Music Appreciation

General Course Information

Course Lecturer Name(s):  Ms. Regan Mendes

Course Director Name:  Ms. Regan Mendes

Course Lecturer(s) Contact Information:

Course Director Contact Information: 

Course Lecturer(s) Office Hours:  by appointment 

Course Director Office Hours:  by appointment

Course Lecturer(s) Office Location:  Ballsier, Building G

Course Director Office Location: Ballsier, Building G

Course Support:   Ms. Nichole Phillip,, ext. 3823

Course Management tool: To learn to use Sakai, the Course management tool, access the link

Course Curriculum Information

Course Description: 

This course is a Musical Journey through the Ages, contrasting the instrumentation and styles of the various periods- Middle Ages, Baroque, to the present.  It will provide listening to and analysis of the elements of music- Pitch, melody- harmony, rhythm, tone color, form.

Course Objectives: 

The goals are for the student to obtain knowledge of the basic elements of music:

  1. To increase the variety and depth of the student’s exposure to music.
  2. To enhance better understanding of music.
  3. To increase the enjoyment of music as an art by teaching students what to listen for, and thus appreciate different types of music.

Student Learning Outcomes:

  1. Acquire a knowledge of basic musical notation.
  2. Recognize sound production on various types of instruments and voices.
  3. Develop an awareness of differences in harmony, - major, minor, chromaticism etc.
  4. Identify different musical forms - binary, ternary, rondo, sonatas, symphonies, concertos, ballets, operas etc.
  5. Identify and appreciate the music of all cultures and historical periods.
  6. Compare and analyze the common features of all music. 

Program Outcomes Met By This Course:

Effectively communicate information by extracting and constructing meanings through analysis and critical thinking.   

SAS Grading Scale: Grades will be assigned as follows:

A  = 89.5% or better

B+ = 84.5 - 89.4%

B  = 79.5 - 84.4%

C+ = 74.5 - 79.4%

C = 69.5 - 74.4%

D = 64.5 - 69.4%

F = 64.4% or less 

Course Materials:


Supplementary Readings/Resources: Refer to Resources on Sakai

Optional Text: Classical Music- A New Way of Listening by Alexander Waugh (includes a CD) ISBN 0-02-860446-6 (optional)

Course Grading Requirement:

  • Attendance and Participation: 10% 
  • Quizzes /Discussion questions: 20%                                    
  • Assignment (Steelpan Music): 10%
  • Group Project/Presentation: 5%
  • Mid Term Exam: 25%
  • Final Concert Report: 30% 
  • Total: 100%

Course Requirements:

Attendance & Participation (10%): Three unexcused absences are permitted during the semester.

Each additional unexcused absence will result in a 2% reduction of the final grade. An additional 4% will be added to the final grade of any student with perfect attendance. Excused absences are those reported to the instructor with appropriate documentation and include personal illness, family emergency, and conflicting departmental activities. The student is responsible for obtaining resources from missed class periods (available in Lessons on Sakai).

Quizzes/Discussion Questions (20%): This will alternate between in-class quizzes and discussion questions.  Students will connect musical content to their own experience, better understand the context of music, and develop critical thinking and communication skills. Answers to discussion questions should be thoughtful and well-constructed, in the student’s own words.  

Assignments (10%):  Students will complete written assignments on Steel Pan music.  This will require a listening segment.  Historical, cultural and social implications will be discussed.  

Group Project/Presentation (5%): Students will research music from a specific world culture/region for their group project, following Group Project Guidelines.  Groups must make formal presentations to the class and submit their projects in appropriate file format.

Final Concert Report (30%): Students must choose a virtual concert to view and report on, following the specified guidelines for form, content, and required information. The virtual concert will take the place of attending a live classical music performance.  Students will convey their experience through a short essay, describing the concert setting, comparing musical elements and context in detail, and expressing their personal thoughts about the performance.

Course Schedule

Week 1 – 3 UNIT 1

Elements of music

Students will:

  • Learn the definition of musical elements such as melody, pitch, rhythm, meter, texture, form, major vs. minor, and be able to correctly identify elements in a piece of music   
  • Learn the basics of reading music – notes on the staff/note types
  • Identify the sound of instruments and be able to assign them to a family
  • Identify different types of voice
  • Assessments:
    • Discussion questions

Weeks 4 – 6 UNIT 2

Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque music 

Students will learn about:

  • The Middle Ages:
    • The evolution of written music notation and the influence of the Church  o The development of polyphony.  The shift away from sacred to secular music o Instrumental music o Key composers of the period – Guillaume de Machaut
  • The Renaissance Era o Development of printed music  
    • Growth in instrumental music o Key composers of the period – Giovanni Palestrina, Thomas Tallis, William Byrd, Thomas Morley
  • The Baroque Era o Early, Middle and Late Baroque periods o Different types and styles of music  
    • Ornamentation in music o New instruments
    • Beginnings of opera, oratorio, cantatas o Key composers – Bach, Handel, Scarlatti, Vivaldi
  • Assessments:
    • Quizzes

Week 7 – 10 UNIT 3

Classicism to Romanticism

Students will learn about:

  • The Classical Era o Movement away from polyphony to homophony o The Classical orchestra, styles, forms, keyboard o More importance given to instrumental music  o Development of the symphony, concerto, sonata 
    • Key composers – Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven
  • Assessments:  Midterm exam – Aural and Written
  • The Romantic Era o Beethoven’s transition from the Classical to the Romantic era o Early and late Romantic periods o Invention of new instruments
    • Development of the Symphonic Poem, the Programme Symphony, the German Lied o Age of the Virtuoso
    • Key composers – Liszt, Schumann, Verdi, Wagner, Tchaikovsky, Borodin, Chopin – best known composer of piano music, Strauss – King of the Waltz
  • Assessments:
    • Quizzes/Group presentation

Week 11 – 14 UNIT 4

The 20th Century and Beyond

Students will learn about:

  • The age of rebellion – the move away from popular music trends
  • Popular music – jazz, country, rock
  • Impressionism, atonalism, serialism, minimalism, etc.
  • Use of synthesisers and computers.
  • Key composers – Scott Joplin, Debussy, Ravel, Duke Ellington, Stravinsky, Bela Bartok, Arnold Schoenberg.
  • Assessments:
    • Steelpan assignment 
    • Final concert report

School of Arts and Sciences Master Syllabi — Info for All Sections

Plagiarism Policy

Academic Integrity

The St. George’s University Student Manual (2019/2020) states as follows:

Plagiarism is regarded as a cardinal offense in academia because it constitutes theft of the work of someone else, which is then purported as the original work of the plagiarist. Plagiarism draws into disrepute the credibility of the Institution, its faculty, and students; therefore, it is not tolerated” (p. 48).

Plagiarism also includes the unintentional copying or false accreditation of work, so double check your assignments BEFORE you hand them in.

Be sure to do good, honest work, credit your sources and reference accordingly and adhere to the University’s Honor Code. Plagiarism and cheating will be dealt with very seriously following the university’s policies on Plagiarism as outlined in the Student Manual.

Your work may be subject to submission to plagiarism detection software, submission to this system means that your work automatically becomes part of that database and can be compared with the work of your classmates.

Attendance Requirement

The St. George’s University Student Manual (2019/2020) states as follows:

Students are expected to attend all classes and or clinical rotations for which they have registered. Although attendance may not be recorded at every academic activity, attendance may be taken randomly. Students’ absence may adversely affect their academic status as specified in the grading policy. If absence from individual classes, examinations, and activities, or from the University itself is anticipated, or occurs spontaneously due to illness or other extenuating circumstances, proper notification procedures must be followed. A particular course may define additional policies regarding specific attendance or participation” (p. 9).

Examination Attendance

The St. George’s University Student Manual (2019/2020) states as follows:

All matriculated students are expected to attend all assigned academic activities for each course currently registered. Medical excuses will be based on self-reporting by students. Students who feel they are too sick to take an examination or other required activity on a specific day must submit the online SAS medical excuse, which is available on Carenage. Students are only allowed two such excuses a year. Upon consultation with the Director of University Health Service, the third excuse will result in a mandatory medical leave of absence. The policies regarding make-up examinations are at the option of the Course Director” (p.46).

For additional specific examination policies and procedures, refer to the St. George’s University Student Manual (2019/2020), pages 31 through 37.

Student Accessibility and Accommodation Services Policy

The St. George’s University Student Manual (2019/2020) states as follows:

A student with a disability or disabling condition that affects one or more major life activities, who would like to request an accommodation, must submit a completed application form and supporting documentation to the Student Accessibility and Accommodation Services (SAAS) located in the Dean of Students Office. It is highly recommended that students applying for accommodations do so at least one month before classes begin to allow for a more efficient and timely consideration of the request. If a fully completed application is not submitted in a timely fashion, an eligibility determination may not be made, and accommodations, where applicable, may not be granted prior to the commencement of classes and/or examinations” (p. 8).


It is the responsibility of the student to read and understand the policies, laws, rules and procedures that while they could affect your grade for a course, have not been specifically outlined in the course syllabus. These are contained in the St. George’s University Student Manual.