orchestraOfficial Description: Treats styles and forms of Western music. Develops skills in listening to and appreciating music. Introduces music styles in their historical and social contexts. 3cr., 3hr. lect. (CO, DH)

Extended Description: Some colleges call this course “Music Appreciation” or “The Art of Listening.” Learn how music has evolved from the Gregorian chants sung by monks to recorded music for demanding and fickle audiences today.

By the end of the course, you will have listened to a variety of genres of music from the Middle Ages to the present, and have learned how to appreciate and critique music. You’ll be able to speak knowledgeably and intelligently about music with the new vocabulary and insight gained.


How to Listen to Great Music: A Guide to Its History, Culture, and Heart (Great Courses) by Robert Greenberg – Paperback – April 26, 2011

There are no pre-requisites for this course, which is also known as music history, music appreciation, or introduction to western music. You are not expected to know how to read music.

Learning Outcomes

  • Identify, by ear, music from any of the six periods: Middle Ages, Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Modern
  • Identify many forms and genres of western music such as opera, concerto, solo instrumental, and art song
  • Discuss various philosophical concepts, cultural events, and technological developments that resulted in the music studied
  • Explain the diverse elements of all music
  • Demonstrate the ability to trace the history of western music (via a timeline)
  • Demonstrate competence in listening to and writing critically about music