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MUSIC 3GP3A Ensemble:Percussion

Academic Year: Fall 2015

Term: Multiterm

Day/Evening: E

Instructor: Prof. John Brownell


Office: Togo Salmon Hall NULL

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 23884

Office Hours: By Appointment

Course Objectives:

The McMaster Percussion Ensemble is a chamber ensemble devoted to exploring repertoire composed exclusively for percussion instruments. The ensemble meets for weekly rehearsals and gives a number of performances throughout the year.

A good working knowledge of both the standard western orchestral percussion instruments and music notation is required.

Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

While specialized sticks (bass drum/tam tam mallets mallets etc.) will be supplied, students are expected to own their own sticks and mallets. In addition, students should purchase a folder for transporting/protecting sheet music.

Equipment:  Musical instruments are expensive, and we are fortunate that the university is able to provide a great deal of percussion equipment.  Much of this is old and fragile, and needs to be treated with a great deal of care but students are not required to use any personal instruments,

All students must own a minimum of 2 black hand towels for use in the ensemble. Towels can be purchase from local stores at a nominal cost.

Concert Dress:  The percussion ensemble performs in concert black – an affordable and comfortable alternative to wearing tuxedos.  All members of the ensemble should acquire a black shirt/blouse, dress pants (no jeans!) and shoes.

Method of Assessment:

Grades are based on a combination of attendance of all rehearsals and dress rehearsals, weekly preparation of the assigned material, teamwork and willingness to assist peers with equipment setup, etc., proper care and maintenance of university equipment (including sheet music), and general improvement throughout the course of the year. The grading breakdown for the ensemble is as follows:

35%     Attendance and punctuality (15% - September to November 10, 20% - November 17-March 2016)

35%     Weekly preparation (15% - September to November 10, 20% - November 17-March 2016)

10%     Teamwork

10%     Proper care/maintenance of equipment and music

10%     Musical growth throughout the year

Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

While attendance and punctuality are important to any successful class, it is essential to performing ensembles.  We cannot rehearse effectively without the entire ensemble, so by missing, arriving late, or coming unprepared to a rehearsal you are hurting not only yourselves but also your peers.  Chronic issues of attendance and tardiness will not be tolerated, and will be reflected in final grades. Unexcused absence from either of the ensembles two scheduled performances will result in a failing grade.

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.

Other Course Information:

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