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MUS 872-Graduate Seminar in Music History

Academic Apparatus
Instructor Information * Catalogue Description * Course Rationale * University Policies * Prerequisites

Course Segments
Learning Goals and Outcomes * Assessments * Required Materials * Requirements and Expectations * Course Schedule *

Instructor: Dennis Davis, Ph.D
Phone: (859) 622-5007
Office: Foster 112
Office Hours: By Appointment

Catalogue Course Description
MUS872 (CRN55264: 3 credits, 8 week course) Spring 2016. This course offers an intensive study of developmental trends in the history of Western music. May be retaken to a maximum of six hours, provided the subject matter differs.

Course Rationale
The primary objective of this course is to insure that M.M. candidates graduate with a command of music history that is not only commensurate with their degree, but also prepares them to pass the music history portion of their qualifying examinations.

This course is for graduate students and it is assumed that students enrolled in this course have completed an undergraduate degree in music and have taken prior courses in music history.

Required Materials

  • Hanning, Barbara. Concise History of Western Music, 5th ed. (Norton, 2014: ISBN: 978-0-393-92066-6. The new Total Access program gives students premium streaming recordings of all 220 works in the Norton Anthology of Western Music, an ebook, video excerpts from the Metropolitan Opera, and a suite of tools for study and assessment—all included at no extra cost with the purchase of a new book. There are four versions of this text. The eBook and Loose-leaf are the least expensive.


Optional and Recommended Materials


Learning Goals and Educational Outcomes

  • Student will delineate and classify Western music into appropriate style periods

  • Students will analyze and examine music literature through listening, score analyses, research, and collective discourse.

  • Students will analyze the literature, compositional strategies, personalities, relevancy, and reception of Western music and then synthesize that information into developmental trends that explain their historical significance.

  • Students will develop a contextual understanding of developmental trends throughout the history of Western music by examining them and synthesizing them within the larger scope of world history, including socioeconomic and political influences and advancements in technology.

Requirements and Expectations

  • Students must have the appropriate technological equipment and abilities to participate in a course that is taught completely online.

  • Students are expected to purchase the text, active their course materials at the publisher’s website outline, and then spend the appropriate amount of time learning how to navigate that site and peruse those materials.

  • Students are expected to study and listen to the online lectures.

  • Students are expected to study and outline the required reading, score, and listening assignments.

  • Students are expected to participate fully in class discussion boards and other interactive online discussion platforms. 

  • Please note this important announcement from the e-Campus office: Some e-Campus (Campus 2) students may be under the misconception that online courses are supposed to be tailored for the busy working adult, or some similar notion.  This is not the case at all.  Our courses are designed and delivered to accomplish our program-level and course-level student learning outcomes.  There is no consideration to accommodate busy working adults in our course design or course delivery--even if some marketing materials or other sources give students the impression that this is the case.  An 8-week online course must be the equivalent of a 16-week course in terms of the course-level student learning outcomes accomplished and the total amount of time that students must dedicate to earning those credit hours.

  • There is a direct connect between student motivation and student success in any learning situation. It is important that both the student and the teacher understand student motivations, especially in the online environment where body language and direct human interaction are largely removed from the process. Research reveals that there is a complex mixture of areas that motivate students.  However, when all of the personal and emotional issues are removed, the research has been able to characterize student motivations into three broad categories:

    1.     Learning-motivated Students—these students do not care a lot about grades or how hard they work, but are motivated more by the sheer joy of learning.  Learning and applying new concepts and procedures thrill these students.  These are the students all of us want in our courses as they are the most enjoyable to teach.

    2.     Performance-motivated Students—while these students may want to learn, the actual learning is subordinated to their psychological need to get good grades. To these students, good grades are what they need to advance in school and life (i.e., get into the best schools, gain scholarships, win awards, qualify for their ideal jobs, etc.).  These students will do the work, but there intellectual curiosity will be somewhat less than the learning-motivated students.

    3.     Work Avoidance-motivated Students—these students are in school because it is expected of them, it meets some sort of success criteria that they have established for themselves, or they understand college degrees lead to higher paying or more enjoyable jobs—but in reality they are fine with doing the bare minimum work required to complete a course or earn a degree.  These students typically generate 90% of the complaints about grades, the course, and/or the instructor. 


Most students operate with a fluctuating balance of these extremes, but research has shown that if they become self-aware of these levels of motivation, they will work to maintain the one that is most positive and helpful (1). 


Assessments and Evaluation

  • Assignment preparation will be measured by quizzes, examinations, and appropriate participation in the online interactive discussion platforms. Students must remember that all online examinations, assignments, and activities will be scheduled and administered in Eastern Standard Time (EST). Please use this time zone when scheduling these activities in your calendar.

  • Grading and Assignments:


    Due Date



    Weekly Text Quiz (8)

    11pm Each Thursday



    Weekly Listening Quiz (8)

    11pm Each Thursday



    Weekly Wiki Assignment (8)
    (Main Entry)

    11pm Each Thursday



    Weekly Wiki Assignment
    (Reaction Entries)

    11pm Each Sunday



    Weekly Essay Examination (2 per week)

    11pm Each Sunday



    Wiki Article Quizzes (first week)




    Supplemental Online Assignments (as necessary, if assigned)




    Total Points (1796 points if no "Supplemental" assignments are given up to a maximum of 1956 points)





Course Schedule


Module 1 (3/21/16)

Chapters 1-4: The Medieval Period

(pp. 2-85)

Module 2 (3/28/16)

Chapters 5-9: The Renaissance Period

(pp. 86-167)

Module 3 (4/4/16)

Chapters 10-12: The Early Baroque-Instrumental Music in 17th Century

(pp. 168-239)

Module 4 (4/11/16)

Chapters 13-15: Opera in the Late 17th Century-Early Classic Period Vocal Music

(pp. 240-325)

Module 5 (4/18/16)

Chapters 16-18: The Early Classic-Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven

(pp. 326-402)

Module 6 (4/25/16)

Chapters 19-21: The Romantic Period

(pp. 390-482)

Module 7 (5/2/16)

Chapters 22-24: Music in the Late 19th Century: Nationalism, Romanticism, and Beyond

(pp. 483-553)

Module 8 (5/9/16)

Chapters 25-28: The Twentieth Century and Today

(pp. 553-646)

Student Progress

Grades will be posted in Blackboard and due to the compressed nature of this course, students should check the Grade Book in Blackboard to see their progress. I also teach other courses at EKU, so there may be a delay in posting grades for extended assignments. Students may be notified by email if they are at risk of failing this course.

Attendance Policy

There is no attendance policy for this online course. 

Last Day to Drop This Course

Please refer to the EKU Compass to verify the last day to add, drop, or withdraw from this course.


Disability Accommodation Statement:
A student with a "disability" may be an individual with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities such as learning, seeing or hearing. Additionally, pregnancy accompanied by medical conditions that causes a similar substantial limitation may also be considered under the ADA.

If you are registered with the Office of Services for Individuals with Disabilities, please obtain your accommodation letters from the OSID and present them to the course instructor to discuss any academic accommodations you need. If you believe you need accommodation and are not registered with the OSID, please contact the office in the Whitlock Building Room 361, by email at or by telephone at (859) 622-2933. Upon individual request, this syllabus can be made available in an alternative format.

Academic Integrity statement: 
Students are advised that EKU’s Academic Integrity policy will be strictly enforced in this course.  The Academic Integrity policy is available at ( . Questions regarding this policy may be directed to the Office of Academic Integrity.

Email Correspondence:
According to the EKU registrar: "Students who have not yet activated their EKU email account should do so ASAP and monitor that account regularly as it is an official means of communication between students and the university." Therefore, I have, and will continue to assume that every email that I send to students has been read, since students are required by the registrar to "monitor" that account regularly as it is an official means of communication between students and the university." Unless otherwise advised, I will interpret “regularly” as within twevle hours of sending it. If a student fails to complete an emailed assignment, whether it is by honest forgetfulness, purposeful forgetfulness, or plausible deniability, the result will be the same: zero points. It is appalling to think that any student would use not checking their email as an excuse in this era of smart device technology, Internet transparency, and rampant social media. It looks especially suspect if students claim to be unaware of an email while posting on social media.

First Day Drop Requirments:
Online courses follow the university’s first-day drop policy. Please note that students need to complete the "Ice Breaker" blog entry (due the first Tuesday of class by 11 p.m., EST) and also the required Quizzes (Due Thursday by 11 p.m., EST) to remain enrolled in this course.



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