HUMA W1123 * Masterpieces of Western Music * Section 30
Fall 2014 * 4:10–5:25 PM Tuesday & Thursday * Location: Dodge 405

Instructor Teaching Assistant
Prof. Mariusz Kozak (mk3611) Russell O’Rourke (rjo2114)
Office: 816B (Dodge)
Office hours: Tuesday, 10:00AM–12:00PM

The focus of Music Humanities is on masterpieces of Western art music in their historical and cultural contexts. The specific goals of the course are to awaken and encourage an appreciation of Western music, to help the student learn to respond intelligently to a variety of musical idioms, and to engage the student in the issues of various debates about the character and purposes of music that have occupied composers and musical thinkers since ancient times. As the student learns to become an adept, sensitive listener, his or her understanding of the history and value of this repertory will be enriched as well. The student will become actively involved in the process of critical listening, in the classroom, on his or her electronic equipment, and in some of the professional concerts that are part of the extraordinary richness of musical life in New York.
The course begins with the fundamentals of musical concepts and vocabulary in order to develop a shared level of discourse in the class. Then, using a “great works” approach, the course will look at the changing genres and styles of music, examining composers’ choices and assumptions, as well as those of their patrons and audiences, as it moves thematically––though not necessarily chronologically––from the Middle Ages to the present. Your critical perceptions and articulate responses to readings and especially to the music will be a vital part of the class.

The primary texts for this class are pieces of music. In addition, readings will be assigned from two textbooks, one of which is the only introduction to listening practices ever written by a great composer (Aaron Copland). You must prepare for each lass by doing the listening and reading assignments (including those posted on CourseWorks). Your participation in class is absolutely essential.

No musical background is presupposed.

Both books are available at Book Culture (112th between Broadway and Amsterdam)
Aaron Copland, What to Listen for in Music (New York: Signet Classic, 2011)
Robert Greenberg, How to Listen to Great Music: A Guide to its History, Culture, and Heart (Plume, 2011)

Since the primary text for the class is the music, you will be doing a lot of careful listening. To that end, you are required to have a Spotify account (which is available for free or with a subscription), in order for me to be able to share with you specific recordings of the pieces we will be discussing. If not available on Spotify, recordings will be posted via CourseWorks (including links to YouTube videos).

In addition to the textbooks, other readings may be distributed through CourseWorks.

Your final grade will be based on the following assignments:
–       Midterm Exam (20%): week 8 Thursday, October 23
–       Final Exam (25%): date and time TBA
–       Blog entries (20%):
Everyone will be responsible for contributing four (4) entries to the class blog. These need to be 1–2 paragraphs long, and engage in a discussion of upcoming listening assignments. You are welcome to choose which week you’d like to post, but entries need to be up no later than Monday at 4:00pm. All students in the class need to read all the posts. Comments are encouraged––following the basic rules of online etiquette (remember, others can comment on your posts too!)––but not required.
–       “Just-in-time” questions (20%):
Prior to most classes, several questions (no more than 3) based on some combination of reading and, especially, listening assignments will be posted on CourseWorks. These will include multiple-choice, true/false, or short answer questions. You will need to answer them no later than 2 hours before class starts (2:10pm).
–       Class attendance and participation (15%)
Your active participation in class discussions is critical to your success in the class, as well as to the dynamic of the class as a whole. See below for official Core Policy on Student Attendance.

New York’s extraordinarily rich music scene offers countless opportunities for intimate contact with music through live performances. As a class, we will attend two of them. Please note the dates in your calendar, because attendance is MANDATORY! If you are participating in a University sanctioned activity that conflicts with either of the events below, contact me right away so that we can make special arrangements.
–       Bizet, Carmen at the Metropolitan Opera: Monday, October 13th, 7:30pm (cost: $20)
–       Mahler, Symphony No. 2 (“Resurrection”) at Carnegie Hall: Friday, October 31st, 8pm (cost: $39)

1.     CourseWorks site for this section: course outline, music for listening assignments, texts for readings outside of Copland and Greenberg, links to 2 (below)
2.     Music Humanities Website: where you can find a Sonic Glossary (includes definitions of important musical terms, with recorded illustrations and optional narration); Music Humanities Online Reserves, Website for Pierrot lunaire, major-minor, and concert/opera attendance.
3.     Librettos
4.     Instruments:
Prokofiev, Peter and the Wolf
Britten, Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, fugue (instruments enter one at a time, by section):
5.     Jazz (Columbia Jazz Resources)
(see paper copy of the syllabus for login and password)
6.     Dictionaries, reference works, articles about operas (in Grove Music Online):
Oxford Music Online, access through LibraryWeb databases

Upshot: more than 2 unexcused absences will lower your grade; no make-up exams without instructor approval

Students are expected to attend every session of their Core classes. In the event that a student must miss a class due to religious observance, illness, or family emergency, instructors may strongly encourage (though not require) that students complete additional assignments to help make up for lost class participation. Whenever possible (in the case of religious holidays, for example), students should provide advance notification of absence. Students who miss class without instructor permission should expect to have their grade lowered. Columbia College follows University Policy on Religious Holidays:
Core Policy on Absences due to job interviews is the same. It is expected that students not schedule anything (including job interviews) which conflicts with their Core classes. If there is absolutely no other scheduling option, the students should contact the instructor immediately upon scheduling the interview to discuss possible assignments to help make up for lost class participation. If the student schedules an interview for a class that is scheduled to have an in-class evaluation exercise (a quiz or midterm, for example), the student should expect to receive a “zero” for the exercise. Students who miss class more than once due to an interview should expect to have their grade lowered.

Upshot: all sources must be cited; plagiarism earns you an automatic F for the course.

The intellectual venture in which we are all engaged requires of faculty and students alike the highest level of personal and academic integrity. As members of an academic community, each one of us bears the responsibility to participate in scholarly discourse and research in a manner characterized by intellectual honesty and scholarly integrity.

Scholarship, by its very nature, is an iterative process, with ideas and insights building one upon the other. Collaborative scholarship requires the study of other scholars’ work, the free discussion of such work, and the explicit acknowledgment of those ideas in any work that informs our own. This exchange of ideas relies upon a mutual trust that sources, opinions, facts, and insights will be properly noted and carefully credited.
In practical terms, this means that, as students, you must be responsible for the full citations of others’ ideas in all your research papers and projects; you must be scrupulously honest when taking your examinations; you must always submit your own work and not that of other student, scholar, or internet agent.

Any breach of this intellectual responsibility is a breach of faith with the rest of our academic community. It undermines our shared intellectual culture, and it cannot be tolerated. To that end, cases of plagiarism will result in a student earning an automatic F for the course. Additionally, students failing to meet the responsibilities enumerated above should anticipate being asked to leave Columbia.

For more information on academic integrity at Columbia, please see the College and University Policies section of the on-line Bulletin and Facts About Columbia Essential to Students (FACETS).