M544 04: Assessment


                        3 Exams: 30% each

                        Participation and Ongoing work:   10% 


The exams will consist of listening, score identification and essay questions. 

Essay questions will cover both the readings, and material presented in class. You may be presented with examples (either aurally or in score) not on the listening list below, and asked to make assessments of the likely composers, and of the music itself.

Essays must be in your own words.  This means that you must come up with your own sentences without copying them (even from memory) from others.  You may not copy from other students.  You may not copy from books, articles or other sources, without proper citation.  An essay that contains uncited passages that can be found elsewhere (including the work of other students) will result in a failure for the course.

Class participation

Each class period will involve discussion about the readings and listenings for that day.  You will be expected to have read the relevant materials, to have listened to the music WITH THE SCORE, and to be able to contribute.  Being able to contribute means:

Concerning readings:

* knowing and understanding what the author said

* being able to explain what the author said

* having an opinion about what was said

Concerning listenings:

* understanding how the work is put together

* understanding the historical context of the music

* being able to articulate what you like and dislike about the writing, with reasons why.

When reading, it is a good idea to make an outline of each article or excerpt.  This will help clarify your thoughts about what the author has said, and will be handy reference at exam time.

When listening, try to figure out what it is that makes this piece unique: What are the elements of the piece?  What is the nature of the melody, of the harmony?  How is texture used?  Are there interesting sonorities?  What is the form?  How does the piece use the piano?  Are there evocations of other pieces or genres?  Are there evocations of other instruments?  For all these questions, how are the results achieved?

As the semester progresses to less familiar music, the comparative emphasis between readings and listenings will shift.  Your best grade in this class will be achieved by being prepared for each class.  Typically, you should find that you will need to listen to a work, and work through a reading both before and after a class, in order to work most effectively.  Consider working in groups—both to listen to music, and to discuss the readings before class.  Ask each other tough questions! This will help you clarify your ideas.

A student who attends punctually each class day but does not contribute to discussion or respond to questions will earn the minimum acceptable grade of “B” (80%) for class participation.  I regard two absences from (or tardiness to) class as entirely reasonable, and these absences can be made up for by active contribution to class discussions.  Absences or tardiness beyond this will decrease those points allocated for participation.