MUSIC 701, Course Outline

Instructor: William Renwick
Description: This course will focus on analytical methods appropriate for the understanding of tonal music of the "common-practice" period. The subject matter will be ternary-form pieces by standard composers from Bach through Brahms.
Objective: "Write an article that analyses a piece of music in convincing fashion, directed to an audience of peers. Submit the article for review and see it through the publication process in the web-journal Schenkerian Analysis Forum. In order to complete this task, students will develop skills in tonal analysis, organizing ideas, logical presentation, and in creative presentation.
Method: Students will be given an array of analytical tools, including especially Schenkerian techniques. (Students should already be equipped with basic knowledge in harmony, counterpoint, melody, figured-bass, cadence, form, style, and motive.)
Format: In addition to seminar meetings, the course will include web-based formats for dialogue and presentation. Students will have full access to the computer facilities on the second floor of Togo Salmon Hall. Computer aids will include Learn Link (Little Red Schoolhouse), HTML formats, scans, audio, and music notation. Learn Link is an interactive dialogue network that encourages cooperative work. Students will be expected to consult Learn Link often (minimum thrice weekly, e.g. M,W,F), to keep up with reading in Learn Link, and to take an active part in the discussions by adding notes to Learn Link on a regular basis. Netscape Communicator is recommended for use in creating web documents. It is available on the Macs and PCs on the second floor, and can also be downloaded for use on your own computer.
Schenkerian Analysis Forum will be a public-access web publication that will serve as a vehicle for the publication of student papers. Schenkerian Analysis Forum seeks musicologists enrolled in Music 701 to form a publication committee and to oversee the publication of the journal. The first issue is due for publication December 6, 1999.
Grading will be based on a contract approach:
In order to attain a grade of A-, a student will complete a term paper with an adequate degree of content and presentation on schedule and see it through the publication process in Schenker Analysis Forum. This involves familiarity with the literature of the course, development of a satisfactory analytical ability, ability to clearly present ideas, knowledge of and appropriate use of terminology. In addition, a student will effectively critique other students' work during the course of the term.
In order to attain a grade of A, a student will do all of the above, with many areas showing a high level of ability.
In order to attain a grade of A+,a student will do all of the above, as well as fulfilling efficiently and punctually a role on the publication committee of Schenkerian Analysis Forum.
Grades of B+ and lower are reserved for students who do not fulfil the above requirements.
NB: There is no limit to the number of A+ available!!
Please review the Senate Policy Statements
Write to the instructor, William Renwick at renwick@mcmaster.ca