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MUSIC 1BB3 Western Music Hist:1600-1820

Academic Year: Winter 2016

Term: Winter

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Dr. Andrew Mitchell


Office: Togo Salmon Hall 433

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 24217

Office Hours: Mondays and Thursdays 1:30-2:30pm, Fridays 12:30-1:30pm

Course Objectives:

In this course we will examine the history of Western European music from roughly 1580-1820 (the time period conventionally labeled the Baroque and Classical eras). The material will be presented through lectures, weekly readings from the assigned textbook and weekly listenings from the textbook website.  In addition students will be required to complete testing and a written assignment (essay).  All testing (except for the final exam) will take place during class time.

By the end of this course, students should

  • know main developments and be able to define terms relating to the history of the western European tradition (c. 1600-c. 1820)
  • recognize (both aurally and through score analysis) stylistic characteristics of various composers and periods within the era under study
  • aurally recognize specific compositions from the era under study
  • hone research and essay-writing (including critical thinking) skills by producing a term paper (see essay assignment description)

Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

Burkholder, J. Peter et al. A History of Western Music, 9th ed. New York: W.W. Norton

and Company, 2014.

Norton Anthology of Western Music, 7th ed.  Volumes 1 and 2. New York: W.W. Norton

and Company, 2014.

Method of Assessment:

In class Test 1 Thurs. Feb. 4 20%
In class Test 2 Thurs. Mar. 10 20%
Essay Thurs. Mar. 3 30%
Final Exam TBA 30%

*N.B.  Students will receive at least 10% of their final grade before March 11, 2016.

Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

Attendance:  Full attendance at all scheduled classes is expected.  Students are responsible for material missed for any reason.   Lecture notes for this class are not provided by the instructor.

Dates: Students are required to write tests and submit assignments on the dates indicated. Late assignments will be deducted 5% per class-day late (assignments must be submitted during class-time to the instructor or they will be considered late).  Assignments not submitted in class must be emailed in PDF format to the instructor.  Alternate test dates and assignment due dates for individual students will only be considered in exceptional circumstances and only if the request is made by email (in order to provide documentation of the accommodation). In such cases, appropriate documentation may be required, and if it is not provided, students risk forfeiting the mark for the course requirement.

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:

N.B. Details of this schedule may be changed throughout the duration of the course. Students will learn most (and likely will perform best) by reading entire textbook chapters and listening to all recorded excerpts, but only specific pages and CD excerpts indicated are required material for testing.






Week 1 (Jan. 5, 7)

Introduction: Before the Baroque; Stylistic Change in the Early Seventeenth Century

pp. 288-300

NAWM 71, 72

Week 2  (Jan. 11, 12, 14)

General Characteristics of Baroque Music; Early Opera

pp.  307-312; 315-319; 321-327

NAWM 74, 75, 76

Week 3  (Jan. 18, 19, 21)

Early Seventeenth Century Chamber and Church Music

pp. 328-342

NAWM 77, 80, 81

Week 4 (Jan. 25, 26, 28)

Early Seventeenth Century Instrumental Music

pp.  342-350

NAWM 82, 83, 84

Week 5  (Feb. 1, 2, 4)

Thurs. Feb 4: Test #1

The Seventeenth Century Outside of Italy

pp. 351-368

NAWM 85, 88, 89

Week 6  (Feb. 8, 9, 11)

Late Seventeenth Century Music in Italy and Germany

pp.  379-389; 397-403

NAWM 92, 93, 94, 95

Feb. 15-19: Mid-Term Break




Week 7  (Feb. 22, 23, 25)

Early Eighteenth Century Music: Italy and France

pp.  408-411; 413-431

NAWM 96, 97, 98

Week 8  (Feb. 29, Mar. 1, 3)

Thurs. Mar. 3: Essay Due

Early Eighteenth Century Music: Germany

pp.  432-449

NAWM 100, 101, 103

Week 9 (Mar. 7, 8, 10)

Thurs. Mar. 10: Test #2

Early Eighteenth Century Music: Germany

pp.  449-461

NAWM 105, 106





Week 10  (Mar. 14, 15, 17)

Mid-Eighteenth Century Vocal Music

pp.  477-484; 490-492

NAWM 107, 110

Week 11  (Mar. 21, 22, 24)

Mid-Eighteenth Century Instrumental Music

pp. 499-518

NAWM 113, 116, 117

Week 12  (Mar. 28, 29, 31)

Joseph Haydn

pp. 519-538

NAWM 118, 119, 120

Week 13 (Apr. 4, 5, 7)

W.A. Mozart

pp. 538-557

NAWM 121, 122, 124






*Page numbers for readings indicate pages in the required textbook.  Chapters are indicated only for reference. 

**NAWM = Norton Anthology of Western Music (vol. 1, 2).  The numbers indicated are the “item numbers” in the anthology, not page numbers.

Other Course Information:  In this course we will be using a web-based service ( to reveal plagiarism. Students will be required to submit their work electronically to and in hard copy so that it can be checked for academic dishonesty.  Students who do not wish to submit their work to must still submit a copy to the instructor. No penalty will be assigned to a student who does not submit work to All submitted work is subject to normal verification that standards of academic integrity have been upheld (e.g., on-line search, etc.). To see the Policy, please go to