Western Michigan University--School of Music
Fall 2017 Syllabus

Music 3500: American Music Since 1900
Mondays and Wednesdays 4-5:40PM - Knauss 2452
Course Reference Number [CRN] 41124—4 Credits

Instructor: Dr. Daniel Jacobson 

Office: 2306 Dalton Center * Office Hours  Mon/Wed by appointment
daniel.jacobson@wmich.edu * Phone: 387-4685


Course Description and Objectives

This course will look at the monumental developments in the history and culture of the United States in the 20th century, and consider how those developments are reflected and sometimes driven by major musical styles in "roots music", "popular music", and "classical" art-music.


Required Materials 

The only item you need to purchase for this class is a Music 3500 User's License for the online Textbook & Workbook for American Music in the 20th Century from Mycoursepack.com.


The direct link to order is:



Within one business day of purchase, links to these materials will appear in the "Content" and "Assessment" categories the MUS 3500 eLearning site (release dates for quizzes and study materials will follow the dates on the class schedule)


Grading, Testing and Attendance Policies

Final grades in this course are based on a 1000-total point scale:

Midterm Exam (Chaps. 1-4)

= 400 points possible

Final Exam (Chaps 1-9)

= 400 points possible

Online Workbook Quizzes

= 200 points possible


1000 points possible

Distribution of Final Grades:

A      =1000-930 points (100-93%)

BA   = 929-880 points (92.9-88%)

B      = 879-830 points (87.9-83%)

CB   = 829-780 points (82.9-78%)

C      = 779-730 points (77.9-73%)

DC   = 729-680 points (72.9-68%)

D      = 679-600 points (67.9-60%)

E      = 599 or below (59.9% or lower)


Class Attendance

Regular attendance is critical to your success in this course. You are responsible for all notes, recordings, films/videos presented in class.


Class Website

General information will be updated regularly on the class homepage; however, the majority of your web-based work for Music 1520 will be done through the WMU E-Learning site (see "Online E-Workbook" below).


You can also get to the Music 3500 website by doing the following:

1) go to the WMU Music homepage (http://www.wmich.edu/music)

2) click on the "Academics" link, then click on the "Course Materials" link

3) click on the "Music 3500: American Music" link 



There are 2 "closed-book" exams (including a comprehensive final). Each exam includes multiple choice, matching, true/false, listening identification, and a major essay question based on material covered in the class lectures, textbook and videos. Exam dates are listed on the "Schedule of Lectures and Assignments." Review guidelines and study aids will be posted online one week before each exam. Exams are NOT openbookthe use of notes, cell phones, or other electronics during the exam is strictly forbidden, and will cause you to be referred to the Office of Student Conduct (see "Academic Honesty" policy, below)



Online "E-Workbook" Assignments (E-Learning Quiz Assessments)

Each chapter of the textbook has an online "openbook" quiz assignment associated with it, as accessed through the class site in WMU E-Learning. E-Workbook assignments for each chapter become available online at various times over the semester (see "Course Schedule" link). To help you prepare for exams and stay on schedule with the class material, you should complete each E-Workbook assignment within one week of when it becomes available online; however, the E-Workbook assignments are not "due" or graded until the scheduled date of the in-class final exam. Take your time to do well on these online openbook quizzes--they are worth approximately one-fifth of your final course grade in Music 3500 (maximum of 200 points possible).


Make-Up Policy for Exams

If you miss a test, you must call or e-mail the instructor by the end of that class day in order to be eligible for a make-up.

E-mail (best way to reach me): daniel.jacobson@wmich.edu

Phone: 387-4685 (OK to leave message 24 hours a day)

Make-ups must be completed within 2 class days of the original due date.



Extra Credit

There is one optional 25-point extra credit essay in this class (see the Music 3500 class website for details and guidelines).


WMU's "Academic Honesty" Policy

You are responsible for making yourself aware of and understanding the policies and procedures in the Undergraduate Catalog that pertain to Academic Integrity. These policies include cheating, fabrication, forgery and falsification, multiple submission, plagiarism, complicity and computer misuse. If there is reason to believe you have been involved in academic dishonesty, you will be referred to the Office of Student Judicial Affairs/Student Conduct. You will be given the opportunity to review the charge(s). If you believe you are not responsible, you will have the opportunity for a hearing. You should consult with me if you are uncertain about an issue of academic honesty prior to the submission of an assignment or test.


Students With Documented Disability

Any student with a documented disability (e.g., physical, learning, psychiatric, vision, hearing, etc.) who needs to arrange reasonable accommodations must contact the Center for Disability Services , and then bring their disability confirmation to the instructor at the beginning of the semester. If you believe you need some type of accommodation due to a disability, please contact the Center for Disability Services first.