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MUSIC 2B03 W. Music Hist:1890-Present

Academic Year: Fall 2016

Term: Fall

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Prof. Ryan Bruce



Phone: 905-525-9140 x

Office Hours: Thursdays 1:30–2:30 PM

Course Objectives:

In this course we will examine the history of Western European music from the very end of the nineteenth century to the present. The material will be presented through lectures, weekly readings from the assigned textbook and weekly listening assignments from the assigned CD sets. In addition students will be required to complete testing and a written assignment (essay).

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 (1890-present)
  • 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 critical thinking, research and writing skills through class discussion and the writing assignment

Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

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

Norton Anthology of Western Music, 7th ed.  Vol. 3. New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 2014.

Method of Assessment:

All testing (except for the final exam) will take place during class time. Assignments and the essay are due in class on the date provided below. The essay is due at 11:59PM on the date provided below and will be submitted online through the course website. Students in this course will have received 10% of their grade in this course by November 4, 2016.

Assignment #1

Mon. Sept. 19


Assignment #2

Thurs. Sept. 29


In-class Test #1

Mon. Oct. 3


Assignment #3

Thurs. Oct. 27


In-class Test #2

Mon. Nov. 7



Mon. Nov. 28


Cumulative Final Exam



Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

Late Submissions:

Late submissions will be penalized 5% per day. Late penalties will not be waived unless your Faculty/Program Office advises the instructor that you have submitted to that office the appropriate documentation to support your inability to submit the work by the due date. Details for submission, formatting and grading guidelines will be provided for each assignment (including the essay) when provided in class.

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:

Music 2B03: Course Schedule

N.B. Details of this schedule may be changed throughout the duration of the course





Week 1 (Sept. 6, 8)

The Early Twentieth Century: The Classical Tradition

Chapter 32

NAWM 165-171

Week 2 (Sept. 12, 13, 15)




Week 3 (Sept. 19, 20, 22)

Radical Modernists

Chapter 33

NAWM 172-180

Week 4 (Sept. 26, 27, 29)




Week 5 (Oct. 3, 4, 6)

Mon. Oct 3


Test #1




OCT. 10–14



Week 6 (Oct. 17, 18, 20)

Between the Two World Wars:

Jazz and Popular Music and Postwar Crosscurrents (Part I)

Chapters 31, 34, and 36

NAWM 164, 181-184, 197

Week 7 (Oct. 24, 25, 27)




Week 8 (Oct 31, Nov. 1, 3)

Between the Two World Wars: The Classical Tradition

Chapter 35

NAWM 185, 187-189, 192-195

Week 9 (Nov. 7, 8, 10)

Mon. Nov. 7


Test #2



Week 10 (Nov. 14, 15, 17)

Postwar Crosscurrents (Part II) and Postwar Heirs to the Classical Tradition

Chapters 36 and 37

NAWM 198-208

Week 11 (Nov. 21, 22, 24)




Week 12 (Nov. 28, 29, Dec. 1)

Mon. Nov. 28

The Late Twentieth Century

Essay Due

Chapter 38

NAWM 209-215

Week 13 (Dec. 5, 6)

The Twenty-First Century

Chapter 39

NAWM 216-220





*NAWM = Norton Anthology of Western Music (vol. 3).  The numbers indicated are the “item numbers” in the anthology, not page numbers.  The recordings are available through the Norton Website with the pass code included in the textbook.

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.