Course Information

Course title:

MUHL2303 Music and Cultural History III: The Modern Period


Course number:



Course discipline:



Course description:

Music MUHL2303 Music as Cultural History III: The Modern Period is the third semester of a three-semester sequence on the history and evolution of style in music in the European tradition, designed to build on your experience in MUSI1200, MUHL2301, and/or MUHL2302, and to coordinate with your studies in the Music Theory sequence.

Computer access: Since this course relies heavily on web-based activities, it is essential that students gain access to a reliable computer with Internet capabilities. If you computer is slow, doesn't support media applications, or if your Internet connection is prone to busy signals or disconnects, please schedule your day so that you can use a computer in the library. Technical problems do arise, but do yourself a favor and get acquainted with a good computer.

Please note: you the student are responsible for identifying, articulating, and seeking solutions for any computer problems you may encounter; most commonly, you can do this via the Academic Teaching and Learning Center, in the basement of the Main Library. “Computer problems” will not be considered an acceptable excuse for late or missed assignments



Music M01 (Section 001) and M248 (Section 002)


Meeting day(s):



Meeting time(s):

11:00-11:50 (Section 001),1:00-1:50 (Section 002)





Instructor Information


Dr Christopher Smith




Office location:

Music M203


Office hours:

MWF 2:00-3:30pm; TR 1-2:30



806/742-2270 x249



Find a Chris Smith Biography


Teaching assistants:

Ms Michelle Mossman
Office: Admin 214D
Office hours: (by appointment) MW 10-11am



Ms Jennifer Blue
Office: Admin 214 (D)
Office hours: TR 11:10-12:00, W 4:10-5:00, F 10:10-11:00


Course Goals

Course goals:

Developing familiarity with a range of Western classical music repertoire from c1850 through the present, , including improvisation and influences from other cultures, and with a set of analytical tools for listening to, reading about, describing, and teaching musical style and the cultural contexts from which it arises.



Required reading:

A History of Music in Western Culture, Mark Evan Bonds, Prentice Hall, 2003, 0-13-014320-0


Required reading:

A History of Music in Western Culture Anthology of Scores vol. 2, Score anthology: Companion to the Textbook (available in TTU bookstore in University Center)


Recommended reading:

A History of Music in Western Culture Recorded Anthology vol. 2, Recordings anthology: Companion to the Textbook (available in TTU bookstore in University Center)


Course Requirements


This course will include lecture, listening, discussion, in-class activities, and web-based testing. It is essential that students complete the daily readings and their online quizzes and come to class prepared to engage in discussion.




Please note: Much of our in-class testing will employ Scan-Tron testing. Therefore, you are required to bring a blank Scan-Tron form to each class, in the event of a quiz. Don't be caught by surprise!

(Please note that MUHL policy is that each student must pass each assignment category assigned below. An F in any of the following categories will result in an F for the entire semester.)

Readings: Each assigned reading in the Bonds textbook is accompanied by an on-line, timed quiz that must be completed prior to coming to class on the day the material will be discussed. Each quiz will consist of a collection of 3-15 randomized questions (each worth one point) focusing on important factual and interpretive detail in the readings for the day. After completing the assigned reading, students will have five minutes to take the accompanying quiz once they are logged on to the web site ( Each quiz may be taken only once. The quizzes are programmed for a timed release: each will be available at least two days early and will become inactive ten minutes before the start of the morning class period (to be exact, 10:50am). Results of the quizzes will be immediately available to the student.

Research project: Each student will, over the course of the semester, decide upon, assemble sources for, research, and write an original thesis paper (minimum of 10 pages) on a specific thesis topic within the time frame of our class. The research project will be completed in a number of stages over the semester, including:

  1. Topic idea
  2. Thesis statement
  3. Preliminary topic proposal with three bibliographic sources (books, articles, dissertations, and scores)
  4. Revised topic proposal with 15 bibliographic sources
  5. Background paper (approximately 3 pages)
  6. Final paper

The final paper will be due approximately 3 weeks before the end of the semester; please plan accordingly.

Examinations: Three examinations will be administered over the course of the semester (including the Final Examination), covering approximately

  1. 1850-1900
  2. 1900-1945
  3. 1945-present

Examinations will include short answer questions, a short essay to be written on an assigned topic, and listening excerpts to be identified. For each exam, the written portion of the material (lectures, readings, etc) will be comprehensive from the beginning of the semester, but the listening excerpts for which students will be responsible will be limited to the specific time period in question.

Listening journal: Over the course of the semester, students will become familiar with and responsible for up to 70 recorded excerpts from the CD Anthology. Therefore, it is very important to stay current with your listening. To help you organize, remember, keep track of, and compare these pieces, you are required to maintain a "Listening Journal", in which you will write entries (using the LaRue style parameters discussed in class) describing each piece. Periodically through the semester, at Dr Smith's discretion, you will be asked to submit this journal for review.

Listening quizzes: Each week, a short (3-5 item) list of recorded excerpts from the Anthology will be assigned. Every Friday (or other days at the discretion of the instructor), a short (10-minute, 3-4 excerpt) listening quiz covering these assigned excerpts will be administered. Please, therefore, keep up with your listening assignments!


v      Examinations (3 including the Final): 30%

v      Quizzes (Reading and Listening): 30%

v      Research project: 25%

v      Attendance and listening journal: 15%




Attendance and participation: Because our time together in class is very limited, it is essential that we make the most efficient and constructive use of that time. Therefore, attendance is mandatory and unexcused absences will be penalized, with adverse effect on final grades.

Conduct: Students participating in MUHL classes are expected to maintain a respectful and professional level of conduct. In the event of student misconduct, it is MUHL policy that teaching staff may exercise any or all of the following:

v      Ejection from class

v      Grade of F for class session

v      Refusal to accept in-class work or tests

v      Report of student misconduct to upper-administration, faculty colleagues, or studio teacher

Medical and other issues affecting course work: Any student who because of a disability may require special arrangements in order to meet course requirements should contact the instructor as soon as possible to make any necessary accommodations. Please Note: Student should present appropriate verification from AccessTECH. No requirement exists that accommodations be made prior to completion of this approved university procedure.

Attendance due to religious observance--The Texas Tech University Catalog states that a student who is absent from classses for the observance of a religious holy day will be allowed to take an examination or complete an assignment scheduled for that day within a reasonable time after the absence.

  1. "Religious holy day" means a holy day observed by a religion whose places of worship are exempt from property taxation under Section 11.20, Tax Code.
  2. A student who is excused under Section 2 may not be penalized for the absence; however, the instructor may respond appropriately if the student fails to satisfactorily complete the assignment.

Absence due to officially approved trips--The Texas Tech University Catalog states that the person responsible for a student missing class due to a trip should notify the instructors of the departure and return schedule in advance of the trip. The student may not be penalized and is responsible for the material missed.

Please note: It is essential that any student missing a class, for an excused or unexcused absence, should promptly contact classmates and visit the course website to get class notes and catch up with missed work.

It is our experience that students who frequently miss class do poorly or fail. Any day you are late or absent, please get class notes from one or more classmates. You are responsible for knowing what is said in class, including announcements. Instructors cannot take responsibility for filling you in on what you missed.

Academic integrity: It is the student's responsibility to know and understand Texas Tech University's policies, procedures, and penalties regarding academic integrity, as discussed in the Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct. Negligence or ignorance of the policy will rarely be accepted as an excuse for violation of the policy. Cheating on examinations or plagiarism or falsification on the research project is likely to result in an F for the course.