Syllabus for MUS-220



Music History I examines the history of Western music through 1750, stressing the origin and evolution of musical forms and musical styles and the important composers from each of the time periods from antiquity through the Baroque. The student will also be placing this knowledge in the broader cultural context of each period.

Advisory: An ability to read music is a requirement for this course.


After completing this course, you should be able to:

  1. Identify and discuss stylistic features, function, and practice of Western music from antiquity through circa 1750.
  2. Chronicle stylistic trends through discussion activities and well-written essays.  
  3. Discuss the impact of important cultural and political events in world history on the development of artistic style and music in particular.
  4. Define (and use appropriately) terminology pertaining to the development of musical forms, styles, and compositional procedures.  
  5. Analyze important musical compositions through score study and active listening, assessing stylistic features that identify their historical placement.
  6. Describe the design, development, and use of musical instruments.


You will need the following materials to do the work of the course. The required textbook, study guide, and anthologies are available as a specially priced package from the College’s textbook supplier, MBS Direct. The ISBN for the bundled package through MBS Direct is 978-0-393-19922-2. Listed below are the individual ISBNs for each item if purchased separately.

Required Textbook

  • Barbara Russano Hanning, Concise History of Western Music, 4th ed. (New York: W. W. Norton, 2010). [Hereafter abbreviated CHWM]

    ISBN-13: 978-0-393-93251-5

Study Guide

  • J. Peter Burkholder and Jennifer L. Hund-King, Study and Listening Guide for Concise History of Western Music, Fourth Edition and Norton Anthology of Western Music, Sixth Edition (New York: W. W. Norton, 2011)

    ISBN-13: 978-0-393-93526-4


  • Norton Anthology of Western Music, vol. 1, Ancient to Baroque, ed. J. Peter Burkholder and Claude V. Palisca (New York: W. W. Norton, 2009). [Hereafter abbreviated NAWM]

    ISBN-13: 978-0-393-93126-6

  • Norton Recorded Anthology of Western Music, vol. 1, Ancient to Baroque. [Hereafter abbreviated as NRAWM]

    ISBN-13: 978-0-393-11309-9


Music History I is a three-credit online course, consisting of twelve (12) modules. Modules include an overview, topics, learning objectives, study materials, and activities. Module titles are listed below, along with the course objectives and topics covered.


For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in online discussion forums, complete written assignments, take module quizzes, and complete a final project. See below for details.

Consult the course Calendar for due dates.

Discussion Forums

You are required to participate in twelve (12) graded discussion forums as well as an ungraded Introductions Forum. The online discussions are on a variety of topics associated with the course modules.

Written Assignments

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

Modules Quizzes

Each module in the course concludes with a module quiz, twelve (12) quizzes in all. The quizzes draw not only on your readings in the textbook but also on your score study in the Norton Anthology of Western Music, vol. 1, and on listening examples from the Norton Recorded Anthology of Western Music, vol. 1.

Module quizzes are open book but time restricted (30 minutes). You may take the quizzes multiple times both during and after the quiz period, but you’ll be graded (highest score received) only on attempts made by the due date for the quiz.

Final Project

Music History I culminates in a Final Project that collectively is worth 22% of your course grade. This project takes the place of and is equivalent to a final exam. It consists of two parts:

Please note that you will receive separate grades (on a scale of 0–100) for your paper outline, final paper, and listening examples. Your choice of a paper topic in Week 7 will be marked Complete/Incomplete.


Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:

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:

Study Tips

Consider the following study tips for success:


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 can take the following forms:

Please refer to the Academic Code of Conduct Policy in the College Catalog and online at




Using someone else’s work as your own is plagiarism. 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, or without identifying it as a direct quote, 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.

For examples of unintentional plagiarism, advice on when to quote and when to paraphrase, and information about writing assistance and originality report checking, click the links provided below.

Examples of Unintentional Plagiarism 

When to Quote and When to Paraphrase

Writing Assistance at Smarthinking

Originality Report Checking at Turnitin


Disciplinary Process

First-time incidents of academic dishonesty concerning plagiarism may reflect ignorance of appropriate citation requirements. Mentors will make a good faith effort to address all first-time offenses that occur in courses. In these cases, the mentor may impose sanctions that serve as a learning exercise for the offender. These may include the completion of tutorials, assignment rewrites, or any other reasonable learning tool including a lower grade when appropriate. The mentor will notify the student by e-mail. Decisions about the sanctions applied for subsequent plagiarism offenses or other violations will be made by the appropriate dean’s office, with the advice of the mentor or staff person who reported the violation. The student will be notified via certified mail of the decision. Options for sanctions include:

Thomas Edison State College. All Rights Reserved.