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Academic Year: Fall/Winter 2013/2014

Term: 1

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Dr. Lara Housez


Office: Togo Salmon Hall 416

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 27671

Office Hours: Mondays and Wednesdays, 11:30am-12:30pm, TSH 425, ext. 23715

Course Objectives:



Our primary goal is to gain a broad knowledge of musical terms, concepts, and repertoire from the Middle Ages, Renaissance, and Baroque era. We will focus on key composers, their works, and shifting musical styles and study how these figures and music making relate to larger economic, social, cultural, and intellectual contexts. A selection of musical examples from non-Western cultures will also be considered. By adopting a listening-oriented approach, we will develop skills in recognizing by ear musical examples and stylistic characteristics. Watch out: This course will expand your musical horizons and instill a life-long appreciation of early music. No previous knowledge of music is required.





The lectures will give you the majority of the information that you will need to succeed in this course and will go significantly beyond the reading and listening assignments. Lecture slides for each class will be posted on Avenue, but you should be aware that these provide only the skeleton of the information you need. You will supplement the slides and your textbook readings with your own notes from lecture in order to be fully prepared for tests and the final exam.

Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

Required materials


Bonds, Mark Evan. Listen to This, 2nd edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2011.


5-CD Set for Listen to This, 2nd edition

Method of Assessment:



Students will gain knowledge in:


1. Naming and identifying the elements of music, including rhythm, melody, harmony, timbre, texture, and expressive elements through reading and listening activities and attendance at a live concert.


2. Relating the development of Western music to the cultural-historical background of Western civilization.


3. Identifying selected composers and their works from major Western historical periods, as representative of the thought and life of the respective periods.


4. Recognizing music from non-European cultures and broadening knowledge of how music plays a role in most world cultures.


5. Heightening abilities to listen to music intelligently and attaining higher levels of musical discernment in approaching different types and styles of music.





Test #1 (1 October)                               20%

Test #2 (21 October)                            20%

Test #3 (26 November)                          20%

Cumulative Final Exam (TBA)              40%


Note: (1) Missed tests will result in a grade of ‘0’, unless accompanied by a medical certificate and a McMaster student absence form (MSAF), (2) Regular attendance is essential to achieve success in this course.

Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

This is a self-reporting tool for undergraduate students to report absences DUE TO MINOR MEDICAL SITUATIONS that last up to 5 days and provides the ability to request accommodation for any missed academic work. Please note, this tool cannot be used during any final examination period. You may submit a maximum of 1 Academic Work Missed request per term. It is YOUR responsibility to follow up with your Instructor immediately (NORMALLY WITHIN TWO WORKING DAYS) regarding the nature of the accommodation. If you are absent for reasons other than medical reasons, for more than 5 days, or exceed 1 request per term, you MUST visit your Associate Dean's Office/Faculty Office). You may be required to provide supporting documentation. This form should be filled out immediately when you are about to return to class after your absence.

Please Note the Following Policies and Statements:

Academic Dishonesty

You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity.

Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: "Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty"), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.

It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:

  1. Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
  2. Improper collaboration in group work.
  3. Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.

Email correspondence policy

It is the policy of the Faculty of Humanities that all email communication sent from students to instructors (including TAs), and from students to staff, must originate from each student’s own McMaster University email account. This policy protects confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student.  Instructors will delete emails that do not originate from a McMaster email account.

Modification of course outlines

The University reserves the right to change dates and/or deadlines etc. for any or all courses in the case of an emergency situation or labour disruption or civil unrest/disobedience, etc. If a modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with an explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. Any significant changes should be made in consultation with the Department Chair.

McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

In the event of an absence for medical or other reasons, students should review and follow the Academic Regulation in the Undergraduate Calendar Requests for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work. Please note these regulations have changed beginning Fall 2015. You can find information at If you have any questions about the MSAF, please contact your Associate Dean's office.

Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities

Students who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. Academic accommodations must be arranged for each term of study. Student Accessibility Services can be contacted by phone 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or e-mail For further information, consult McMaster University's Policy for Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities.

Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances

Students requiring academic accommodation based on religion and spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out in the Course Calendar or by their respective Faculty. In most cases, the student should contact his or her professor or academic advisor as soon as possible to arrange accommodations for classes, assignments, tests and examinations that might be affected by a religious holiday or spiritual observance.

Topics and Readings:

Provisional Timetable






5 September


9, 10, 12 Sept.

The Elements of Music: Understanding How Music Works


CD 1, Tracks 1-18

16 Sept.

Intro to the Middle Ages



17 Sept.

Hildegard von Bingen


CD 1, Track 19

19 Sept.

San Ildefonso Indians


CD 1, Track 21

23 Sept.

Francesco Landini


CD 1, Track 22

24 Sept.

Guillaume de Machaut


CD 1, Track 23

26 Sept.

Alfonso el Sabio


CD 1, Track 24

30 Sept.

Medieval review



1 October


3 Oct.

Intro to the Renaissance



7 Oct.

Josquin des Prez


CD 1, Track 25

8 Oct.

Thomas Weelkes


CD 1, Track 26

10 Oct.

William Byrd


CD 1, Track 27

14 Oct.

Thanksgiving: No class

15 Oct.

Bahamian Rhyming Singers


CD 1, Track 28

17 Oct.

Renaissance review



21 Oct.


22 Oct.

Intro to the Baroque I



24 Oct.

Intro to the Baroque II



28 Oct.

Claudio Monteverdi


CD 1, Track 30

29 Oct.

Henry Purcell


CD 1, Track 31

31 Oct.

Mid-term recess: No class


4 November

Mbuti Pygmies


CD 1, Track 32

5 Nov.

Barbara Strozzi


CD 1, Track 33

7 Nov.


11 Nov.

J.S. Bach


CD 1, Tracks 34-35

12 Nov.

Antonio Vivaldi


CD 2, Track 1/download 36

14 Nov.



CD 2, Track 2/dnld 37

18 Nov.

George Frideric Handel


CD 2. Track 3/dnld38

19 Nov.



CD 2, Track 4-5/dnld39-40

21 Nov.



CD 2, Tracks 6-7/dnld41-42

25 Nov.

Baroque review



26 Nov.


28 Nov., 2 and 3 Dec.

General review

6-20 Dec. (TBA)




Important Dates:

September 5: Classes begin

October 14: Thanksgiving (no classes)

October 31-November 2: Mid-term recess

November 28-December 5: Test ban

December 4: Classes end

Other Course Information:


Avenue to Learn

In this course we will be using Avenue to Learn. Students should be aware that, when they access the electronic components of this course, private information such as first and last names, user names for the McMaster e-mail accounts, and program affiliation may become apparent to all other students in the same course. The available information is dependent on the technology used. Continuation in this course will be deemed consent to this disclosure. If you have any questions or concerns about such disclosure please discuss this with the course instructor.

Extensions or Accommodations

Extensions or other accommodations will be determined by the instructor and will only be considered if supported by appropriate documentation. Absences of less than 5 days may be reported using the McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF) at If you are unable to use the MSAF, you should document the absence with your faculty office. In all cases, it is YOUR responsibility to follow up with the instructor immediately to see if an extension or other accommodation will be granted, and what form it will take. There are NO automatic extensions or accommodations.


Support Services

The University provides a variety of support services to help students manage their many demands. Reference librarians can provide invaluable research assistance. The Student Accessibility Services Centre (SAS) provides assistance with personal as well as academic matters.