Music 260 - Basic Music III

Form & Analysis


Western Michigan Univ.                                                                             David Loberg Code

School of Music                                                                                2315 Dalton, x7-4683

Spring 2005                                                                                       Email:

                                                                                                Office Hrs: Tu-Th 9:00 or appt.



      The primary goal of this course is to develop in you--the performer, the teacher--the critical tools needed to understand a piece of music, create a meaningful musical interpretation of that piece, and convey that interpretation to your audience or students. This is the purpose of music theory, and I mean it to be imminently practical and intimately connected with what you do in the studio, in the practice room, and on the stage. Music 260 is a continuation of the Basic Music sequence, with an emphasis on the formal and stylistic characteristics of whole pieces of music from the Baroque, Classical, and Romantic periods of Western art music. In addition, we will continue the study of chromatic harmony and voice leading begun in Mus 161. Activities may include compositional projects in the style of particular genres, and the development of specific techniques for analyzing works of music.



1. Burkhart, Charles. Anthology for Musical Analysis (6th Edition)

2. Green, Douglass. Form in Tonal Music

3. Kostka & Payne. Tonal Music, text & workbook (leftover from Mus 160-161)

4. music staff paper (preferably in some kind of notebook)



SYLLABUS (subject to change)

Week of    

Jan 4      Intro., Review of sec. chords                  

Jan 11      Phrases, Periods, Tonal melodies, modulation   

Jan 18      Binary Form, Sonata Form,          

Jan 25                                                1/27 Quiz #1

Feb 1      Rondo, Neapolitans & Aug6th chords       

Feb 8      Sonata-Rondo, Concerto Form                    

Feb 15      REVIEW                                    2/17 - MIDTERM EXAM

Feb 22      Ternary Form, other chromatic harmony    

Mar 1      ** Winter Recess **          

Mar 8      Art-Song, enharmonic modulation           3/10 Paper proposal due

Mar 15      Romantic Miniatures                                   3/17 Quiz #2

Mar 22      Baroque imitative forms                  

Mar 29      Fugue                                    

Apr 5      Variation Forms                           4/7 Paper due

Apr 12      Review                                   

FINAL EXAM  Monday, April 18, 2:45-4:45




      Your grade for the course will be based upon the following materials:

      Exams (2)                     40%

      Analysis Paper                15%

      Quizzes (2)                   30%

      Homework, class participation 15%


NB: After the midterm (but before the final) you may elect to alter the distribution of the two exams. They will still total 40% of your grade but may be divided in one of the following ways (Mid/Fin): 15%/25%, 20%/20%, 25%/15%.


The grading scale will be as follows:

A     93-100      C     73-77

BA    88-92       DC    68-72

B     83-87       D     60-67

BC    78-82       E     59¯


Should this scale result in a very unbalanced grade distribution, grades may be curved to compensate. Likewise, the schedule and procedures in this course are subject to change in the event of extenuating circumstances as determined by the instructor.




      Attendance is expected for all classes. Any absence (including arriving late and leaving early) is regarded as an unexcused absence (with the exception of official tour dates and documented emergencies) and can effect your final grade. Your instructor is under no obligation to make-up missing materials or activities. If you miss a class, it is your responsibility to find out what you missed from other students. If a medical or family emergency prevents you from attending an exam, you must notify the instructor on or before the date of the exam (via voicemail, email, or a message left at the School of Music Office, 387-4667). Otherwise there are no make-ups for missed exams. For late assignments, a percentage point may be deducted for each day past the deadline.


      You are expected to participate fully in class. Talking, sleeping, eating, listening to headphones, doing homework, surfing the web, and similar distractions are inappropriate in class. All cell phones and beepers must be turned off during class. If your phone should ring, please answer it outside and don't come back. Laptops and PDAs can only be used for class-related activities. The instructor reserves the right to view any open materials (books, paper, laptops, etc.) to determine if they are being used for class purposes. (If you don't want me to see something, don't have it out.)


      You are responsible for making yourself aware of and understanding the policies and procedures in the Undergraduate Catalog (pp. 274-276) that pertain to Academic Integrity. These policies include cheating, fabrication, falsification and forgery, 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 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. Additional information about WMU's policies regarding student conduct and academic dishonesty can be found at:


Paper: Due 4/7 (Proposal due 3/10)

      Submit an analytical paper (5-10 pages of text plus musical examples, typed, double-spaced, 12-point font, 1 inch margins) on a late 18th-Century or 19th Century piece. Ideally, this should be a piece that you are playing this semester or one that you expect to play in the future. I do not expect for you to attempt an all-encompassing analysis of the piece. Depending on your topic, you may end up addressing only part of the composition (e.g., one section of the trio, some of the variations) or all of it depending on your topic.


PROPOSAL: Your paper should focus on a central idea (or ideas) which you consider to be of particular significance for the piece. After listening to the piece several times ask yourself some of the following questions: What is this piece ³about²?; What is a unique aspect of this particular piece?; What compositional feature is of particular interest in this piece?; Why do certain moments stand out when listening to this piece? Your first paragraph should be an introduction to the central theme of your paper (as opposed to a biographical introduction to the composer or the piece). For your proposal submit the following two items: 1) a one-sentence description of your paper, 2) a one-paragraph description of your paper. This is due on 3/10 (please type).


      After introducing your central idea, choose a few technical details which you think are crucial to the presentation of the central idea(s) and discuss these carefully and completely. Such details might include important modulations or key relationships, themes or motives and how they are related, formal structure, a particular harmony or family of harmonies, recurring progressions, accompaniment patterns, characteristic voicing or voice-leading, the treatment of certain key words, the use of register or tessitura, and so forth. Identify clearly what you have chosen to discuss, and note explicitly the relevant measures or sections of the score to which you are referring. Explain precisely how the details you have chosen are related to central ideas you described.

      You will need to include some musical examples in the body of the paper to illustrate specific points. Do not simply photocopy the entire piece and staple it to the end of the paper. You do not need a musical example for every measure number discussed: in some cases, a verbal description is adequate. Use a musical excerpt to provide a concrete example of a technique that occurs in several places, or when you are making a specific point about the music which needs a visual aid. Do not assume your reader will know why you chose a particular example, or what specifically they are supposed to look at in the example. They do not speak for themselves, you must do it. Each example must be introduced at the appropriate place in the text (see Example 3).


Example 3. Irregular resolution to C major ("Der Doppelgänger", mm.59-62).


Each excerpt must contain a label with a brief descriptive title. Each excerpt must contain all pertinent information to make it understandable (e.g., clefs, instruments, tempo, measure numbers, etc...). Each excerpt must be followed by a detailed discussion leading the reader through the pertinent points. While the examples will appear in the middle of your text, they should not be counted when determining the length of the paper.

      The intended reader of your paper should be someone at your level of knowledge and expertise who lives far away from Kalamazoo. In other words, this person has not taken Music 260 from me, but has taken a similar class. You do not have to define basic technical terms of harmony and form that we have learned in class. You may need to define terms that are more advanced or are perhaps specific to one composer or a certain instrument. You must also define any subjective terms you use. For example, if you describe several passages as containing Œharsh chords¹, you must explain what harsh means in theoretical terms. Your paper should be self-explanatory to anyone who reads it. You should not have to be standing next to the reader to help explain things. You should not address me or make direct references to our class (e.g., ³this is similar to the Beethoven piece we talked about last week²). The quality of your presentation and writing style will affect your grade. Write efficiently; make every word count. Examine each sentence to see if the idea it contains can be expressed in a shorter form. Do not apologize for your ideas or qualify them unnecessarily ((³it seems to me that...²; ³in my opinion...²). Make an argument; build a case for your central ideas; anticipate questions about details and answer them before they are asked. Scrutinize your paper as if a stranger (whom you don¹t like very much) had written it; pick it apart, probe it for weaknesses. You should ask someone outside of class to read it and critique it for you. Avoid getting lost in generalities; anchor your comments with references to specific measures, themes, harmonies, etc... Recall the analyses we have done in class, the kinds of questions asked, the kinds of answers developed. For formal matters, you should consult a style manual (such as the following):

Wingell, Richard J. and Silvia Herzog. Introduction to Research in Music Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall Inc., 2001.

Turabian, Kate L. A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations. 6th ed. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press, 1996.


      You are free (in fact, you are encouraged) to consult with your classmates on the piece you have chosen. You may also, if you wish, scour the literature for analytical comments about the pieces in question. Only include relevant information. I do not want to know about the composer¹s life, or the history of the piece, unless it is crucial to your central idea. The final write-up of your paper, however, must be entirely your own work, and you must include a Reference section at the end identifying all individuals with whom you talked or worked (including me), and listing any articles or books you have examined (using a proper bibliographic format).