Music M401
History and Literature of Music I:
Antiquity to 1800

Indiana University Jacobs School of Music

Fall 2018

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About M401

Table of Contents

About the Course

Music M401: History and Literature of Music I: Antiquity to 1800 is the first half of a two-semester team-taught course on the history and literature of music in Europe and the Americas. It will be taught this fall by the following team:

This semester, we will trace the history of music in Europe and its American colonies from ancient Greece to the time of Haydn and Mozart. You will study music chosen to illustrate the main genres and styles that emerged over two thousand years of continual change, the historical contexts and social functions of these pieces, and the circumstances in which they were performed.

By the end of the semester, you should be able to recognize and describe the most important genres and musical styles practiced in Europe and the Americas in this period, including national styles and the individual styles of several composers, and to place composers, pieces, styles, and genres in an historical time frame.

We will focus on several themes:

Each day we will engage several of these themes, tracing them like threads through time.

Besides gaining this broad knowledge of the field, you will also undertake a research project on a specific topic in the history of music in Europe or its colonies in the Americas before 1800, giving you an opportunity to explore in depth a subject of special interest to you.

The class meets on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for lectures and on Tuesday and Thursday for small-group discussion sections. Each Associate Instructor will lecture once to the entire class and will lead two of the discussion sections.

The M401 website is your guide to the semester. Here you will find a detailed description of the course objectives and notes on grading, course requirements, expectations, and policies, with links to a complete course schedule, the repertoire list for the semester, and instructions on the research project. All of these webpages are also available as handouts. Numerous other links provide further information and assistance. For an index to the entire website, see the M401 Home Page.


Course Objectives

This section details what is expected of you and how you will be tested.

The goal of the class is to enrich your experience of and knowledge about music in the European and American tradition by exploring the music of the past and the circumstances and values of the cultures and people that produced it. Even if your main focus in your professional life is on music after 1800, learning about earlier music will help you understand why later music has the shape it has, for every aspect of music has historical roots, often extending back centuries.

We will focus on developing specific skills. By the end of this semester, you should be able to hear or see the music of an unfamiliar piece from Europe or the Americas before 1800 and

  1. compare it to other pieces you know from this period;
  2. describe its principal stylistic features;
  3. recognize its genre or compare it to genres you know;
  4. suggest a possible composer and approximate date of composition;
  5. place it in an historical context;
  6. describe its probable social function;
  7. describe the probable circumstances of its performance, including where, when, why, how, and by whom such a piece might have been performed; and
  8. say something about what those who created, performed, heard, and paid for music of this type valued in it.

To do this, you need to have acquired and organized a certain amount of information. You will be tested on

We will practice these skills in lectures and discussion sections. Quizzes and examinations will include listening and score identification of known and unknown musical works; identification of important terms, names, and concepts; and short answer questions. Exams also include essays.

In addition, over the course of the semester, you will undertake a research project on a topic in the history of music in Europe or the European colonies in the Americas before 1800, resulting in a research paper. Completion of the research project will show that you can use the skills acquired in this class and in your previous training as a musician and scholar to research a subject area, engage a specific issue in depth, and write a persuasive paper that takes a point of view and argues convincingly for it.


Your discussion section instructor will read and grade your quizzes and examinations; assign your grade for discussion section, preparation, and participation; and, in consultation with Prof. Burkholder, guide and grade your research project. Your course grade will be calculated from your grades on each aspect of the class, weighted as follows:

Examinations and quizzes

Quizzes (online, in-class, and repertoire): 20%
First examination: 10%
Second examination: 10%
Third examination: 10%
Final examination: 10%

Research project 25%
Discussion section, preparation, and participation15%

Points on exams and quizzes will be converted to letter grades using this scale:

A+ 95.5-100% B- 70-74% D 44.5-50%
A 89.5-95% C+ 65.5-69.5% D- 40-44%
A- 85-89% C 59.5-65% F 0-39.5%
B+ 80.5-84.5% C- 55-59%
B 74.5-80% D+ 50.5-54.5%

This scale is more generous than the standard scale (A's 90-100%, B's 80-89%, C's 70-79%, D's 60-69%, F below 60%), because the standard scale is designed for exams with multiple-choice and true-false questions where random guessing will result in some right answers. There are no such questions on these quizzes and exams, which focus on short-answer questions where you must provide all the information. We believe that if you can score 70% or more of the points on these exams and quizzes, you know the material well enough to deserve a B- or better.

Each exam includes one essay question, randomly chosen from three essay topics that you will prepare in advance. For the first three examinations, you will write the essay in discussion section the day before you take the rest of the exam; for the final, you will write the essay during the final exam period.

Exam essays are given letter grades. Overall grades on exams and in the course as a whole are calculated using weighted averages of letter grades.

You must receive a passing grade in each area to pass the course. If your weighted average grade in any area (examinations, research project, or section) is below 0.50 on the 4.00-point GPA scale, you will receive an F for the course.

Course Expectations

You are responsible for the assigned readings in HWM and musical selections in NAWM, including the commentary on each work in NAWM. The topics and assignments for each class day are listed in the course schedule. You are expected to complete the assigned reading and listening prior to the class devoted to each topic.

Lectures will not simply repeat what is said in the texts, but will supplement and reinforce the material. Lecturing will be interspersed with discussion and exercises in active learning. Examinations will cover material from both texts and lectures.

There are three kinds of quizzes, each part of your overall quizzes grade.

Online quizzes are designed to help you engage with the reading and listening assignments and work with concepts before they are discussed in lecture. Online quizzes are required and must be done before each lecture (not including examination days). Each quiz is open book and may be taken more than once to improve your score; only the best score will be counted for any quiz you take more than once.

Quizzes in lecture will be brief (about 5 to 10 minutes), designed to reinforce your learning of material that you prepared for that day or that is treated in lecture. There will be a lecture quiz about once a week. Your 3 lowest lecture quiz grades (plus any you missed for an excused absence) will be dropped in calculating your overall quiz grade.

Repertoire quizzes in lecture are longer quizzes (about 15 minutes) that test your familiarity with the pieces on the repertoire list. There are 3, listed on the course schedule. They focus specifically on pieces assigned since the previous exam, using either listening or score questions to test your ability to identify and provide information about these pieces. See the repertoire list for more information.

The discussion sections are discussion sections, not drill sections or supplementary lectures, and they require your active participation. Come prepared to discuss the readings and pieces listed for the preceding lectures, and to review work assigned previously. You will be expected to comment on the history, style, and compositional technique of the assigned works and on the material presented in the lectures and readings. There will also be quizzes and written and oral assignments for sections, all reflected in your section grade.

There is a website for HWM and NAWM, If you purchased a new copy of HWM, it has a registration code that gives you access to the site. The publisher's "Total Access" program includes an ebook version of HWM, streaming audio of the recordings of every piece in NAWM, review outlines, listening quizzes, and other resources. You can also purchased "Total Access" separately.

Academic Integrity

It is your responsibility to know and understand Indiana University Bloomington's policies, procedures, and penalties regarding academic integrity and academic misconduct, described in the Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct. Note particularly and make sure you understand the definitions of cheating, fabrication, and plagiarism at and the procedures given at (penalties are listed at Cheating on quizzes or examinations or plagiarism or fabrication on any aspect of the research project is likely to result in an F for the course.

Because it is vital that you understand plagiarism and avoid it in your research project, you must complete the School of Education tutorial on plagiarism, pass the test, and submit the confirmation certificate to your AI by Tuesday, September 4. Assignments 3-6 will not be accepted until you have passed this test. The tutorial and test are available at


In lectures and sections students have opportunities that are not duplicated elsewhere to interact with music, with each other, and with the instructors. Therefore, we expect you to come to class regularly and on time. Attendance is mandatory for discussion sections. It is our experience that students who frequently miss class do poorly or fail.

Any day you are late or absent, please get class notes from one or more classmates. You are responsible for knowing the content of every class, including announcements and assignments. Instructors cannot take responsibility for filling you in on what you missed.

Medical Conditions, Religious Holidays, and Other Issues Affecting Course Work

If you have a diagnosed medical condition that affects your ability to perform standard college-level work such as papers and examinations, please inform your instructors of this situation as soon as possible. While privacy laws do not require you to inform the instructors of the specific nature of the medical condition, it is important that reasonable modifications of the work be made as soon as possible to meet these situations.

Similarly, if an examination or assignment is scheduled on a religious holiday you observe, or conflicts with a Jacobs School of Music ensemble engagement or a major professional obligation (such as an international competition), please inform Prof. Burkholder during the first two weeks of class so that reasonable accommodations can be made. See the Indiana University Bloomington policy on religious observances for information and to download an Accommodation Request Form.

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Last updated: 15 August 2018
Copyright © 1997-2018 by J. Peter Burkholder