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MUSIC 1A03 Intro:History Of Music I

Academic Year: Spring/Summer 2017

Term: Spring

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Dr. Andrew Mitchell


Office: Togo Salmon Hall 433

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 24217

Office Hours: by appointment

Course Objectives:

In this course we will examine the history of Western European music up to the end of the Baroque period (usually considered to end around 1750 at the latest). The material will be presented through lectures, weekly readings from the assigned textbook and weekly listening assignments available in the online resources. All testing (including final exam) will take place during class time. 

Course Objectives:

By the end of this course, students should be able to 

  • define main developments and terms relating to the history of European music (c. 800-c. 1750)
  • aurally recognize stylistic characteristics of various periods of European music (c. 800-c.1750)
  • understand ways in which music and culture interact (in this period and generally)

Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

Kelly, Thomas Forrest. Music Then and Now.  New York and London: W.W. Norton and

Company, 2013.  (Textbook and Online Resources)

Method of Assessment:

In-class Test #1        Wed. May 17        30%  (1:00-2:00pm, CNH 104)

In-class Test #2        Wed. May 31        30%  (1:00-2:00pm, CNH 104)

Cumulative Final Exam:    Fri. June 16        40%  (1:00-3:00pm, CNH 104)

N.B. Students in this course will receive 10% of their grade by May 31


Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

Students are required to write tests and the final exam on the dates indicated above. Alternate test dates for individual students will only be considered in exceptional circumstances. Students who need to defer the midterms because of illness and for compassionate reasons need to apply to their faculty office for special accommodation.  All students requesting deferred tests need to notify the instructor by email prior to (or no longer than 24 hours after) the test time.  Deferred mid-term tests will be one week following the original test date (at 1pm, and in CNH 104).   No further deferrals will be allowed.  Please note that MSAF is NOT an acceptable procedure for the final exam of this course.

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:

All pages numbers for readings are from the required textbook and all numbers for listening are the “Listening Guide [LG]” numbers indicated in the textbook.   Reading and Listening Assignments should be completed before they are discussed in class.  

The musical examples provided with the textbook may be supplemented throughout the term with other examples.  These other examples are not required listening, but the instructor recommends listening to these supplementary examples to more fully comprehend the course content.





Wed. May 3


pp. 2-17


Fri. May 5

Medieval Music: Gregorian Chant

pp. 18-23, 30-47

LG 1-3

(found under “Playlists” on textbook website)

Wed. May 10


Medieval Music: Polyphony

pp. 47-53

LG 4-5

Fri. May 12

Transition to the Renaissance (Late Medieval Polyphony)



Wed. May 17 TEST 1


Renaissance Music: Introduction

pp. 25-29


Fri. May 19

Renaissance Music: Sixteenth Century

pp. 56-80

LG 6-9

Wed. May 24

Lecture Starts at 2:00pm


Renaissance Music:




Fri. May 26

Baroque Music: Early Sixteenth Century

pp. 83-117

LG 10-14

Wed. May 31 TEST 2


Late Baroque Music:




Fri. June 2

Late Baroque Music: Handel

pp. 118-145

LG 15-20

Wed. June 7

Lecture Starts at 2:00pm

Late Baroque Music:




Fri. June 9


Late Baroque Music: Bach

pp. 146-167

LG 21-23

Wed. June 14




Fri. June 16 Final Exam