  • Is not self-paced.
  • Does not require on-campus meetings.
  • Does not require real-time chats.
  • There will be online group discussion sessions.

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This course does not require a face-to-face orientation. The Orientation is online. However, you are strongly urged to contact the instructor and set up either a face-to-face meeting or a phone orientation.

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Course Requirements
  • Review the “What you should know before you register” section of the Distance Learning Homepage.
  • Listen to a series of 20 audio lectures.
  • Read the textbook and additional materials provided.
  • Listen to the CDs that accompany the textbook.
  • Complete the worksheet that goes with each reading.
  • Attend three concerts of Western Art Music and write an educated critique for each concert on the music that you hear.
  • Complete four online exams.
  • Complete several online homework assignments that involve listening to the CDs that accompany the book.

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Materials Required:

To visit our bookstore's online sales site, please visit and follow instructions for selecting textbooks.
Technical Requirements and Plug-Ins:

Review the Technical Requirements link above. The following plug-ins are required for this course:

  • Internet Explorer
  • QuickTime or Windows Media Player
  • Real Player
  • Word Viewer (if you don’t already have Microsoft Word)

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There are four exams that are taken online. Each one has a written section and a listening section. The written sections of each test have a set time limit.

If you have any questions or comments about this course, please send a message to

Cathleen Jeffcoat,
Last updated on 17-Nov-10 © Howard Community College, 2000

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