Yet another very late course review, this time for History II. Please note that for this class, my professor was a sessional instructor, filling in until they hired someone to permanently teach this class. So some this about this course may vary somewhat from what I experienced.
Course Description: This class covers the history of music starting around 1600 in the Baroque period and moving into the Classical period, ending with Haydn and Mozart.
Textbook use: This course requires three textbooks, Norton Anthology of Western Music Vol. 1 and 2 (and the accompanying CDs) and A History of Western Music (Burkholder). The Anthology had excerpts that were studied in class; I found it much more important than in MUSC 120 because while I didn’t really find I needed it in class, there were actually listening questions on tests. The Burkholder textbook was again mostly to reinforce what was said in class. In fact, a lot of the time what was on the slides in class was almost exactly what was in the text.
Homework: This class didn’t have a whole lot of homework, but more than MUSC 120. There was one large research paper as well as two “library assignments” in which you had to make sample bibliographies. This term, rather than a quiz every week, we had four “midterms” which were non-cumulative and the final was the same size as the rest of the tests. They were a fair bit harder than the quizzes of term 1 (though not super hard), so more studying would be necessary.
Professor: I had Graeme Fullerton, who like I said was a sessional instructor while the school was deciding who to hire for the position. I doubt you’ll have him for this course, but if you do get him for something, I find him to be pretty good: he makes his expectations clear and keeps the lectures interesting.
Class format: Two lectures per week in the recital hall, class size of about 80ish? Something like that. There was a greater emphasis on general concepts than on specific characteristics of a given piece, ie. you don’t need to know “in measure 40 of Mozart’s Jupiter Symphony the transition from main theme area to transition was strange…” etc.
Additional comments: I really liked that the tests for this course were not cumulative; it made exam time more relaxing! Also, since there ARE going to be listening portions of the midterms, make sure you actually listen to the pieces you need to know at least a week before the test. Trying to cram them into your brain the night before is not going to work and you are not going to remember them the next day. And actually listen! Remember different motives or characteristics of each piece, such as instrumentation, tempo, melodies, rhythms, etc, and don’t just have the music playing while doing homework and vacuuming your room: it’s not gonna stick that way.