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Music and Cultures II: A History of Western Music   

FA/MUSI 2200 (6.0)   2008-09 Fall/Winter

Course Outline

Class meetings


Section A: Tuesdays at 8:30 am Room 001 Accolade East

Section B: Thursdays at 8:30 am Room 001Accolade East

Professor: Stephanie Martin ext. 70193  Website:

Office: Room 356 Accolade East       


10:30    Section 1 - 001 ACE ;  Section 2 - 231 ACE ;  Section 3- 245 ACE



Course Description

This course is an overview of important composers, musical styles, historical periods and forms of classical music. Through weekly lectures, tutorials, listening assignments, score study, reading, students will acquire a deeper understanding of this core repertoire.

Course Objectives

      To understand the development of musical styles and their relevance to historical cultures

      To become familiar with the masterworks of Western music history

      To recognize performance issues and to experience and evaluate live performances

      To improve writing skills and to express musical ideas effectively     

     To develop score-reading and analytical skills


Required and Recommended Texts

Required Course Materials

      Barbara Russano Hanning, Concise History of Western Music, 3rd edition (New York: W. W. Norton, 2007)

      Norton Anthology of Western Music, volumes 1 and 2: Ancient to Baroque; Classic to Twentieth Century, 5th edition, ed. J. Peter Burkholder and Claude V. Palisca (New York: W. W. Norton, 2006)

      CDs to accompany Norton Anthology of Western Music, vol. 1: Ancient to Baroque, 5th edition, ed.
J. Peter Burkholder and Claude V. Palisca (New York: W. W. Norton, 2006)


F These books do cost quite a bit, but they are an excellent start for your own music library. Copies will be held on reserve in the Sound and Moving Image Library. Owning the text does have benefits though, since by purchasing the text you are given a password that will give you access to further online material.



Internet resources

Naxos music library     (We subscribe to this through York U Library)

Concise History of Western Music   Student Web site



Participation                                                      10%

Writing assignments (5x5)                                  25%

First term test                                                    20%

Concert report                                                   10%

Online quizzes                                                     0%

Final exam                                                        35%     



Since at York we strive for an engaging student experience, we value your participation in lectures and tutorials. We’ll reward your good attendance and thoughtful feedback with grades!


Writing Assignments

Throughout the year small writing assignments will emerge from the content of lectures. You’ll be asked to write several paragraphs and you will be graded by your TAs. We’ll take the grades of your top 5 assigments.



The First term test and Final Exam will involve listening identification, definition of terms and short essay questions on topics discussed in lecture and tutorial. The exams are meant to be comprehensive of the term’s material, to test your overall knowledge of music history, and your ability to present critical arguments.


Concert Report

Attend one live performance of music with direct connection to this course. You will review the concert, including background on the compositions, and your own impressions of the performance. Research the works before you attend the concert so you’ll know what to expect. Include the printed programme and your ticket. The report should be 1500 words (5-6 pages). If you are an adventurous musicologist, you might consider deepening your research with primary material.


Recommended performances:


Toronto Consort:


Toronto Mendelssohn Choir


Opera Atelier:




Toronto Symphony Orchestra:


Canadian Opera Company:


F You can usually find cheap student seats. Check the website for details, and look for the TSO’sTSOundcheck” and Tafelmusik’s “Face the musikprogrammes. Ask about attending dress rehearsals.



Online quizzes

Online quizzes found on the student website  To get the most out of this system follow these three steps:

  1. Read the relevant chapters of the text
  2. Listen to the musical examples
  3. Complete the online quiz

There are no marks for these quizzes, but this is a great way to keep up with course content and to test

yourself.  Click “submit” when you finish to send your score directly to our grade book.


Lecture Schedule

The Third Edition of Concise History of Western Music (CHWM) is divided into six parts. Each contains an introduction and four chapters:

Part I: The Ancient and Medieval Worlds (Chapters 1–4)

Part II: The Age of the Renaissance (Chapters 5–8)

Part III: The Seventeenth Century (Chapters 9–12)

Part IV: The Eighteenth Century (Chapters 13–16)

Part V: The Nineteenth Century: The Age of Romanticism (Chapters 17–20)

      Part VI: The Twentieth Century and Today (Chapters 21–24)




Reading Chapters

Important dates

Sept 4            

Intro class



Sept 9-11         

Intro classes



Sept 16-18            

Ancient legacies

Part One


Sept. 23-25               

Medieval Music



Oct. 2-7             

Renaissance I

Part Two


Tuesday Sept. 30th



No Class  Rosh Hashanah

Oct. 14-16           

Renaissance II







Thursday Oct. 9th



No Class Yom Kippur

Oct. 21-23           




Oct. 28-30          

Baroque I

Part Three


Nov. 4-6       

Baroque II



Nov 11-13

Early Classical

Part Four


Nov. 18-20

Classical Music I



Nov. 25 - 27



First term test 20%

Dec. 2



No Class





Jan. 6-8      

Classical Music II



Jan 13-15            

Keyboard instruments



Jan 20-22          




Jan 27-29           

Romanticism I

Part Five


Feb. 3-5           

Romanticism II


Feb. 6th drop date

Feb 10-12             

Romanticism III



Feb 17-19          



No Class: Reading week

Feb 24-26         

Canadian Music


Concert report due 10%

March 3-5          

Twentieth Century I

Part Six


March 10-13     

Twentieth Century II



March 17-19   

Twentieth Century III



March 24-26      

Review; exam prep



March31-April 2

Last Class


Final Exam TBA 35%


Academic Honesty

Students must adhere to York University’s Senate Policy on Academic Honesty.

Details are found at