MUS 201 : Understanding Music

Transcript title

Understanding Music



Grade mode

Standard letter grades

Contact hours total


Lecture hours



Introduces the history of Western fine-art music and its literature. Encompasses the study of musical vocabulary, style, form, principal composers and the historical development of music in various style periods. The content of each course varies somewhat from term to term, but typically MUS 201 covers Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque and Classical era music while MUS 202 discusses music and composers from the Romantic, 20th century and Contemporary periods. MUS 203 typically diverges from Western fine-art music and focuses on various musical styles from around the world. The classes need not be taken in sequence and do not require any previous musical experience. Students interested in learning how to read musical notation (rhythm, notes) should enroll in MUS 101.

Learning outcomes

1. Have a greater understanding of the history of Western art music
2. Understand basic conventions and techniques of various historical periods.
3. Use the proper terminology in expression music concepts and experiences.
4. Compare and contrast different musical styles.
5. Develop skills of music description based on listening experiences.
6. Identify and discuss musical genres and stylistic aspects of music.
7. Determine the likely period, composer, and or geographical region of an unidentified composition based on stylistic aural evidence, and explain and defend the decision
8. Explain how historical, political, economic, religious, technological, and cultural factors influence the ways that music was perceived, composed, performed and received in the musical style periods we study.
9. Describe how music relates to the other arts in terms of style, aesthetics, and meaning in the periods we cover.

General education/Related instruction lists

  • Arts and Letters

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