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MUSC-101 Music Appreciation

Please print out this course description and read it before proceeding with the course.

Instructor       Dr. Lisa Rehwoldt
Credits            3
Hours              By appointment
Phone             (410) 961-7151

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

Prerequisites:  None

Course Objectives

After completing this course you will be able to:

  • Define the major elements of Western Music.
  • Define and analyze timbre (instruments, voices, groups of instruments/voices).
  • 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.
  • Attend at least three concerts and write two thoughtful critiques of live, formal music concerts.
  • List the major composers in each of the style periods of Western Art Music.
  • List 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 which aspects of the music may be responsible for those emotions.

Text and Materials

Kamien, Roger. Music: An Appreciation (Brief), Seventh Edition . McGraw-Hill Publishing, 2010 and accompanying CD set.  (Available in HCC Bookstore)

Course Format

  • This class is not self-paced.
  • This class does not have required on-campus meetings or tests. However, a voluntary orientation meeting may be offered at the beginning of the semester to meet the instructor, other students, and to receive an orientation on navigating the course site.
  • Class Orientation is provided online if you are not able to attend the face-to-face orientation.
  • Review the “What you should know before you register” section of the Distance Learning Homepage.
  • The course material is sequential.  After an introduction to the elements of music, the course progresses in chronological order through the music of the Middle Ages, Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Modern Periods.
  • There is a specific timeline for the completion of each assignment in this class.
  •  Listen to a series of about 20 audio lectures.
  • Read the textbook and any additional materials provided.
  • Listen to the CDs that accompany the textbook.
  • Complete worksheet assignments.
  • Attend three concerts of Western Art Music and write an educated critique of two of them.
  • There will be online discussion sessions.         
  • Complete four online exams.
  • Complete several quizzes and assignments that may involve listening to the CDs provided with the textbook or viewing specified video or websites.
  • The syllabus and calendar will list due dates for papers, assignments, discussions, and exams.

Required Viewers, Plug-ins, or Players

Visit the eLearning homepage and click on the link “Technical Information” to download common plug-ins. The following plug-ins are required for this class:

  • Acrobat Viewer
  •  Flash
  • Internet Explorer
  • Java installed and enabled
  • PowerPoint Viewer, if you don’t have the full version of Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Quick Time
  • Real Player
  • Windows Media Player
  • Word Viewer, if you don’t have the full version of Microsoft Word

Class Communications: What to Expect from Your Instructor

  • All Canvas Mail messages will be answered within 48 hours.
  • Face-to-face meetings will be available by appointment as needed.  See the top of this document for the instructor’s phone contact number.
  • Faxes may be sent to (410) 653-0168.  Please contact the instructor before sending a fax.
  • Assignment/discussion forums will be read and responded to within 3 days of their due dates.
  • Each assignment and exam will be graded and returned within one week.

Grading Procedures

Grades will be determined by your scores on the following learning activities:



Quizzes and other assignments


Concert Review #1   


Concert Review #2   


4 Exams  


  • Students must complete all required assignments as outlined in order to pass the course.
  • All assignments are due on the dates shown in the class syllabus and calendar.
  • Weekly participation is required in this class.
  • Assignments that are turned in late will have points deducted from the grade for that assignment.
  • 1-2 days late will have 5 points subtracted.
  • 3-7 days late will have 10 points subtracted.
  • 8 days or more late will have 20 points subtracted.
  • Open book exams that are completed late will have 10 points subtracted.  Exams and quizzes must be completed within 7 days of the original due date. Failure to do so will result in a zero for that assignment.

Discussion Assignments

The appropriate Canvas class discussion topic will be posted by the instructor by 8:00 a.m. on a Monday, initial responses posted by Wednesday, and the discussion will close on Friday.  In an online class, these postings and reactions are how we establish a dialogue in the class, so they are a very important part of the course.  


There will be four exams and several short quizzes.

Exams will be open book and will not be taken on-campus.

Concert Attendance and Reviews

Students must attend at least three formal concerts, and must choose two of these to review.  Each review must be at least two pages (550-600 words).  A brief proposal stating which concerts you choose to attend must be submitted and approved by the instructor.

Course Policies

Student Responsibility

Students are responsible for maintaining copies of all written work on their computer or on a thumb drive in case of the need for retransmission. Students are responsible for keeping the instructor informed in the event of emergencies or unusual circumstances leading to extended absence from the class participation. Contact the instructor immediately via phone or Mail.

Extra Help in Writing

If you feel the need for more guidance with your writing, there are several places to go. You can see me during my office hours, or schedule an appointment. HCC also offers help through HOWL, the HCC Online Writing Lab, through the Learning Assistance Center and Tutoring at

What to Do If You Need Help

About the Course

If you have questions about your course (assignments, due dates, problems completing assignments, how to submit assignment or navigate the Canvas course site, etc.), you should contact me by Canvas Mail or by phone. The HCC Help Desk cannot answer questions about specific course content.

Help using Canvas

Canvas has a built-in Help that can be accessed from any page in your course. Look for the Help link at the top of each page.

Difficulty Logging on to Canvas:

If you are having difficulty logging in to Canvas and you know it is not a result of problems with your Internet Service Provider or your browser, contact:

Help Desk: General Information or this form to request help.

Student Computer Support now staffs a help desk. Students and faculty may call 443-518-4444 between 8:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. Friday to report problems. After hours, students and faculty may leave a message at the same number. Student Computer Support staff will handle the problem or direct it to the correct person to handle.

When leaving a message, be sure to leave your name, the course you are enrolled in, your course instructor’s name, your phone number, your e-mail address, and a description of the problem. Be sure to speak slowly so staff can easily take down your message.

Updated 23-June-10
Howard Community College

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