This course introduces students to both the theory and history of music, from monophonic chant to modern popular music. Experience with music or an instrument is not required. By studying and listening to music across the centuries, students gain a broad perspective on this art form that draws all humanity together. The first four lessons introduce the basic elements of music, including pitch and timbre, rhythm, instrument families, texture, and style. The history of music begins in the Middle Ages with Gregorian chant, and continues through the Renaissance, Baroque, and Classical periods. Students listen to and study the work of Johann Sebastian Bach, Antonio Vivaldi, George Frideric Handel, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, and other prominent figures of music history.
In the second semester, students explore the Romantic period of the 19th century, when music expanded into many experimental forms, and then the 20th century, which saw an explosion of dramatic and confrontational styles including jazz, rock, and rap. These lessons feature the work of Franz Schubert, Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Igor Stravinsky, George Gershwin, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, and others. The course concludes with a study of nonwestern music, including Indian and African forms.
The following materials are required for this course, availiable in the Oak Meadow bookstore:
- Study of Music Syllabus
- Music: An Appreciation (with accompanying 5-CD set) (McGraw-Hill)