Syllabus for HUM-103



Introduction to the Humanities III: Music discusses and helps students appreciate representative works of Western music in relation to their historical contexts. The course takes a three-pronged approach. First, it examines the historical, social, political, and religious environments that shaped the composers under study and their musical styles. Second, it focuses on certain representative works as examples of their times and as objects of art unto themselves. Finally, it develops listening skills and a musical vocabulary that allows students to isolate and identify certain types of musical phenomena. Students will emerge from the course with an expanded appreciation of the language of music. Course content is drawn from the Teaching Company's  "How to Listen to and Understand Great Music," by Dr. Robert Greenberg.


After completing this course, you should be able to:

  1. Discuss the political, religious, and social events that shaped great composers and works of Western music.
  2. Explain ways that music is a mirror of its time.
  3. Differentiate between different genres of music.
  4. Compare different musical eras.
  5. Discuss music using correct terminology.
  6. Demonstrate appreciation of music through informed discussion of musical works.


You will need the following materials to do the work of the course. (There is no textbook for this course.)

Videos (streamed for you within the course)

  1. How to Listen to and Understand Great Music (The Great Courses Series) by Dr. Robert Greenberg, San Francisco Performances. 36 45-minute videos.


Introduction to the Humanities III: Music is a three-credit online course, consisting of eleven (11) modules. Modules include an overview, topics, learning objectives, study materials, and activities. Module titles are listed below.

  1. Module 1: The Middle Ages and the Renaissance

  1. Module 2: The Baroque Era

  1. Module 3: The Enlightenment and the Classical Era

  1. Module 4: The Sonata

  1. Module 5: The Concerto and the Symphony

  1. Module 6: Baroque and Classical Opera

  1. Module 7: The French Revolution and Beethoven

  1. Module 8: Romanticism

  1. Module 9: Nineteenth-Century Opera

  1. Module 10: Program Music and Nationalism

  1. Module 11: The Twentieth Century

Consult the course Calendar for assignment due dates.


For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in online discussion forums, complete brief module papers, keep a reflective diary/blog, submit one concert review, and complete a final paper. See below for more details. In addition, the course includes ungraded self-tests designed to help you assess and build your music vocabulary.

Consult the course Calendar for assignment due dates.

Discussion Forums

You are required to participate in ten (10) graded discussion forums as well as an ungraded "Introductions" forum. The online discussions are on a variety of topics associated with the course modules.

Located within the Evaluation Rubrics section of the course Web site is the rubric used to aid in the grading of online discussions.

Module Papers

You are required to complete twelve (12) brief module papers. The papers are on a variety of topics associated with the course modules.

Located within the Evaluation Rubrics section of the course Web site is the rubric used to aid in the grading of module papers.

Reflective Diary/Blog

In this course you will be asked to reflect upon what you have learned in a diary or blog. You'll begin your reflective diary/personal blog in module 1. Optimally, you will be writing this reflection piece as you watch the course videos.

You may fulfill this part of the course requirement in one of two ways:

  1. Record your thoughts on a document that you keep on your personal computer.
  2. Record your thoughts in an online blog.

Your diary/blog is an item that is required but not graded, and your mentor will need to know that you are keeping up with it. Therefore, you will be required to submit your reflective diary entries to your mentor weekly or to give your mentor access to your blog. In addition, you will use passages from this document in your final paper.

Concert Review

In Module 10 you will be required to write a review of a vocal or orchestral concert you have attended live, watched on television or listened to on the radio, or viewed via the Internet. Because you must complete this review by the end of Module 10, be sure make arrangements to attend the concert several weeks in advance of that time.

The description of the review in module 10 gives guidelines for choosing a concert. Many communities and colleges/universities have free or low-cost concerts that are of a high quality and are well worth attending..

Located within the Evaluation Rubrics section of the course Web site is the rubric used to aid in the grading of the concert review.

Final Paper

There is no midterm or final examination in this course. A paper of 2000 to 2500 words acts as your final assessment and is worth 25 percent of your grade. You may begin work on this paper at any time during the course, but you must submit it by the last day of the semester.

The final paper will allow you to demonstrate your mastery of course objectives and concepts. You will use parts of your reflective/diary blog in your paper as well.

A full description of the paper is provided within the course. Below is the rubric that will aid in the grading of your final paper.

Located within the Evaluation Rubrics section of the course Web site is the rubric used to aid in the grading of the final paper.


Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:

  1. Online discussions (10)—20 percent
  2. Module Papers (12)—45 percent
  3. Concert Review (1)—15 percent
  4. Final Paper—20 percent

All activities will receive a numerical grade of 0–100. You will receive a score of 0 for any work not submitted. Your final grade in the course will be a letter grade. Letter grade equivalents for numerical grades are as follows:






























Below 60

To receive credit for the course, you must earn a letter grade of C or better (for an area of study course) or D or better (for a nonarea of study course), based on the weighted average of all assigned course work (e.g., exams, assignments, discussion postings, etc.).


First Steps to Success

To succeed in this course, take the following first steps:

  1. Read carefully the entire Syllabus, making sure that all aspects of the course are clear to you and that you have all the materials required for the course.

  1. Take the time to read the entire Online Student Handbook. The Handbook answers many questions about how to proceed through the course and how to get the most from your educational experience at Thomas Edison State College.

  1. Arrange to take your examination(s) by following the instructions in this Syllabus and the Online Student Handbook.

  1. Familiarize yourself with the learning management systems environment—how to navigate it and what the various course areas contain. If you know what to expect as you navigate the course, you can better pace yourself and complete the work on time.

  1. If you are not familiar with Web-based learning be sure to review the processes for posting responses online and submitting assignments before class begins.

Study Tips

Consider the following study tips for success:

  1. To stay on track throughout the course, begin each week by consulting the course Calendar. The Calendar provides an overview of the course and indicates due dates for submitting assignments, posting discussions, and scheduling and taking examinations.

  1. Check Announcements regularly for new course information.


Students at Thomas Edison State College are expected to exhibit the highest level of academic citizenship. In particular, students are expected to read and follow all policies, procedures, and program information guidelines contained in publications; pursue their learning goals with honesty and integrity; demonstrate that they are progressing satisfactorily and in a timely fashion by meeting course deadlines and following outlined procedures; observe a code of mutual respect in dealing with mentors, staff, and other students; behave in a manner consistent with the standards and codes of the profession in which they are practicing; keep official records updated regarding changes in name, address, telephone number, or e-mail address; and meet financial obligations in a timely manner. Students not practicing good academic citizenship may be subject to disciplinary action including suspension, dismissal, or financial holds on records.

Academic Dishonesty

Thomas Edison State College expects all of its students to approach their education with academic integrity—the pursuit of scholarly activity free from fraud and deception. All mentors and administrative staff members at the College insist on strict standards of academic honesty in all courses. Academic dishonesty undermines this objective. Academic dishonesty takes the following forms:

  1. Cheating
  2. Plagiarizing (including copying and pasting from the Internet without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources)
  3. Fabricating information or citations
  4. Facilitating acts of dishonesty by others
  5. Unauthorized access to examinations or the use of unauthorized materials during exam administration
  6. Submitting the work of another person or work previously used without informing the mentor
  7. Tampering with the academic work of other students

Academic dishonesty will result in disciplinary action and possible dismissal from the College. Students who submit papers that are found to be plagiarized will receive an F on the plagiarized assignment, may receive a grade of F for the course, and may face dismissal from the College.

A student who is charged with academic dishonesty will be given oral or written notice of the charge. If a mentor or College official believes the infraction is serious enough to warrant referral of the case to the academic dean, or if the mentor awards a final grade of F in the course because of the infraction, the student and the mentor will be afforded formal due process.

If a student is found cheating or using unauthorized materials on an examination, he or she will automatically receive a grade of F on that examination. Students who believe they have been falsely accused of academic dishonesty should seek redress through informal discussions with the mentor, through the office of the dean, or through an executive officer of Thomas Edison State College.


Using someone else's work as your own is plagiarism. Although it may seem like simple dishonesty, plagiarism is against the law. Thomas Edison State College takes a strong stance against plagiarism, and students found to be plagiarizing will be severely penalized. If you copy phrases, sentences, paragraphs, or whole documents word-for-word—or if you paraphrase by changing a word here and there—without identifying the author, then you are plagiarizing. Please keep in mind that this type of identification applies to Internet sources as well as to print-based sources. Copying and pasting from the Internet, without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources, constitutes plagiarism.  (For information about how to cite Internet sources, see Online Student Handbook > Academic Standards > "Citing Sources.")

Accidentally copying the words and ideas of another writer does not excuse the charge of plagiarism. It is easy to jot down notes and ideas from many sources and then write your own paper without knowing which words are your own and which are someone else's. It is more difficult to keep track of each and every source. However, the conscientious writer who wishes to avoid plagiarizing never fails to keep careful track of sources.

Always be aware that if you write without acknowledging the sources of your ideas, you run the risk of being charged with plagiarism.

Clearly, plagiarism, no matter the degree of intent to deceive, defeats the purpose of education. If you plagiarize deliberately, you are not educating yourself, and you are wasting your time on courses meant to improve your skills. If you plagiarize through carelessness, you are deceiving yourself.

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