Contact a Humanities Office or Academic unit.
Find your course outlines.


Academic Year: Fall/Winter 2014/2015

Term: 1

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Dr. Andrew Mitchell


Office: Togo Salmon Hall 433

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 24217

Office Hours: Mondays 1:30-2:30, Thursdays 1:30-2:30

Course Objectives:

In this course we will examine the history of Western European music from the early to the late nineteenth century.  In addition, significant time will be spent in this class on research and writing techniques in the field of music history.  The material will be presented through lectures, class discussions, 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).  All testing (except for the final exam) will take place during class time.

Prerequisite: Registration in a Music program.

Anterequisite: Music 1Y03

Course Objectives

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. 1820-c. 1890)
  • 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


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. 2. New York: W.W. Norton

and Company, 2014.


Method of Assessment:

Course Evaluation:

In-class Test #1                      Fri. Oct. 3                   20%

In-class Test #2                      Fri. Nov. 7                  20%

Essay:                                     Fri. Nov. 21                30%

Cumulative Final Exam:          TBA                            30%


Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:


Full attendance at all scheduled classes is expected.  Students are responsible for any material (including class notes) missed because of absence. Notes in this class will not be provided by the instructor. 


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).  Alternate test dates and assignment due dates for individual students will only be considered in exceptional circumstances. In such cases, appropriate documentation may be required, and if it is not provided, students risk forfeiting the mark for the course requirement.  An alternate date for the final exam will not be considered for any reason by the instructor.  Applications for deferred exams must be made directly to the examinations office.

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

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.

McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

This is a self-reporting tool for undergraduate students to report absences DUE TO MINOR MEDICAL SITUATIONS that last up to 5 days and provides the ability to request accommodation for any missed academic work. Please note, this tool cannot be used during any final examination period. You may submit a maximum of 1 Academic Work Missed request per term. It is YOUR responsibility to follow up with your Instructor immediately (NORMALLY WITHIN TWO WORKING DAYS) regarding the nature of the accommodation. If you are absent for reasons other than medical reasons, for more than 5 days, or exceed 1 request per term, you MUST visit your Associate Dean's Office/Faculty Office). You may be required to provide supporting documentation. This form should be filled out immediately when you are about to return to class after your absence.

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 1B03: Course Schedule

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






Week 1  (Sept. 4, 5)




Week 2  (Sept. 9, 11, 12)

Revolution and Change

pp. 560-570

NAWM 125, 126

Week 3 (Sept. 16, 18, 19)

Revolution and Change

pp. 577-583, 584-593

NAWM 127

Week 4  (Sept. 23, 25, 26)

Fri. Sept. 26: Essay Proposal Due

Song and Piano Music

pp. 593-604

NAWM 128, 129, 130

Week 5  (Sept. 30, Oct. 2, 3)

Fri. Oct. 3: Test #1

Song and Piano Music

pp. 606-623

NAWM 134, 135, 136

Week 6  (Oct. 7, 9, 10)


Orchestral, Chamber and Choral

pp. 624-639

NAWM 138, 139

Week  7  (Oct. 14, 16, 17)


Orchestral, Chamber and Choral

pp. 639-648, 651-52


NAWM 141, 143, 144

Week  8 (Oct. 21, 23, 24)


Opera and Musical Theatre to Midcentury

pp. 653-664, 666-670

NAWM 145, 147

Week  9  (Oct. 28)



German Opera

pp. 670-673, 683-685, 692-695

NAWM 148, 149


No classes Oct. 30, 31




Week 10  (Nov. 4, 6, 7)

Fri. Nov. 7: Test #2


Later Nineteenth Century Opera

pp. 695-700, 703-712

NAWM 150, 152, 153

Week 11  (Nov. 11, 13, 14)

Late Romanticism: Germany and Austria

pp. 719-730 

NAWM 155, 156

Week 12  (Nov. 18, 20, 21) Fri. Nov. 21: Essay Due

Late Romanticism: Germany and Austria

pp. 730-739

NAWM 157, 158

Week 13 (Nov. 25, 27, 28)


Late Romanticism: Elsewhere

pp. 740-752

NAWM 159, 160

Week 14 (Dec. 2)








*Page numbers for readings indicate pages in the required textbook.  Chapters are indicated only for reference.  Students are encouraged to read entire textbook chapters to enrich their experience of the course, but only specific pages indicated are required material for testing.

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

Other Course Information:

McMaster University School of the Arts

Music 1B03: History of Western Music: c. 1820-c.1890

2014 Essay Assignment

Paper Due: Friday, November 21, in class. All essays must be submitted in hard (paper) copy and submitted electronically to  Penalty: 5% per class-day late. 

The main text of the essay should be 6-7 numbered pages long, double-spaced, with 1-inch margins and the text should be printed in a 12 point, Times New Roman font.  A bibliography of at least four sources (in addition to the score and recording) should be appended to the essay.  A clean photocopy/printout of the score should also be appended to the essay.

Discuss a particular composition from the period under study (roughly early nineteenth century to late nineteenth century). Examples chosen should be those that would typically be classified as “Romantic” music.  You may not study any of the works examined in the Norton Anthologies in your essay.  Smaller-scale compositions must be used for this topic (e.g. an individual movement of a larger work).  The version of the score that you choose for study should reflect a probable performance of the work during its period of composition.

Your piece will be the focus of your essay.  In the paper you should address what is known about the circumstances surrounding the composition and first performance of the work.   For the bulk of your paper you should examine how the piece relates to others of its type(s) at roughly the same time (within about 25 years before or after). You will be arguing that the piece is somewhere along the spectrum that includes completely typical, somewhat typical (with exceptions) or completely unique (this last category should be quite rare). Your final conclusion could be complex, since a work could be atypical in some respects but typical in others.

In preparation for the essay it is recommended that you consider the various categories into which the work could fit.  For example, Johannes Brahms’s Clarinet Sonata Op. 120, no.1 is an example of the music of Brahms, an example of late nineteenth century chamber music, an example of music for clarinet and piano.  It is also a composition that makes use of many very well-used forms.   In addition to searching for information on the piece itself, you should research these various categories so you can include this context in your assessment.

It is important early on to select a piece for study.  All students must submit the title and composer of the work to be studied no later than class on Friday, September 26 by email to  This proposal should include verification that you have access to the score of the composition, either by indicating its call number in the library, or through some other unambiguous indication (such as “I own the score”). If you change your piece following your original proposal, you must submit a new hard copy proposal to the instructor.  Failure to comply with these guidelines (including the Sept. 26 deadline) will result in a 10% reduction from the final grade of the essay over and above any late penalty that might be applied.

In searching for sources, consider beginning with the Grove Music Online (part of Oxford Music Online, accessible through the McMaster Library Website), where bibliographies for a wide array of music topics can be found.  Also, the JSTOR and The Music Index Online are a good resources, available through the online library catalogue.  As a general guide, try to use the most up-to date scholarship for your research.  Do not use the textbook (or other such general works as Joseph Machlis’s Enjoyment of Music) or CD liner notes as sources for your essay.  Also, because of the vast quantity and varying quality of information available on the internet, you need to take particular care when selecting online sources.  Methods to assess the appropriateness of online sources will be discussed in class, but it is also STRONGLY RECOMMENDED that you do not use online sources unless they have been approved by the course instructor.  If your sources are poor, the quality of your work can suffer significantly.

Borrowed ideas and direct quotations from the works of others must be properly cited in footnotes (see “Academic Dishonesty” in course syllabus).  Footnotes and bibliography entries should be in Chicago (Turabian) style format.  This format will be discussed further in class before the due date.

A good resource for students wanting to improve clarity and expression in their writing is Style by Joseph Williams (various editions) which includes a series of helpful writing exercises. For specific information on writing academic papers about music consult Jonathan D. Bellman, A Short Guide to Writing about Music (New York: Pearson Longman, 2007).  For further help with essay writing check the resources provided by the Student Success Centre <> which provides ESL support, writing clinics, workshops, online tutorials, and other resources.

The following qualities are valued for this assignment:

 Accurate adherence to assignment requirements (including format), appropriate citation of sources, impeccable written prose, appropriate consideration of evidence for statements and opinions, clear organization, accurate statements, convincing argumentation, originality of thought, clarity of ideas, evidence of consultation of a wide variety of authoritative sources, evidence of a deep understanding of the concepts and issues discussed, moving beyond the material presented in class.

Grading papers is not an exact science, but generally the following approach will be taken:

90-100:  papers that excel in all or most of the areas listed above

80-89:  papers that show great potential but need moderate improvement in some of the areas listed above

70-79:  papers that show a good effort, but require more extensive work to improve

60-69:  papers that have more serious deficiencies

50-59:  papers that barely meet the basic expectations of the assignment

Below 50 percent:  unacceptable work.