Music Appreciation

Obridge Academy/St. Joseph’s College

Online: (3 credit hours)

Instructor: David Smith, M.A. E-mail:


Required Text: The World of Music, David Willoughby, 7th ed., McGraw-Hill


Course Description and Objectives:

Students have heard music surrounding them all of their lives and are moved by it but rarely have the opportunity to focus on it and explore what it is that makes it work. The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the world of music and the elements that are used to communicate to listeners. This will include study of music from folk, jazz and popular traditions as well as music from the Western Classical tradition, and students will learn how the elements of music are common to each.

The goal of the class is for students to gain an awareness about music and its basic elements. They will also explore its potential as an art form and to be able to demonstrate a basic understanding by writing articulately about it using relevant vocabulary. Students will be able to listen to musical examples and make informed comments on style, form and instrumentation. There will be listening and assignments given from the material in the text, and students will participate in discussion on Blackboard to both further and demonstrate learning and comprehension. Students will also be required to keep a listening journal where they write about one song they listen to each week.

Assignments: Students are to complete chapter assignments each week and a short quiz at the end of each chapter. There is one major written listening assignment where students will choose from a few albums provided and write a 1,000 word paper about the music on the entire album using terms discussed in the course.



Blackboard Discussion: 10% Music Journal: 10% Assignments and Quizzes: 30% Mid-Term Exam: 20%

Final Exam: 30%


Tentative Schedule:

  • Week 1: Chapter 1 Introduction to the World of Music
Chapter 2 Listening and Understanding: The Nature and Elements of Music
  • Week 2: Instruments of Western traditions
  • Week 3: Chapters 3 & 4 Folk Music, the Blues, and American Religious Music
  • Week 4: Chapter 5 Jazz Styles
  • Week 5: Chapter 6 Popular Music
  • Week 6: Chapter 7 Music of the Americas
  • Week 7: Chapter 8 Music Beyond the Americas MID-TERM EXAM
  • Week 8: MID-TERM EXAM
  • Week 9: Chapter 9 Western Classical Music to 1600
  • Week 10: Chapter 10 Music of the Baroque Period (1600-1750)
  • Week 11: Chapter 11 Music of the Classic Period (1750-1820)
  • Week 12: Chapter 12 Music of the Romantic Period (19th Century) Listening Paper Due!
  • Week 13: Chapter 13 Music of the 20th Century
  • Week 14: Final Exam