A survey of music literature in the Western world from the Middle Ages to the present. Students will gain an understanding of music as an art form through listening and discussion of choral, orchestral, solo, opera, chamber, and electronic works. Concert attendance is required. Open to all students, but designed for non-music majors.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Analyze and explain the inherent characteristics of Western classical music through active listening.
  2. Describe and relate how the syntax and structure of classical music has changed over time relative to cultural circumstances.


Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Define and explain the basic elements of music: melody, harmony, rhythm, musical form, texture, etc.
  2. Define and explain the sound properties of various musical instruments and ensembles.
  3. Compare and contrast the differences in artistic style and culture of the Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Modern eras in relation to politics, religion, and economics.
  4. Identify the prominent composers of each stylistic period and explain their historical importance.
  5. Identify musical compositions from the various historical eras by listening.
  6. Explain how musical styles and techniques relate to both the biographical details of the composers and their compositions.
  7. Explain how the dynamic interactions of Western and non-Western musical traditions have transformed the development of Western music.

Representative Textbooks

Music: The Art of Listening, 9th ed., by Jean Ferris with Larry Worster. McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 2014.

Kamien, Roger. Music: An Appreciation (7th Brief Edition). McGraw Hill, 2010.

For more information


See MUSC 7 in the Schedule of Classes

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