Course Overview

City College, CUNY
Spring 2018

Course description

Concepts underlying the understanding and enjoyment of music. Examples from the classical repertoire highlight matters of form and content. Attendance at a Carnegie Hall concert, as well as guided classroom listening, aid in the development of listening and communication skills. 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

Required Textbook

The textbook has been designed by your instructor and will be sent to you as an email attachment. The textbook can also be found underneath the readings tab. Updates will be sent to you periodically as email attachments. It is, therefore, important for you to check your email inbox on a regular basis. Even though the textbook is free you must read it as if it cost you $100. You are responsible for everything contained therein.

All the music covered in this class is available on YouTube.


This course is designed to foster an understanding of the various contexts in which music is heard.  Examples drawn from diverse historical and geographical repertoires will cultivate an awareness of stylistic similarities and differences.  Students develop skills as active listeners, learning the vocabulary necessary to describe this experience both verbally and in writing.  The purpose of the course is to introduce students to to preeminent classical composers, performers, genres and styles, and their historical context.

General Education Proficiencies

After completing this course you will have developed the following proficiencies:

  • Oral and written communication skills – Students will produce well-reasoned written or oral arguments using evidence to support conclusions.
  • Critical analysis – You will have had multiple experiences in critically and constructively analyzing information in different areas of study.
  • Information literacy – You will have had multiple experiences in gathering, interpreting, and assessing information from a variety of resources and in evaluating the reliability of this information.
  • Artistic/Creative expression proficiency – Students will identify and apply the fundamental concepts and methods of a discipline or interdisciplinary field exploring creative expression.


Tests (40%)
Final Exam (10%)
Written Assignments (50%)

General Advice/Classroom Policies

  1. Absenteeism––two weeks allowed by college policy.
  2. There will be absolutely no eating or drinking in this classroom.
  3. Late assignments are penalized.
  4. There are no makeup exams.
  5. Plagiarism and cheating will not be tolerated. Turning something in with your name on it means you take full responsibility for its contents and pledge that it is your own work.  See CUNY policy below.
  6. Use the bathroom before you come to class.
  7. When the class is over take all the stuff you brought with you.

CUNY Policy on Academic Integrity

As stated in the CUNY Policy on Academic Integrity: ‘Plagiarism is the act of presenting another person’s ideas, research or writings as your own.  The following are some examples of plagiarism:

  • ‘Copying another person’s actual words without the use of quotation marks and footnotes attributing the words to their source;
  • ‘Presenting another person’s ideas or theories in your own words without acknowledging the source;
  • ‘Using information that is not common knowledge without acknowledging the source;
  • ‘Failing to acknowledge collaborators on homework and laboratory assignments.
  • ‘Internet plagiarism includes submitting downloaded term papers or parts of term papers, paraphrasing or copying information from the internet without citing the source, and “cutting & pasting” from various sources without proper attribution.’

A student who plagiarizes may incur academic and disciplinary penalties, including failing grades, suspensions, and expulsion.

A complete copy of the CUNY Policy on Academic Integrity may be downloaded from the College’s home page.


The college administration assumes that during any given semester you may need to absent yourself from class for any number of perfectly good reasons, so it is college policy that two weeks of absence should not be viewed as unreasonable. Hopefully, the fates will be kind to you and you can come to every class for which you paid. If you are absent you will want to check with your friend in class to see what you missed. When your attendance becomes problematic we need to talk.


You will notice that I do not assign listening to my students because I foolishly assume that you are truly interested in being exposed to the greatest music by the greatest composers without prompting from me. There are lists of such music in your textbook in the Genre section. All this music is free and easily accessible at YouTube so go and explore. If you want some suggestions from me feel free to write.