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Music 517

MUSC 517

Catalog Entry

MUSC517. Form and Analysis
Three hours lecture (3).

Prerequisite: MUSC212.

Standard forms from small units through concerto and fugal techniques. Synthesis of larger, more general concepts. Comparative study of various periods and cultures


Detailed Description of Content of Course

This course, taken by upper-level undergraduate music majors and graduate students, has as its essential purpose the development of skills in musical analysis. The musician, whether a performer, teacher, or composer, needs to develop analytic skills in order to have a systematic method for understanding musical style. The text presently being used is Music in Theory and Practice, vol. 2 by Benward and White..

Content of the course includes:

1. The purpose and nature of analysis.
2. The analytical method.
3. Substructural units of music.
4. Normative structures.
5. Melody and Rhythm.
6. Harmony and Rhythm.
7. Counterpoint.
8. The element of sound (timbre, dynamics, texture).
9. An approach to musical sound in analysis.
10. Synthesis and conclusions.

The class also uses many music scores of music from all historical periods, including contemporary.


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

The class is conducted through lectures, discussions of assigned material, study of scores, and individual research and writing. In addition to assigned reading and study of scores, each student must complete a series of at least 10 short projects/papers and 3 larger ones. For the final project, a first draft is submitted to and discussed with the teacher before the final version is prepared. Examples of short projects include: "Perform 'cursory macroanalysis' on several brief instrumental movements of the classical period;" "Find examples of various types of variation forms from the Renaissance to the present." Example of a longer project: "Discuss the evolution and use of rondo form from the baroque to the twentieth century in terms of specific pieces of music." The final project involves making a complete analysis of a composition or complete movement if a larger work such as a concerto in the student's own performing medium (for composers, a contemporary work) including a discussion of the historical setting and the composer's style and synthesis and conclusions about the work.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

At the conclusion of this course, the student will have attained the requisite skills for analyzing music of many different genres from all historical periods. The student will be able to recognize musical forms and structures of all kinds.

The student will be able to write a competent analysis of a given piece of music from the standpoint of form, harmony, melody, rhythm, and other relevant elements of music, and to place the composition in its proper historical context.

Students registered for graduate credit are expected to complete an anaylsis of an entire multi-movement work (e.g. sonata, concerto).


Assessment Measures

The student's understanding and development of skills is assessed through regularly assigned written projects, class discussion, class work and home-work as individuals or in small groups.


Other Course Information


Approval and Subsequent Reviews

August 2001 Edited E. Fellin, Chairman