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MUSIC 1B03 Western Music Hist:1820-1890

Academic Year: Fall 2016

Term: Fall

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Prof. Daniel Sheridan



Phone: 905-525-9140 x

Office Hours: Tuesday 10:30am-11:30am, Thursday and Friday 10:00-11:00am, TSH 416

Course Objectives:

MUSIC 1B03 provides a historical overview of Western European music in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.  Lessons will deal with noted composers and their works from this time period, covering stylistic features and situating them within the various aesthetic currents of Romantic music, as well as their historical and cultural contexts.  By the conclusion of the course, students can be expected to: know the main ideas and developments of the Romantic era and to understand music’s significance as a cultural practice; be able to identify – aurally and through score analysis – stylistic traits of musical genres and of the studied composers; aurally recognize the selected compositions studied during the course; develop analytical, research, and writing skills through classroom participation and various writing assignments.


Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

J. Peter Burkholder, et al. A History of Western Music, 9th ed. New York: W.W. Norton, 2014.  Includes access to listening materials.

Norton Anthology of Western Music, 7th ed. Vol. 2. New York, W.W. Norton, 2014.

Both course texts are available for purchase in the Campus Store.

Weekly reading assignments are listed in the course schedule.  Students are expected to complete the readings after the lectures from the corresponding week.

The course schedule details the weekly listening assignments, which are accessible through purchase of the Burkholder text.  Alternately, all selections (including those not available in NAWM) have been organized into a playlist on the Naxos Music Library, which is accessible via the University Library’s electronic databases.  Scores for most of the assigned listening are available in the Norton Anthology (NAWM).  The rest are available for download from the Petrucci Music Library, with links posted on Avenue to Learn.  You are expected to listen intently, with particular attention paid to the various formal characteristics discussed during the lectures.  Because the listening assignments are essential for the preparation of the listening journals and the exams, it is imperative that you keep up with the listening, devoting sufficient time to each week’s examples; LAST-MINUTE CRAMMING FOR LISTENING TESTS DOES NOT WORK.

Method of Assessment:

Listening journals (Sept. 27, Oct. 25, Nov. 15)


Mid-term listening test (Oct. 18)


Final Essay (Nov. 29)


Final exam (date and location to be announced)


Listening journals: On the dates listed above, you will submit a listening journal where you will provide commentary on the listening examples.  Each journal should be about 1000 words (between 3 and 4 double-spaced pages) and must discuss at least two compositions from each week since the previous journals were collected.  Details on the specific expectations (as well as the marking scheme) for these journals will be provided in class and will be posted on Avenue to Learn.

Mid-term Listening Test (October 18): You will be played several excerpts (between 30 seconds and one minute in length) from the listening list up to and including week five and will be asked to identify the composer, the title, as well as answer questions about the stylistic features of the work and/or its genre.  These questions will be derived from the assigned readings and material covered in class.

Final Essay: Each student will be required to write an essay of approximately 2000 words (about eight double-spaced pages), due on November 29.  You will be expected to write your paper on one of the given topics that will be introduced in class, and then posted on Avenue to Learn.  The essay is designed to be a research-oriented paper that examines the chosen topic within stylistic, historical, political, and cultural contexts similar to the approaches taken by the course lessons.  Further detail about expectations regarding the essay, including marking scheme, effective research strategies, and proper citation of sources will be given in class and posted to Avenue to Learn.

Final Exam: The final exam will be divided into several sections: a listening portion similar to the mid-term test, encompassing material from week 6 onwards; written portions including multiple choice; fill-in-the-blank; short answer.  The written portions of the final will be cumulative, drawing from material covered in class and the readings over the entirety of the course.  Further detail about the content of the exam and study guides will be posted on Avenue to Learn.

Students will have received 10% of their final grade by November 4, 2016.

Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

All written assignments are due at the beginning of class on the date given.  Only hard copy submissions will be accepted; electronic submissions will not be graded.  If, for whatever reason, you cannot submit an assignment in class, please submit in advance of the due date to the School of the Arts office in TSH 414, during regular business hours.  Make sure any such submissions have the instructor’s name on them to ensure that they are received.  Assignments that are not submitted according to the above guidelines will be considered late and will be subject to the deduction of one grade level (i.e. an A will become an A-, etc.) per day (weekends will be counted as one day), unless accommodation has been granted (see below).

No written assignment will be accepted more than two weeks after the due date.  Final essays will not be accepted after December 7, 2016.

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. At certain points in the course, it may be necessary to modify the schedule outlined below.  The instructor reserves the right to change elements of the course and notify students accordingly (in class and post any changes to the course’s Avenue to Learn page).

  • The listening assignments refer to the item numbers in the Norton Anthology (NAWM), not the page number.
  • Any listening assignments not included in NAWM are designated with Music 1B03, meaning that it is accessible via the playlist of that name on the Naxos Music Library.  Links to these scores at the Petrucci Music Library will be posted on Avenue to Learn.

Week 1 (Sept. 6, 8, 9)

Revolution and Change/Beethoven

Reading: pp. 560-68

Listening: Beethoven: Piano Sonata in C minor, Op. 13, I (NAWM 125)

Week 2 (Sept. 13, 15, 16)

Beethoven, cont’d.

Reading: pp. 568-85

Listening: Beethoven: Symphony no. 3 in E-flat major, Op. 55, I (NAWM 126); String Quartet in C-sharp minor, Op. 131, I and II (NAWM 127) 

Week 3 (Sept. 20, 22, 23)

Song and Piano Music

Reading: pp. 586-604, 606-13

Listening: Schubert: Gretchen am Spinnrade (NAWM 128); Winterreise (No. 5 – Der Lindenbaum) (NAWM 129); Schumann: Dichterliebe (No. 1 – Im wunderschönen Monat Mai) (NAWM 130); Carnaval (No.5, “Eusebius”; No. 6, “Florestan”; No. 7, “Coquette”) (NAWM 132) 

Week 4 (Sept. 27, 29, 30) – Listening journal due: Sept. 27

Piano Music, cont’d.

Reading: pp. 613-23

Listening: Chopin: Mazurka in B-flat major, Op. 7, No. 1 (NAWM 134); Nocturne in D-flat major, Op. 27, No. 2 (NAWM 135); Liszt: Trois études de concert (No. 3 – Un sospiro) (NAWM 136)

Week 5 (Oct. 4, 6, 7)

Instrumental and Choral Music

Reading: pp. 624-39

Listening: Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique, V (“Dream of a Witches’ Sabbath”) (NAWM 138); Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64, I (NAWM 139)

Mid-term recess (Oct. 10-16)

Week 6 (Oct. 18, 20, 21) – Mid-term listening test: Oct. 18

Instrumental and Choral, cont’d.

Reading: pp.639-52

Listening: Schubert: String Quintet in C major, I (NAWM 141); Mendelssohn, Elijah (“And then shall your light break forth”) (NAWM 143)

Week 7 (Oct. 25, 27, 28) – Listening journal due: Oct. 25

Romantic Opera to Mid-century

Reading: pp. 653-73

Listening: Rossini: Il barbiere di Siviglia, Act I, No. 7 (Una voce poco fa) (NAWM 145); Meyerbeer, Les Huguenots, end of Act II (NAWM 147); Weber: Der Freischütz, Act II finale (“Wolf’s Glen Scene”) (NAWM 148)

Week 8 (Nov. 1, 3, 4)

Richard Wagner and the Musical Drama

Reading: pp. 678-95

Listening: Wagner: Tristan und Isolde, Prelude and Act I conclusion (NAWM 149); Götterdämmerung, Act III (Siegfried’s funeral march and conclusion) (Music 1B03)

Week 9 (Nov. 8, 10, 11)

Opera in the Later Nineteenth Century

Reading: pp. 695-712, 717-18

Listening: Verdi: La Traviata, Act III, Scena and Duet (NAWM 150); Puccini: Madama Butterfly, Act I (NAWM 151); Mussorgsky: Boris Godunov, Coronation scene (NAWM 153)

Week 10 (Nov. 15, 17, 18) – Listening journal due: Nov. 15

Late Romanticism/Early Modernism in Germany and Austria

Reading: pp.719-36

Listening: Brahms: Symphony no. 4 in E minor, IV (NAWM 155); Liszt, Les préludes (Music 1B03); Bruckner: Symphony no. 4 in E-flat major, I (Music 1B03)

Week 11 (Nov. 22, 24, 25)

Late Romanticism/Early Modernism, cont’d.

Reading: pp. 737-38, 778-87

Listening: Strauss, Don Quixote (NAWM 158/Music 1B03); Mahler: Symphony no. 3 in D minor, I (Music 1B03)

Week 12 (Nov. 29, Dec. 1, 2) – Final Essay due: Nov. 29

Other Late-Romantic Traditions

Reading: pp. 740-49

Listening: Fauré: La bonne chanson (No. 6 – Avant que tu ne t’en ailles) (NAWM 159); Tchaikovsky, Symphony no. 6 in B minor, I (Music 1B03); DvoÅ™ák: Slavonic Dances, Op. 46, No. 1, Presto (NAWM 161)

Week 13 (Dec. 6)


Other Course Information:

This course uses Avenue to Learn to post announcements and other important material pertaining to the course (syllabus, grades, essay assignments, etc.).  Go to to login to the course’s home page.