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MUSIC 4Y03 Topics/Music Hist.

Academic Year: Fall 2015

Term: Fall

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 western European music in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, the period commonly referred to as the Renaissance.  Many topics will be covered, including the interaction of Pythagorean, Christian and Humanistic impulses.  The evaluation in this course is weighted significantly in favour of the research and writing of a major paper (approximately 15 pages).  Students will also complete two presentations (20 min. each) during the term.  There will be weekly reading assignments (a short quiz will be given on the readings each week) and students will also be able to reflect on the readings and learn from the ideas of others in the class through regular class discussions.

This course is designed to give students an opportunity to do serious musicological work.  The skills stressed in the course (reading, analysis, critical thinking, research, oral and written communication of research findings etc.) are important preparation for students interested in academic graduate work in music, but are also applicable for students pursuing other career paths such as music education and performance.



Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

Freedman, Richard.  Music in the Renaissance.  New York:  W.W. Norton & Company, 2013.

Freedman, Richard.  Anthology for Music in the Renaissance.  New York:  W.W. Norton and Company, 2013.


Method of Assessment:

Class Participation


Reading Quizzes


Essay Progress Assignments (4)


Long Presentations (2)


Essay Progress Presentations (2)


Essay (Final Product)


N.B.  Students will receive at least 10% of their final evaluation by Nov. 13.

Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

All late work will be penalized 5% per week-day late. 

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 4Y03: Course Schedule

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







Week 1 (Sept. 8)





Week 2  (Sept. 15)

Chapter 1

Quiz #1


Week 3 (Sept. 22)

Chapter 2

Quiz #2


Depending on size of class, presentations could begin as early as this week.  Specific dates will be determined once the membership in the class is settled.

Week 4  (Sept. 29)

Essay Proposal  Due

Chapter 3

Quiz #3



Week 5  (Oct. 6)


Chapter 4

Quiz #4




OCT 12-16




Week  6  (Oct. 20)

 Annotated Bibliography Due

Chapter 5

Quiz #5



Week  7 (Oct. 27)


Chapter 6

Quiz #6

Presentations on Research Progress

Week  8  (Nov. 3)


 Essay Outline Due

Chapter 7

Quiz #7



Week 9 (Nov. 10)


Chapter 8

Quiz #8



Week 10 (Nov. 17)


Chapter 9

Quiz #9



Week 11  (Nov. 24)

 Progress Report Due

Chapter 10

Quiz #10



Week 12 (Dec. 1)


Chapter 11

Quiz #11

Presentations on Research Progress

Week 13 (Dec. 8)

Essay Due

Chapter 12

Quiz #12