Music HUM
TR 11:00-12:50 Hamilton Hall Room 716
Professor Jason Roth
Call #- C1123 section 13
Mailbox-Room 619 Dodge Hall


This course satisfies the Music Humanities requirement in the core curriculum. It is intended to introduce the student to the fundamental elements of music, sharpen the studentís sensitivity in listening to music, and study musicís relationship to human existence and the other arts and disciplines through recorded history. Students need not have any prior musical training to successfully complete this course.


Listening to Music by Craig Wright, third edition (Wadsworth/Thompson Learning Publisher, ©1999). This text comes with a 6 CD set, which is a necessity. They are available in the Bookstore. There will be additional readings, which will be handed out in class. Students should procure a folder of some sort to keep all handouts in. There may also be a supplemental CD containing several extra pieces of music which will be on reserve in the music library on the 7th floor of Dodge Hall.

Office hours:

Tuesday 1-2 PM, Dodge Hall room 619. If this time is inconvenient, I encourage students to make office hours by appointment. I will be as flexible as possible. The best way to go about this is by either e-mail or calling me.


It is expected that all students will attend all class meetings. As the class only meets twice per week, every class meeting is essential, and all materials covered in class will be fair game for the midterm and final, even those not in the book. If you have to miss class, make sure you have a buddy in the class who will get the notes to you.

Concert / Paper:

As a requirement for the course, the student is to attend three ďart musicĒ concerts; that is, concerts of non-pop, non-musical theater, non-jazz music. Preferably some sort of chamber music (string quartet, piano recital, vocal recital, etc.), orchestra (New York Philharmonic, Brooklyn Philharmonic, Juilliard Symphony, etc.), or Opera (New York City Opera, Met Opera, etc.). There are many such concerts all over the city, and you donít have to spend a fortune to attend one. Good places to look for concerts are the NY Free Press, New Yorker Magazine, Time Out New York or any other city publication. Juilliard and Manhattan School of Music both have concerts of various kinds almost every night of the week, and they are all free. Miller Theatre concerts are a very good option as well, as they are close and offer very affordable student tickets. In addition, the events there are usually very good. Call the box offices to get schedules. Also, it is strongly recommended that you attend one of each type of event, not three within the same medium. I have also created a website with links to many concert listing pages. The address is:

Once you have attended your concerts, keep the programs and ticket stubs. You must submit them to get credit. It is then asked that you chose some aspect regarding the concerts you attended and write a paper discussing one of any issues that you found interesting pertaining to the music. Go to the concerts, think about what you heard in the days afterward, maybe go to the music library (7th floor, Dodge Hall) and re-listen to recordings of the pieces you heard, and then formulate a thesis. The music library has a web page listing some basic resources for HUM papers here. You may find this page useful for preliminary research. The paper is due on the last class meeting date (April 26). On April 10, you will hand in a short abstract of your thesis. Nothing long, just a paragraph giving me an idea of what you plan to write about. I will hand them back with comments or suggestions at the next class meeting. Since your thesis is not to be formulated until you have seen your three concerts, this means that you must get your concert attendances out of the way early. I will accept ticket stubs and programs at any time during the semester, or you may attach all three to your final report paper. Take heed, however, as the sooner you get them to me the less time you have to lose them. There is page added to this syllabus with general comments on the papers.


Semester grades will be calculated on the following scale:
Midterm: 28%
All 3 Stubs and Programs: 9%
Paper: 28%
Final: 35%

Basic outline for the semester:

This will serve as a basic guide to the semester. It will be treated flexibly to accommodate those subjects that require more or less time. Roman numerals denote the CD number, the numbers after the colon denote track numbers (ex. I: 14-15 refers to CD #1, tracks 14-15):
Elements of Music:
T 1/16- Meet and Greet, What is Music?
R 1/18- Rhythm and Meter (chapters 1-3)
T 1/23- Pitch, Dynamics, Melody, Harmony, Scale (chapters 1-3)
R 1/25- Melody, Harmony, Scale, Texture (chapters 1-3)
T 1/30- Wrap up of Elements, Instruments of the Orchestra (chapters 1-3)
Historical: Medieval and Renaissance:
R 2/1- Gregorian Chant, Hildegard, Ars Antiqua (pp. 65-70, I: 1-2)
T 2/6- Ars Nova, Machaut, Josquin, Palestrina (pp. 71-73, chapter 5, I: 3, 6-8)

R 2/8- Gesualdo, Monteverdi and Opera (pp. 95-111, I: 10-12, sup.)
T 2/13- Basso Continuo, Concerto Grosso (pp. 112-126, 132-134, I: 14,18)
R 2/15- J.S. Bach, Fugue, Cantata (pp. 126-131, 134-136 I: 15-17, 19)
T 2/20- Mozart and Haydn, Minuet, Sonata/Allegro (chapter 8, pp. 164-174, II: 2-4)
R 2/22- Theme and Variation, Rondo (pp. 175-184, II: 5,7)
T 2/27- Mozart Symphony #40, Piano Concerto (pp.185-198, II: 8-10)
R 3/1- Don Giovanni (pp. 198-208, II: 12-13)
T 3/6- MIDTERM, Early Beethoven (chapter 11, III: 1-2)
R 3/8- Symphony #5 (chapter 11, III: 3-6)
T 3/20- Symphony #9 (sup.)
R 3/22- Grosse Fugue, Romantic Style (chapter 12, sup.)
T 3/27- Lied, Piano Music (chapter 12, pp. 246-252, 268-274, III: 7-8, IV: 3-5)
R 3/29- Berlioz, Verdi's Opera (pp. 254-259, III: 10, IV: 7-8)
T 4/3- Wagner (pp. 287-293, IV: 9, sup.)
R 4/5- Late Romantics, Puccini, Brahms (pp. 294-312, IV: 10-11)
T 4/10- Debussy, Ravel (chapter 16, V: 3-6)
Paper Abstracts Due
20th Century:
R 4/12- Schoenberg (pp. 345-351, V: 11-13)
T 4/17- Stravinsky, Webern (pp. 333-345, V: 7-10)
R 4/19- Bartok, Ives (pp. 351-359, V: 14-15)
T 4/24- Music as Philosophy, Cage (pp. 359-632, sup.)
W 4/26- Minimalism: Reich, Postmodernism: Zorn (sup.)

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