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Course Content: Learning to Listen

World of Music

Course: Music Appreciation, MUS 103

Instructor: Michael Civiello, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Fine and Performing Arts Department

Course Description: This music survey course explores contemporary to ancient music styles. Students become acquainted with the historical periods, genres and styles of music, with elements of the musical art such as melody, harmony, lecture form and notation. Each genre is studied in terms of structure, style, cultural context and meaning by developing specific techniques of interpretation.

Professor Michael Civiello says: “I believe a class of this type should be a listening skills developmental class, not a music history class, and not confined to Western Classical music. To that end I selected a textbook with minimum history and maximum listening examples. The first two-thirds of the semester is devoted to recognizing the basic elements of music as found in music around the world, including the various forms of music from the United States. The listening then progresses to longer forms of music and follows the historical sequence from the Renaissance.”

“My real goal is for each student to be able to recognize the musical elements and evaluate whatever music they hear.”

Ashley Bouffard '08 says: “We get to learn about different types of music that we would've never considered listening to beforehand. Also, we have the opportunity to learn to listen to music in a more complex way.”

Required Reading: The World of Music, (6th edition) by David Willoughby The book offers a set of three CDs with diverse music for the students to listen to and become aquatinted with music from around the world.

Course and Project Highlights: The course requires that students attend four concerts outside of the class and write reviews on them. Students will develop critical listening skills, learn basic musical concepts and terms, become aware of global music and of European-American composers, discover the variety of American popular music, relate music to historical eras (and related arts) and write effective concert reviews.