Syllabus for MUS-221



Music History II examines the history of Western music from the Classical Period through the present day, stressing the origin and evolution of musical forms, musical styles, and the important composers since 1750. 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 circa 1750 to the present day.
  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.


You will need the following materials to do the work of the course. The required textbook and study guide are also used for MUS-220, Music History I. Students who have taken that course will need to purchase only the four anthology volumes, which are available as a specially priced package from the College’s textbook supplier, MBS Direct. The ISBN-13 for the bundled anthologies is 978-0-393-19343-5. Listed below are the individual ISBNs for each item if purchased separately.

Note: You can access most of the assigned music excerpts for this course online at the textbook’s Study Space Web site (registration code required and provided with the text if purchased new). Access to the Study Space Web site, however, is time restricted.

Required Textbook

  1. 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

  1. 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


  1. Norton Anthology of Western Music, 6th ed., vol. 2, Classic to Romantic, ed. J. Peter Burkholder and Claude V. Palisca (New York: W. W. Norton, 2009). [Hereafter abbreviated NAWM 2]

    ISBN-13: 978-0-393-93127-3

  1. Norton Anthology of Western Music, 6th ed., vol. 3, Twentieth Century, ed. J. Peter Burkholder and Claude V. Palisca (New York: W. W. Norton, 2009). [Hereafter abbreviated NAWM 3]

    ISBN-13: 978-0-393-93240-9

  1. Norton Recorded Anthology of Western Music, 6th ed. vol. 2, Classic to Romantic. [Hereafter abbreviated as NRAWM 2]

    ISBN-13: 978-0-393-11310-5

  1. Norton Recorded Anthology of Western Music, 6th ed., vol. 3, Twentieth Century. [Hereafter abbreviated as NRAWM 3]

    ISBN-13: 978-0-393-11311-2


Music History II is a three-credit online course, consisting of eight (8) modules. Modules include an overview, list of topics, learning objectives, study materials, and activities. Module titles are listed below, along with the course objectives and topics covered.

  1. Module 1: Music of the Early Classic Period
    Course objectives covered in this module: 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5

  1. Overview of Europe in the eighteenth century
  2. Transition between the Baroque and Classic periods
  3. Opera and vocal music in the early Classic period
  1. opera buffa (Giovanni Battista Pergolesi)
  2. French opéra comique and English ballad opera (John Gay)
  3. opera seria (Johann Adolf Hasse)
  4. opera reform (Christoph Willibald Gluck)
  5. psalmody in the New World (William Billings)

  1. Instrumental music in the early Classic period.
  1. new musical rhetoric
  2. Alberti bass
  3. sonata form and other binary form procedures
  4. sonata (Domenico Scarlatti)
  5. symphony (Johann Stamitz): symphonic (orchestral) centers of Mannheim, Berlin, Vienna, and Paris
  6. concerto (Johann Christian Bach)
  7. Empfindsam style (Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach)

  1. Module 2: Haydn and Mozart
    Course objectives covered in this module: 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5

  1. Musical careers of Franz Joseph Haydn and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  2. Stylistic idioms of Haydn and Mozart
  3. Genres and forms used by Haydn, Mozart, and their contemporaries
  4. Important works by Haydn and Mozart from different stages of their careers

  1. Module 3: Beethoven and the Early Romantics
    Course objectives covered in this module: 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5

  1. Differences in the aesthetic sensibilities between the music of the Classic and Romantic periods and personages influential in determining these sensibilities
  2. Musical career of Ludwig van Beethoven
  3. Characteristics and representative works of Beethoven’s three style periods
  4. Forms and genres used by Beethoven and his contemporaries
  5. Principal composers and representative works of the early Romantic period:
  1. Franz Schubert
  2. Fryderyk Chopin
  3. Robert Schumann
  4. Felix Mendelssohn
  5. Stephen Foster
  6. Louis Moreau Gottschalk
  7. Hector Berlioz

  1. Module 4: Opera and Music Drama in the Nineteenth Century
    Course objectives covered in this module: 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5

  1. French opera:
  1. Giacomo Meyerbeer
  2. Hector Berlioz
  3. Charles Gounod
  4. Georges Bizet
  5. opéra comique, opéra bouffe, lyric opera

  1. Italian opera:
  1. Gioachino Rossini
  2. Vincenzo Bellini
  3. Gaetano Donizetti
  4. Giuseppe Verdi
  5. bel canto

  1. German opera:
  1. Carl Maria von Weber
  2. Richard Wagner: Gesamtkunstwerk, leitmotives, Der Ring des Nibelungen

  1. English operetta:
  1. Arthur Sullivan

  1. Module 5: Later Romantics and the Rise of Nationalism in the Late Nineteenth Century
    Course objectives covered in this module: 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5

  1. Composers of the late nineteenth century and their music:
  1. Franz Liszt
  2. Anton Bruckner
  3. Johannes Brahms
  4. Piotr Il’yich Tchaikovsky

  1. Austro-German tradition:
  1. Hugo Wolf
  2. Gustav Mahler
  3. Richard Strauss

  1. Nationalism:
  1. Bohemia: Bedřich Smetana and Antonín Dvořák
  2. Russia: Mikhail Glinka, Modest Musorgsky, Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov
  3. Scandinavia: Edvard Grieg (Norway)
  4. England: Edward Elgar

  1. New Currents in France and Italy:
  1. César Franck
  2. Gabriel Fauré
  3. Giacomo Puccini

  1. Classical music tradition in the United States during the late nineteenth century:
  1. Influence of German tradition
  2. Nationalism in the United States
  3. Amy Beach

  1. Module 6: Musical Practice in Europe ca. 1900–1945
    Course objectives covered in this module: 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5

  1. Extramusical influences on musical style of the twentieth century
  2. Divergent style paths of prominent modernist composers of the early to mid-twentieth century:
  1. Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel (France)
  2. Arnold Schoenberg, Alban Berg, and Anton Webern (Vienna)
  3. Igor Stravinsky (Russia, France, United States)
  4. Béla Bartók (Hungary)

  1. Other modernist composers within the European mainstream:
  1. Alexander Scriabin and Sergei Rachmaninov (Russia)
  2. Manuel de Falla (Spain)
  3. Ralph Vaughan Williams (England)
  4. Leoš Janáček (Czech)
  5. Jean Sibelius (Finland)

  1. Avant-garde and classical composers of France, Germany, and the Soviet Union between the two world wars:
  1. Erik Satie and Les Six (France)
  2. Paul Hindemith, Ernst Krenek, and Kurt Weill (Germany)
  3. Sergey Prokofiev and Dmitri Shostakovich (Soviet Union)

  1. Module 7: American Music Tradition in the Twentieth Century
    Course objectives covered in this module: 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5

  1. Diverging trends in music composition in the United States in the nineteenth and early twentieth century
  2. Vernacular music in the United States in the nineteenth and early twentieth century:
  1. Band music, popular song, and stage music: John Philip Sousa, Scott Joplin, Jerome Kern, Richard Rodgers, Leonard Bernstein
  2. Jazz: W. C. Handy, Louis Armstrong, George Gershwin, Duke Ellington, Ornette Coleman, Bessie Smith, King Oliver, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie

  1. Modernism and Americanism: Charles Ives
  2. Art music in the Americas
  1. Canada: Claude Champagne
  2. Central and South America: Heitor Villa-Lobos, Carlos Chávez, Silvestre Revueltas
  3. United States: Edgard Varèse, Henry Cowell, Ruth Crawford, Aaron Copland, William Grant Still, Virgil Thomson

  1. Module 8: Musical Developments after 1945
    Course objectives covered in this module: 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5

  1. Heirs to the Classical Tradition:
  1. Olivier Messiaen
  2. Benjamin Britten
  3. Samuel Barber

  1. Serialism and complexity:
  1. Milton Babbitt
  2. Karlheinz Stockhausen
  3. Pierre Boulez
  4. Luciano Berio
  5. Elliott Carter

  1. New sounds and textures:
  1. Harry Partch
  2. George Crumb
  3. Iannis Xenakis
  4. Krzysztof Penderecki

  1. Indeterminancy:
  1. John Cage
  2. Morton Feldman
  3. Earle Brown

  1. Minimalism and postminimalism:
  1. Steve Reich
  2. Philip Glass
  3. John Adams

  1. Accessibility and simplification:
  1. György Ligeti
  2. Ellen Taaffe Zwilich
  3. Arvo Pärt
  4. Alfred Schnittke
  5. John Corigliano
  6. George Rochberg
  7. David Del Tredici
  8. Sofia Gubaidulina
  9. R. Murray Schafer
  10. Joan Tower
  11. Ástor Piazzolla
  12. Michael Daugherty

  1. Influences of non-Western musical styles on Western classical tradition:
  1. Colin McPhee
  2. Henry Cowell
  3. Lou Harrison
  4. Bright Sheng

  1. New technologies and their impact on music composition and performance:
  1. Electronic music: Pierre Schaeffer, Stockhausen, Varèse, Babbitt
  2. Digital technologies: sampling, computer music, and synthesizers

  1. Changes in musical notation


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 eight (8) 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 seven (7) written assignments (Modules 1–7). 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, eight (8) 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, vols. 2 and 3, and on listening examples from the Norton Recorded Anthology of Western Music, vols. 2 and 3.

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 II culminates in a Final Project that collectively is worth 21% of your course grade. This project takes the place of and is equivalent to a final exam. It consists of two parts:

  1. Part 1: a paper worth 15% of your course grade—2% for the outline and 13% for the final paper itself
  2. Part 2: a set of five (5) listening examples worth 6% of your course grade

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:

  1. Discussion forums (8)—16%
  2. Written assignments (7)—35%
  3. Module quizzes (8)—28%
  4. Final project—21%, consisting of:
  1. Outline of Final Paper (2%)
  2. Final Paper (13%)
  3. Listening Examples (6%)

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.
  2. Take 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  2. 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 the 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 the 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.

Thomas Edison State College. All Rights Reserved.