Introduction to aural skills and music theory. Music appreciation. Styles and historical periods
Musical Art Expression approaches the basic musical training for the performing arts professional, in particular dancers. It provides the aural, music theory, aesthetic and stylistic education which will allow the student to enhance his/her artistic performance, teaching skills and artistic criteria in order to better manage himself/herself in the multidisciplinary framework of the performing arts related to music.
-Analytical and synthetical capabilities
Program learning outcomes:
-Comprehend the basic elements of music, apply them to art performance and use them to spawn expressive, communicative and creative movement.
-Handle the basic elements of arts performance –space, music, body shapes, movement, and volume— leading to the stage and theatrical creation.
Module/Course learning outcomes:
-Carry out body and music displays through techniques of notation.
This course is comprised of two different training modules which are taught simultaneously:
1. Music theory and aural skills.
1.1 Rudiments of rhythm
1.2 Rudiments of melody
1.3 Rudiments of form
1.4 Rudiments of music expression
1.5 Musical instruments
2. Aesthetics, styles and main composers of the stylistic periods of music history.
2.1 Middle Ages
The class is articulated in two different sections: workshop and listening/colloquium. In the former, students are expected to participate in music ensemble practice and do assignments on music theory. In the latter, students are expected to identify musical features of the various stylistic periods of music history and build educated musical criteria through listening, class and on-line discussion, presentations, written assignments and quizzes. The training implements of this course include (but are not limited to):
- Workshop of rhythm.
- Workshop of singing.
- Listening guides displayed by computer software.
- Debates to discuss course content topics and homework assignments’ guidelines.
- Computer graded quizzes through website resources.
- Essays on music critique–this may include attending concerts and/or other live performances.
- Teamwork projects.
- Presentation on a musical genre of a given era and composer.
Students shall achieve the following skills and capabilities:
- Talk and write about music using the appropriate terminology in order to enhance communicative skills in English within the framework of this art form and its relation to other performing arts.
- Shape a personal opinion rooted in educated artistic criteria, which are supported by the acquired knowledge on the course contents.
- Analyze musical works and identify their major constitutive elements.
- Develop basic aural skills in music: ability to perform rhythmic patterns and melodies, differentiate instrument families, recognize measure types, forms, etc.
- Become oriented in a music score through concepts of music notation.
- Recognize stylistic and aesthetic traits of various historical periods.
Due to dissimilar music backgrounds among students and being that, for most, English is a second language, assessment will bear special significance in this course. Assessment will be carried out on a continuous basis. Students’ music and English backgrounds will be taken into account and will determine a different starting point for each one. Assessment tools that foster self-confidence in music performance and communicative skills in English will partially focus on the progress made from said starting point throughout the semester. Such tools are:
- music practice
- classroom quizzes, activities and exercises
batesic Theory and
As for the rest of the assessment tools, all students will be assessed on the basis of average degrees of accomplishment of the learning outcomes stated above. Such tools are:
- written assignments
- teamwork projects
- multiple choice tests (midterm and final)
The final grade is obtained according to the following percentages:
Homework assignments: 30%
Teamwork projects: 10%
Multiple choice tests (Music
Theory and Style Periods): 20%
Classroom participation: 20%
Grading policy: In order to be assessed and receive a grade at the end of the term, students must successfully obtain at least half of the percentage in the homework assignments and the presentation.
Homework assignments: 30% (make-up of failed assignments only)
Multiple choice tests (Music
Theory and Style Periods): 20% (make-up of failed tests only)
Music practice (Rhythm
and listening tests): 30% (Includes the grade of the team work project if passed)
 Includes classroom quizzes, activities, exercises, music practice and debates.
- Due to the nature of this discipline, class attendance bears a significant importance to the student’s progress, in particular during the workshops. However, a great part of the materials is provided on-line –via UEM’s intranet—and through multimedia software. The use of a computer is necessary for accessing class contents and materials, completing and turning in assignments and keeping in touch with classmates and the teacher, all of which is intended to make progress in-between class meetings possible.
- Missing classes and assignments’ turn-in due dates because of an unpredictable emergency will not affect the grade as long as such instances are legally documented.
- Cheating and plagiarism constitute academic dishonesty and will not be tolerated. If a student is believed to have cheated in an exam or in any kind of document subject to being graded— homework assignments, papers, etc. —, or plagiarized information found in books or websites, he/she will receive an automatic fail in such written work.
- Teamwork projects demand an equal participation of every member of the group. Attendance to meetings agreed on by all members is required and everyone’s individual contribution will be monitored by the teacher in order to ensure a fair grading system of these projects.
- Assignments, papers and projects must be turned in on time. Late assignments will be accepted, but they will be penalized by a 20% lowering of the grade. However, they will not be accepted once students have received feedback on them or they have been graded and returned to students.
- Music class is a learning environment of inherent social interaction. Mutual respect is mandatory.
- Since class meetings take place in the dance studio, students are asked to arrive a few minutes prior to the beginning of the class period in order to bring in a chair from the hallway. At the end of class, students are also asked to place chairs back in the hallway.
Materials for music practice and music theory are supplied by the teacher.
For music history, style and perceptive listening, this is the required textbook (available at the UEM library):
- Machlis, J. y Forney, K. (2007): The Enjoyment of Music. An introduction to perceptive listening. New York: W.W. Norton.
This textbook is implemented with a CD-ROM and 8 music CD’s—The Norton Recordings vols. 1 and 2— that provide listening guides to many masterpieces of the music literature. It is also implemented with the following website, intended as a self-teaching tool:
<http://www.wwnorton.com/college/music/enj10/complete/index.htm>. [Checked-up: 30-7-2012]
Other non-required books available at the library as reference materials for the elaboration of assignments, presentations and papers are:
- Benjamin, T., Horvit, M. and Nelson, R. (1998): Techniques and Materials of tonal music. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing Company.
- Burkholder, J., Grout, D. and Palisca, C. (2008): A history of western music. New York: .W. Norton.
- Don Michael Randel, (Ed.) (2003): The Harvard dictionary of music. Cambridge, Massachussets: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press
- Karpinski, G.S. and Kram, R. (2006): Anthology for sight singing. New York: W.W. Norton.
- Wingell,Richard J. (2009): Writing about music: an introductory guide. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall.