MUSC 121: Fundamentals of Music I

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1 MUSC 121: Fundamentals of Music I This syllabus includes the following sections: Course Overview Course Format Required Materials Technical Requirements About the Instructor Discussion Forums Exams Grading Course Policies Academic Policies Course Outline COURSE OVERVIEW This course covers the musical building blocks of pitch, melody, rhythm, meter, harmony, and form, along with the notation system used in Western art music. We will explore these materials in both a written and an aural form, developing skills in each domain. This course will be helpful for students who wish to read and write conventional musical notation; to understand the concepts and systems behind music they play, sing, and hear; and to prepare for further academic studies in music theory, composition, or performance.

2 The basic repertory we will be using is Western art music, which is sometimes casually called classical music, along with some examples from folk song and contemporary popular music. By the end of our studies, you will be able to compose and notate simple melodies harmonize simple melodies recognize basic musical forms understand the fundamental relationships between melody, harmony, rhythm, and meter identify by ear and by sight intervals, major and minor triads, and major and minor scales read treble and bass clef notation. COURSE FORMAT Any study of music requires a tremendous amount of self-discipline. To undertake this study in an online course format places an even greater burden of responsibility on the student. To put it very simply, online music courses are not for everyone. We will be exploring connections between sounds, written notation, and very abstract concepts. In a typical classroom, there is constant aural reinforcement of these ideas, and there is group participation in the acquisition of these skills. Students clap together as they learn rhythms, sing together as they study melodies, and gain the tactile experience of playing intervals or chords on a piano. In an online course format, you will still have all of the same resources. The aural reinforcement will be provided through sound files; the discussion forums allow you to interact with your classmates; the assignments and exercises will encourage you to physically engage with the music as you learn new skills; and web-based drills will let you practice your new skills with instant feedback. However, your experience will still be more isolated than it would be in a conventional classroom. Practically speaking, this course is divided into fifteen modules, which corresponds to a pace of one module per week. Each module consists of an introductory overview followed by multiple lessons centered on discrete topics. You may find it beneficial to allow time for yourself to absorb and understand the material of each lesson before moving on to the next. The study of music is inherently cumulative, in the sense that each new topic requires the mastery of the previous material, so please be sure that you understand each lesson before moving on. Make sure that you bring the individual discipline to this course that you ll need to succeed, and make sure you reach out to your classmates and to your professor. Finally, make sure you immerse yourself in the resources that have been provided to you so that you get the rich, multidimensional, and especially aural experience that is necessary to genuinely master this material. REQUIRED MATERIALS See the course description for a list of required materials. Additional Materials Some lessons have assignments posted in PDF format, and most of your graded homework will be returned to you as PDF files with annotations and comments that you can only see in Adobe Reader. Therefore, you will

3 need Adobe Reader installed on your computer. You probably have a version of Adobe Reader installed on your computer already, but you can download the latest version free from the Adobe site. In order to master some of the concepts in this course, I recommend you have access to some sort of piano or electronic keyboard. If you do not own one, consider whether a neighbor or friend might let you use theirs occasionally. You might also investigate community centers or your house of worship as other possible locations to try out some of the course s ideas at a piano. There are also a number of apps (many free) for various mobile devices that include a keyboard. You do not need to buy a keyboard for this course; all the work can be done with the online resources and your textbook. However, most students find that they can apply the concepts better if they also have a piano or keyboard with which to experiment. Library Services (including ereserves) Students enrolled in Carolina Courses Online have access to the UNC Library System. Visit Distance Education Library Services to access a wide array of online services and resources including e-reserves, online databases, online journals, online books, and live help with research and library access. Most online resources require you to log in with your Onyen and password. If you have any trouble finding the resource that you need or logging in to a resource, you can contact the library through the contact information at Distance Education Library Services. You can chat live about your problem, or send an to request assistance. TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS Listening to Sound Files Because this course is based on the music itself, there is a listening component to some assignments and in the notes. Most of the sound files are in the regular class notes, and you can simply click and hear them with any MP3 player you have on your computer. However, some recordings are not posted on the regular class notes or Sakai. Those sound files are on the separate Listening website. The recordings will not play properly over a modem connection. You will need to locate a computer with high-speed Internet access in order to complete the assignments. In order to comply with copyright law and University policy, access to the Listening website is restricted. Off-campus access: The Listening website is available only to computers that show a UNC-Chapel Hill on-campus IP address. If you are accessing the site from off campus, you can obtain authorized access in one of two ways. See How to Access the Sound Files: Section 4: Can I listen to the music off campus? Submitting Assignments You will need to print out assignments and exercises for each module. Your printer must be able to handle PDF documents. Your assignments will involve many different kinds of work. Many of your assignments will require you to notate music by hand. Computer files, such as those created by MuseScore or scanned images of your handwritten homework, should be submitted through Sakai's Assignment tool. The preferred way to turn in these assignments and exams is to scan them and then submit them through Sakai's Assignments tool. You are strongly encouraged to use a scanner to submit your work electronically; however, clear photographs (digital camera or cellphone) are acceptable as long as they show the entire assignment and are completely legible.

4 If you cannot access a scanner or provide photos, contact your instructor to make arrangements to mail your assignments. Be advised that mailing the assignments will increase the amount of time it takes to get graded feedback on your work. If you choose to submit your assignments by mail, you must inform your instructor of your intention at the start of the term and confirm the arrangements for this, including the correct mailing address. If submitted electronically, homework is due at 11:55 pm on the last day of the module (see Schedule); if submitted by mail, homework must be postmarked by the last day of the module. If you are unable to submit your work electronically, there will be a significant delay in getting your graded work returned to you because it will have to go through the campus mail system. All work that is submitted electronically must adhere to these guidelines: 1. File formats may be PDF or MuseScore (.pdf or.mscz files). 2. The maximum file size is 2 MB. 3. Create a single PDF with all pages of the assignment together in one file. 4. Files must be named in the following format: Lastname-HomeworkNumber. For example, Miller- Homework02.pdf. 5. Generally speaking, you should scan your assignments at either 150 or 200 dpi and in grayscale (not color) to keep your file sizes reasonable. You will need software to create PDF files there are several good, free programs available for this. Work that does not adhere to these guidelines cannot be graded. ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR See the course description for instructor information. DISCUSSION FORUMS The concepts and skills we will explore require active investment on the part of all students in the course. Different students will likely find some skills more or less difficult than others, and in all cases, students can help each other master these skills together. To facilitate our studies, we will use a Discussion Forum where you can post questions on the material, discuss aspects of the lesson that you find most challenging, or post your solutions to the homework; other students will respond and can help you with your homework questions. All students must post at least once per module. The required posts can be questions, discussion points, or homework problems you re working on, or they can be responses, discussion, and assistance in response to your classmates. You will be graded only on participation in regard to the discussion board. Please view the discussion forums as a way to connect with the other students in the class, and consider those students a resource as you undertake your musical studies. Our discussion forums are in the Forums section of Sakai. In order to receive credit, please submit your discussion post and homework (in PDF format) by 11:55 pm on the due date. Late posts will not receive credit.

5 EXAMS This course consists of two midterms and a final exam. A small portion of each exam will involve listening to sound recordings. To prepare for the exams, review the homework assignments for each portion of the course; questions on the midterm exam will be similar in content, scope, and type to exercises on your homework assignments. The exams will include questions that require typed answers, as well as handwritten answers, which you will then scan or mail to your instructor. You will take your exams via the Exams section of the Sakai site. Dates and times are listed in the Schedule (available via the left-hand sidebar of Sakai). GRADING Your course grade is based on the following point system: Points Values for Assignments, Discussion Posts, and Exams Homework: point values vary by assignment Discussion forum: 50 points per lesson Midterm Exam 1: 200 points Midterm Exam 2: 200 points Final Exam: 300 points Based on your semester grade (numerical), a letter grade will be assigned as follows: A and A: superior mastery of the material, typically approximately 90 percent and higher B, B, and B+: satisfactory mastery of the material, typically approximately percent C, C, and C+: adequate understanding of the material, typically approximately percent D and D+: marginal or unsatisfactory understanding of the material, typically less than 70 percent F: entirely unsatisfactory understanding of the material. The grading scale is as follows: A A B B B C C C D+

6 60 64 D Below 60 F COURSE POLICIES Late work is not accepted, and assignment deadline extensions are not granted, except in cases of extenuating circumstances such as family death, documented extended illness, religious observance, and so on. If you are unable to submit your work on time, contact me as soon as possible. Work Load: You should plan to spend between seven and ten hours per week on the course materials, including reading, listening, participating in the discussion forums, and working on assignments. Remember that if this were a regular classroom course, you would be in class three full hours a week, plus you would spend another four to six hours on the reading assignments and skills development. Make sure you have allocated enough time in your schedule to take this course! ACADEMIC POLICIES By enrolling as a student in this course, you agree to abide by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill policies related to the acceptable use of online resources. Please consult the Acceptable Use Policy on topics such as copyright, net-etiquette, and privacy protection. As part of this course, you may be asked to participate in online discussions or other online activities that may include personal information about you or other students in the course. Please be respectful of the rights and protection of other participants under the UNC-Chapel Hill Information Security Policies when participating in online classes. When using online resources offered by organizations not affiliated with UNC-Chapel Hill, such as Google or YouTube, please note that the terms and conditions of these companies and not the University s Terms and Conditions apply. These third parties may offer different degrees of privacy protection and access rights to online content. You should be well aware of this when posting content to sites not managed by UNC-Chapel Hill. When links to sites outside of the unc.edu domain are inserted in class discussions, please be mindful that clicking on sites not affiliated with UNC-Chapel Hill may pose a risk for your computer due to the possible presence of malware on such sites. Honor Code All work done in relation to this course is bound by the University's Honor Code. It is essential that you adhere to the principles outlined in the Honor Code at all times. I encourage you to discuss topics together, talk about your readings and new musical skills with classmates and colleagues, and engage with the course material as a community of scholars. However, all work that you submit must be your own. Make sure you avoid plagiarism in your work. Plagiarism is using someone else's ideas whether quoting directly or paraphrasing without properly crediting that person (citing the source). UNC Libraries has a helpful

7 Plagiarism Tutorial on how to avoid this serious academic issue; all students should review this tutorial. Take pride in your work, maintain the integrity of your academic studies, and respect the tradition of scholarly professionalism at all times. COURSE OUTLINE Module Introductions Module 1 Module 2 Module 3 Module 4 Topic Introductions: Familiarize yourself with the course website, syllabus, and schedule, and begin working on Module 1. Chapter 1: Pitch Chapter 1: Pitch (cont.) Chapter 2: Introduction to Rhythm and Meter Chapter 2: Rhythm and Meter (cont.) Chapter 3: Rhythm and Meter (cont.) Midterm Exam I Module 5 Module 6 Module 7 Module 8 Chapter 3: Scales Chapter 3: Scales (cont.) Chapter 4: Intervals Chapter 4: Intervals (cont.) Midterm Exam II Module 9 Module 10 Module 11 Module 12 Module 13 Module 14 Chapter 5: Triads and Seventh Chords Chapter 5: Triads and Seventh Chords (cont.) Chapter 6: Fundamentals of Harmony Chaper 6: Fundamentals of Harmony (cont.) Phrase, Cadence, Melody, and Form Music Analysis Module 15 Music Analysis (cont.) Final Exam The University of North Carolina

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