Fundamentals of Music

Course Description

An examination of the basic structure of Western music, musical styles, form, different periods and their chief representatives and the dynamics of musical expression and appreciation. Introduces students to elements of music theory common to many cultures.

Learning Outcomes

  • Make judgments about musical works based on the elements and concepts of music: pitch, melody, rhythm, timbre, harmony, musical texture, musical form, notation, tempos and dynamics.
  • Identify various musical instruments a and ensembles: strings, woodwinds, brass, percussion, and electronic instruments.
  • Define and explain the properties of musical sound: vocal, instrumental and electronic.
  • Understand tonality, key and scales.
  • Demonstrate familiarity with historical, biographical and technical factors about Western music: recognize pieces from each different music period, including the Middle Ages, Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo, Classical , Romantic, Post-Romantic, Impressionism, Twentieth Century and Post-Modern.
  • Demonstrate familiarity with some aspects of the life of selected composers from those periods.
  • Demonstrate familiarity with technical aspects of selected pieces; orchestration, instrumentation, form and musical texture.
  • Recognize sonata form and the development of musical themes.
  • Identify and explain styles and types of music and instruments from a variety of times, places and cultures.
  • Explain the role of sound in musical perception: pitch, timbre, volume, dynamic envelope, duration.
  • Demonstrate elemental understanding of performance practice: playing, singing and conducting; and be familiar with a traditional concert situation (program notes and orchestral seating chart).
  • Demonstrate a basic understanding of a musical score: musical notation.
  • Demonstrate familiarity with the vast diversity of musical sounds and form attesting to the universal character of music.

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Jackson M., Class of 2021, Military Veteran
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