Academic Catalog

MUS 2C: GREAT COMPOSERS & MUSIC MASTERPIECES OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION

Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Units: 5
Hours: 4 lecture, 3 laboratory per week (84 total per quarter)
Advisory: Not open to students with credit in MUS 2CH.
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Area I: Humanities
Transferable: CSU/UC
Grade Type: Letter Grade (Request for Pass/No Pass)
Repeatability: Not Repeatable

Student Learning Outcomes

  • A successful student will Demonstrate an understanding of Western music written between the years 1825 CE to the present as a reflection of its societal/historical context.
  • A successful student will discriminate - via an understanding of such musical elements as melody, harmony, rhythm, and form - between various musical styles (e.g., Romantic, Impressionism, Modern).

Description

Introduction to the great composers and music masterpieces of Western culture. Includes composer biographies with emphasis on how composers synthesize or transform the aesthetic ideals of their time. Examines how their music reflects their own lives as well as mirrors contemporary social, political, and religious events. Historical periods are mid-19th century Romanticism through the present. Composers include Schumann, Chopin, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Berlioz, Liszt, Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky, Strauss, Verdi, Wagner, Bizet, Debussy, Ravel, Ives, Cowell, Bartok, Berg, Webern, Stravinsky, Copland, Varese, Babbitt, Cage, Crumb, Ligeti, Penderecki, Reich, Glass and Adams.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:
A. demonstrate detailed knowledge of the historical development of musical style in Western culture in relation to the political, economic, social, and religious developments of the time.
B. apply knowledge of musical style, historical periods and genres from Western culture to representative examples of music.
C. compare and contrast repertoire of concert music through familiarity with a broad sampling of works, composers, styles and genres.
D. critique good performance from bad, from the perspectives of artistic quality and appropriate historical performance practice.
E. discuss, with insight and understanding, the social and personal implications of the development of musical style in Western culture.
F. demonstrate self-managed learning in a comprehensive journal, in which they reflect upon, evaluate, and describe their own learning process.

Course Content

A. Music fundamentals: melody, rhythm, harmony, texture, timbre, ornamentation.
B. Style characteristics and function of music, from the mid-19th century through the present.
1. Vocal music (opera).
2. Instrumental music forms (concert overture, modified versions of forms studied in previous classes, including ternary and binary).
3. Composer biographies (Schumann, Chopin, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Berlioz, Liszt, Tchaikovsky, Strauss, Verdi, Wagner, Bizet, Mussourgsky, Debussy, Ravel, Ives, Cowell, Bartok, Berg, Webern, Stravinsky, Copland, Varese, Babbitt, Cage, Crumb, Legeti, Penderecki, Reich, Glass, Adams).
C. Compare and contrast to music of other world cultures.
D. Identification of major themes of the culture at each period in history (divine authority, redemption, freedom, artistic creativity and originality, political, social, religious ideologies, gender roles), their definition in other periods in Western culture and their parallels in other world cultures.

Lab Content

Laboratory activities are provided for students to practice and apply their theoretical knowledge regarding each topic area's structural characteristics (rhythm, melody, form, instrumentation, and harmony), style, genre, and important composers. Activities consist of online laboratory worksheets correlated with listening examples. Examples of the types of representative music selected for study in Romantic era music and 20th century music are provided.
A. Representative listening examples for Romantic era:
1. Lieder ohne Wdorte: Op. 30, No. 3 (1837), Felix Mendelssohn
2. Mazurka in a minor, Op. 17, No. 4 (1833), Fr�d�ric Chopin
3. Preludes, Op. 28, Nos. 1-4 (1839), Fr�d�ric Chopin
4. Ballade No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 23 (1835), Fr�d�ric Chopin
5. Carnaval, Op. 9, excerpts (1835), Robert Schumann
6. Galop de bal (ca. 1840), Franz Liszt
7. Etudes d'ex�cution transcedante, No. 1 in C Major (1838; revised 1851), Franz Liszt
8. Il Barbiere di Siviglia, excerpts (1816), Gioacchino Rossini
9. Rigoletto, excerpts (1851), Giuseppe Verdi
10. Tristan und Isolde, excerpts (1859), Richard Wagner
11. The Nutcracker, excerpts (1829), Peter Illyich Tchaikovsky
12. Symphony No. 9 in E Minor, Op. 95 Largo (1893), Antonin Dvor�k
13. Symphony No. 4 in E Minor, Op. 98, fourth movement (1855), Johannes Brahms
14. Symphony No. 1 in D Major, third movement (1888), Gustav Mahler
B. Representative listening examples for Impressionism and 20th century:
1. Pr�lude a l'Apres-midi d'un faune (1894), Claude Debussy
2. Pr�ludes, Book 1: "Voiles" (1910), Claude Debussy
3. Mikrokosmos, Book 4, No. 101: Diminished Fifth (between 1932 and 1939), B�la Bart�k
4. The Cage (1906), Charles Ives
5. Le Sacre du printemps, excerpts (1913), Igor Stravinsky
6. Saudades do Brasil, excerpts (1921), Darius Milhaud
7. The Banshee (1925), Henry Cowell
8. Pierrot lunaire (1912), Arnold Schoenberg
a. No. 7, "Der kranke Mond"
b. No. 14, Der Kreuze
c. No. 21, "O alter Duft"
9. Five Pieces for String Quartet, Op. 5, No. 4 (1908), Anton Webern
10. Wozzeck, Act 1, Scene 1 (1925), Alban Berg
11. Classical Symphony, Op. 25 third movement (1917), Sergei Prokofiev
12. Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta, third movement, B�la Bart�k
13. Appalachian Spring: Suite, excerpt (1945), Aaron Copland
14. Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima (1960), Krysztof Penderecki
15. 4' 33" (1952), John Cage
16. Missa Gaia: Mass for the Earth, first movement (Introit - "Within the Circles of Our Lives") (1992), Libby Larsen
17. The Gospel According to the Other Mary, excerpts (2012), John Adams

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

A. Classroom with piano, computer, and audio/video equipment.
B. Access to comprehensive digital music library for representative listening examples.
C. When taught via Foothill Global Access: On-going access to computer with email software and capabilities, email address.

Method(s) of Evaluation

The student will demonstrate:
A. detailed knowledge of the historical development of musical style in Western culture in relation to the political, economic, social, religious developments and values of the time in module/chapter-level quizzes and a comprehensive examination.
B. ability to apply knowledge of musical style, historical periods and genres from Western culture to representative examples of music in module/chapter laboratory worksheets and quizzes.
C. ability to compare and contrast repertoire of concert music in module/chapter-level quizzes and a comprehensive examination.
D. ability to critique good performance from bad, from the perspectives of artistic quality and appropriate historical performance practice through participation in on-campus and/or online discussions.
E. ability to discuss, with insight and understanding, the social and personal implications of the development of musical style in Western culture through participation in on-campus and/or online discussions and in brief essays posted in a comprehensive journal (see below).
F. self-managed learning in a comprehensive journal, in which they reflect upon, evaluate, and describe their own learning process by writing two reflections on each module/chapter-level topic area: a pre-reflection that includes what the student already knows about the topic and a post-reflection in which students summarize what they learned and want to remember, clarify, or pursue in more depth.

For the face-to-face class, students will also demonstrate the above through a portfolio of lecture notes and summaries of discussion in conjunction with in-class quizzes.

Method(s) of Instruction

During periods of instruction the student will be:
A. listening (on-campus) or reading (online) lecture information
B. listening to representative examples of music that illustrate concepts related to the historical/social context, stylistic categories, structural characteristics and important composers for the varied topic areas
C. participating in discussion (on-campus and/or online)
D. completing laboratory worksheets that provide additional information, as well as ask application questions correlated with listening examples
E. learning from feedback on quizzes, examinations, discussion postings, and comprehensive journal writing delivered via email or Canvas

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Barkley, E., and R. Hartwell. Great Composers and Music Masterpieces of Western Civilization. Dubuque, IA: Kendall Hunt, 2018.

Burkholder, J.P., D.J. Grout, and C.V. Palisca. A History of Western Music. New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 2014.

 

Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments

A. Reading assignments: Textbook chapters.

B. Writing assignments: Comprehensive journal, in which students first reflect upon what they already know about the topic, and then after they have completed all the learning activities associated with that topic, summarize what they have learned, what they need to clarify, and what they wish to pursue in more depth.

C. Participation in formal threaded discussion, that includes written responses to prompts for each topic.

1. Example: You have read about Strauss and his involvement with the Nazis. In truth, Strauss apparently thought of himself as apolitical and just wanted to be left alone to write music (nor was he the only such composer--Haydn and Prokofiev come to mind as well). Should Strauss have been demonized for cooperating with the Nazis? In the larger view, what is an artist's obligation under such circumstances? And moving into the present, does it matter, for example, what a particular musician or group thinks of current U.S. politics? Do today's most popular artists have the right and/or responsibility to take an obvious political stance? Try to cite a specific example to defend your answer.

2. Example: Stravinsky once commented that it was not music's job to express anything, and that "composers combine notes, that is all." He believed that music is primarily form and logic, and shouldn't be simply an expression of one's emotional state. Like Bach (and Haydn and to some extent Mozart and Brahms), Stravinsky saw composition as a craft. Throughout his long career, he set aside specific times and composed about the same amount of music each day. How does Stravinsky's music and philosophy represent a complete departure from Romanticism? If you are a composer (and please state so) or if you aren't a composer, use your imagination: To what extent is composition a craft and to what extent is composition an art?

3. Discussion postings are assessed on the following criteria:

a. Appropriateness: Did the student "answer" the question and address all components of the question?

b. Thoughtfulness and accuracy: Does the posting include correct information and demonstrate that the student is thinking about and understanding the material?

c. Overall organization: Does the student's posting form a coherent paragraph with main statements, support statements, conclusion, and so forth?

d. "ESWE" (edited standard written English): Does the student's posting contain correct grammar and spelling?

 

Discipline(s)

Music