Class #1: Course introduction, musical meaning, elements of music

Lecture notes: 01 intro

In-class writing: 01 in-class writing

Handout, online participation overview: Online participation overview – Spring 2018

Class #2: Melody, texture, and dynamics

Lecture notes: 02 – melody texture

  • Bobby McFerrin demonstrating melody and listener expectations, available here
  • Example of pizzicato, Béla Bartók, String Quartet No. 4, IV. Allegro pizzicato  (1928), available here

Handout, in-class reading (Bosker, Cork Dork):  Bosker – Cork Dork intro

Handout, Course Intro Essay prompt:

Class #3: Rhythm and harmony

Lecture notes: 03 rhythm harmony

Video, harmony:

Class #4: The Baroque style and problematizing music history

Lecture notes: 04 Baroque

Handout, in-class reading (Philippe Rameau, An Account of Dancing at Versailles): rameau-an-account-at-versailles

Handout, student writing about seasons from Class #3: 04 seasons follow-up

Class #5: Introduction to musical analysis 1: Form

Lecture notes: 05 form, opera

In-class reading, analysis example:

Handout, Course Intro Essay general feedback and final draft instructions: CIE general feedback

Music played in class:

  • Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, “Trepak” from The Nutcracker (1892):
  • The other pieces played in class are examples of pop music and are readily available on YouTube, Spotify, Pandora, etc:
    • Jackson 5, “I Want you Back” (1969)
    • Carly Rae Jepsen, “Call Me Maybe” (2012)
    • Journey, “Any Way You Want It” (1981)
    • Murphy Lee, “What the Hook Gon’ Be” (2003)


Class #6 : Introduction to musical analysis 2: Lieder and Franz Schubert

Lecture notes: 06 analysis 2 schubert

Walk-through of the process of analysis:

Texts of pieces played in class:

Music played in class:


Class #7: Richard Wagner

Lecture notes: 07 wagner

Handout, midterm self-check: 07 self check-in

Handout, Wagner’s writings: 07 Wagner writings – spring 2018

Handout, Liebestod text and translation: 07 Liebestod text – spring 2018

Music played in class:

  • Richard Wagner, Prelude to Lohengrin, Act III (1850)
  • Wagner, “Liebestod” from Tristan und Isolde (1865)


Class #8: The Enlightenment and the string quartet (Tuesday class only)

Lecture notes: 08 enlightenment str qt

Handout, Enlightenment readings: 08 enlightenment texts

Handout, Johann Sebastian Bach’s contract with the town of Leipzig:  bach-duties-in-leipzig

In-class reading, string quartets: 08 string quartet reading

Music played in class:


Class #9: The symphony

Lecture notes: 09 symphonies1

Handout, a composer’s view of the symphony: Puts 2013 Why Write Symphonies_ _ Deceptive Cadence _ NPR

In-class reading, auditioning for an orchestra: dorris-the-audition

Music played in class:

Video played in class, minuet dancing:


Class #10: Unwritten music

Lecture notes: 10 Unwritten music

Handout, what’s the point of taking Mu 101 (according to you!): 10 why music appreciation follow up

Handout, texts and translations of all music played in class: 10 Unwritten Music texts11 Early in the Mornin

Handout, SBP general feedback: SBP feedback – spring 2018

Music played in class:

  • “Bebi, notsa” (Creek lullaby):
  • “A la nana” (Sephardic lullaby):
  • “Sea Lion Woman” (children’s song):
  • “See-line woman” (Nina Simone):
  • “Shortenin’ Bread” (children’s song):
  • “No more, my Lord” (prison work song):
  • “Rosie” (prison work song):
  • “Early in the mornin'” (prison work song):
  • “Billy in the Lowground” (old time fiddle playing):
  • “Se cella umidosa” (tenores singing from Sardinia):
  • Robert Johnson, Cross Roads Blues, take 1: 


Class #11: Music and violence

Lecture notes: 11 violence

In-class reading, Alex Ross, “When Music Is Violence”: Ross – When Music Is Violence – The New Yorker

Handout, music to be played in class: 11 violence handout

Handout, Course Response Essay prompt:

Music played in class:

Class #12: Impressionism and Expressionism

Lecture notes: 12 impressionism expressionism

Handout, Arnold Schoenberg Pierrot Lunaire text and translation: 12 pierrot texts

In-class project, creating an opera: 12 in class writing – creative opera

Music played in class:

Class #13: Minimalism

Lecture notes: 13 minimalism

Handout, texts (Lucier, Rzewski): 13 minimalism texts

Music played in class: