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MUSIC 3H03 Analysis

Academic Year: Fall 2016

Term: Fall

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Prof. Ashot Ariyan



Phone: 905-525-9140 x

Office Hours: Mon 3:30-4:30, Wed 9:30-10:30, 11:30-12:30

Course Objectives:

This course of Analysis is designed to familiarize students with major musical trends in 20th/21st century from a perspective of understanding harmonies, tonal/atonal frameworks, rhythmic devices, structural procedures, and performance modes. Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to analyze scores and show sufficient knowledge relating to various composition techniques appropriate to the music studied.

Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

1. KOSTKA, STEFAN; Materials and techniques of twentieth-century music (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall,1990) MT 40. K8

2. SIMMS BRYAN R.; Music of the twentieth century: style and structure (New York: London: Schirmer Books; c1986) MT 6. S534 M9

Method of Assessment:

Assignments 2x20% (two written assignments are required within the term dealing with theoretic/analytical skills)

Quiz 20%

Attendance and participation 15%

Final project (formal and harmonic analysis of the given material) 25%

Total 100%


Date                                        Assignments #, quiz

28 Sept                                    #1 (due to 19 Oct)

2 Nov                                       #2 (due to 16 Nov)                                         

23 Nov                                     Quiz

Final Project Dec 9-22, TBA

Note: Written assignments will be due at the beginning of class on the assigned due date

Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

Late assignments will receive a 10% reduction in grade.  After one week, late assignments will not be accepted, except in the case of a justifiable absence.

Early feedbacks are equal a minimum of 10% of the final grade which will be returned prior to March 10th.

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:

The following topics will be covered:

1.      Functional inversion and post-alteration.

2.      Tonality and Modality. Dissonant tonality. Quartal and quintal harmonic structures. 

3.      Extended tonality, atonality and serial music.

4.      Polychordal harmonic structures and multy-unit polyharmony. Modes of limited transposition. Rhythmic modes.

5.      Sonata form and genre of Fugue in 20th/21st century.

6.      Micropolyphony. Proportional, indeterminate and frame notations.

7.      Microtonal, electroacoustic and minimalistic scores.