MUS 203 : 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. Discuss the elements of music (instruments, basic forms, improvisation) and how they relate to one another.
2. Use the proper terminology in expressing musical concepts and experiences.
3. Identify, by listening, different music styles. Determine the likely geographical region of an unidentified musical work based on stylistic aural evidence; explain and defend the decision.
4. Compare and contrast different musical works.
5. Develop skills of music description based on listening experiences.
7. Explain how historical, political, economic, religious, technological, and cultural factors influence the ways that music is perceived, composed, performed and received in the world.
8. Have a greater understanding of the creative process of
those in different cultures and discover how this knowledge can enrich one’s own life.
9. Describe how music of various cultures relates to the other arts in terms of style, aesthetics, and meaning.
10. Critically analyze values associated with the creation of music of various world cultures in order to understand local and global issues involved in music making.

General education/Related instruction lists

  • Discipline Studies/Arts and Letters

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