MSC 1003 - Music in Civilization

Sections meet in-person on Wednesdays (or on zoom, if necessary)
All classes currently meet in Vertical Campus 6-170 👍
Class 1Wednesday, August 25

Welcome to Music in Civ!

This is our weekly blog, where we will post everything you need for class.

First in-person session is cancelled

In a surprise announcement CUNY has decided that we shouldn't meet in person on our first day (Aug 25). As far as I understand it, this is because there is not enough space in our classroom to spread out and accommodate people who have not finished their vaccinations (which are technically not due until Sept 14).

So this website is now the beginning of our class! Get yourself registered and have a look around, make yourself comfortable. Email me if you have questions.

Welcome Videos

These might be good if you missed our Wednesday zooms. Five short videos cover a variety of topics. This way you can see what I am like and decide if you really want to take this class. 🙂

Intro Documents

Our class syllabus explains how class is going to work. It's a good idea to read it carefully, because it is like our contract.

To help you get the most out the course I have extra pages on inexpensive audio gear and a guide to getting the (optional) textbook.

Time to Get Registered

In order to do homework you'll need to make a new account for this website. It should be pretty self-explanatory.


These will be an important resource for our test-like Special Assignment One, where you'll listen to a "mystery track" and compare it to what we've learned. The more you listen, the more you'll understand the different examples, and the easier it will be. Really, you can learn much more from listening than reading all of my stuff.

Medieval Period: YouTube / Spotify / Apple Music
Renaissance: YouTube / Spotify / Apple Music

This week's assignments

Every Wednesday morning I'll post about 5-6 units of material, where you are supposed to read, listen to, and/or watch some stuff and answer questions about it. Some of these will be earmarked for in-class discussion, meaning that if you come to in-person class we'll go over it together and even do the exercise together.

Assignment #1: Music Survey

Our first online assignment couldn't be simpler - just tell me a little bit about your musical experiences and what you like to listen to.

Because of the surprise cancellation, all deadlines are now pushed back. This is due before Class 3 (Sept 22), and, like all homework, you can do it late for a "check" (88 points).

Assignment #2: Why is Man Musical?

First, please read my page on the origins and purpose of music. Then, assignment #2 asks you six questions about it. You can even open the lecture page and the assignment in separate tabs and pick off the questions as you read.

This one is also due before Class 3 (Wed, Sept 22).

Assignment #3: Intro to the Medieval Church

First, watch or read my lecture on the Early Medieval Church.

Then Exercise #3 asks you nine questions.

This one is also due before Class 3 (Sept 22).

Assignment #4: Musical Properties of Gregorian Chant

First, watch or read my lecture on Gregorian Chant as music.

Then, Assignment #4 asks you five questions about it.

This is yet another assignment due before Class 3 (Sept 22).

Assignment #5: Mono-, Poly-, and Homophonic Textures

First, read my explanation of the three textures and click on the clips.

Then, Assignment #5 asks you to listen to six pieces and identify the texture! This is a tricky skill, so I'll give you a check plus for getting more than half right, and a check just for playing.

Also, we have a free practice exercise that is not graded, and you can do it multiple times. So you probably want to try that first!

This one will due even later, before Class 4 (Sept 29).

That's it for now

We'll get a new blog page for each week. They will usually be posted on Wednesday mornings.