Music Appreciation

General Information: 

Course Syllabus

Syllabus Acknowledgment Form

Music Interest Inventory


Course Schedule: 

Week 0 (Jan 4) Introduction to Music Appreciation

Week 1 (Jan 8) Basic Elements of Music

Week 2 (Jan 16) Fundamental Music Genres

Week 3 (Jan 22) I’ve Got the Blues

Weeks 4 (Jan 29) All that Jazz

Week 5 (Feb 2) Golden Age of the Crooner

Week 6 (Feb 12) Rock ‘n’ Roll Rebellion

Week 7 (Feb 20) The Motown Dynasty

Week 8 (Feb 26) Wrap-up/Review

Week 9 (Mar 5) Midterm Benchmark 

Week 10 (Mar 12) Beatlemania and…

Spring Break 

Week 11 (Mar 26) …the British Invasion

Week 12 (Apr 2) The Summer of Love

Week 13 (Apr 9) Social Soul

Week 14 (Apr 16) Metal, Glam, and Progressive

Week 15 (Apr 23) Punk, New Wave, and Grunge

Week 16 (Apr 30) Rapper’s Delight

Week 17 (May 7) Final Presentations

Week 18 (May 14) Final Presentation, Review

Week 19 (May 21) Final Benchmark 


Journal Entries: 

  1. Last week we listened to two songs with deep messages. Think of one song that is meaningful to you (it could be about heartbreak, losing someone close to you, the struggles of life, etc.). Write the name of the song, the artist who performs it, and what it means to you.
  2. Name one song that you think has a good beat. What instrument(s) keeps the beat? How does the beat make you feel?
  3. Rhythm is everywhere. List 2-4 examples of rhythm found in everyday life (i.e. nature, downtown, etc.). Be creative! : )
  4. When you are listening to a song, do you listen more to the words or the music itself? Please explain your response (and feel free to challenge the question).
  5. Write down one style of music that you enjoy listening to (e.g. Rap, Reggae, Punk, etc.). What are the most important musical elements in this style of music? Is it:
    • Melody/Harmony (singing with piano/guitar playing)
    • Beat/Rhythm (rapping, yelling w/strong drum tracks and bass lines)
    • Something else…
  6. Describe the difference between classical music and rap music in your own words.
  7. What is your least favorite genre of music? Why?
  8. What genres of music do your parents/guardians listen to? Compare their taste in music to your own. List specific songs/artists in your response.
  9. Name one song that you think sounds bluesy and explain why (is it the rhythm, melody, harmony, lyrics, etc.).
  10. Explain the difference between “flat four” and “backbeat” in music. Give an example of one song for each. 
  11. Write out the harmonic progression for the 12 bar blues using Roman numerals and name three songs that use it. 
  12. What is the standard form of blues lyrics? Compose one stanza of lyrics in this form.
  13. Listen to Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good”. What musical genre(s) does this sound like? Do you like it? Why or why not?
  14. Read the lyrics to “Strange Fruit”. What is the strange fruit being described in the song? Explain.
  15. Last class, we talked about Prohibition, the illegalization of alcohol from 1920 to 1933. How did the Prohibition catapult the career of local black jazz musicians?
  16. Of the subgenres of jazz that we have learned about in class, which is your favorite and why? Options: Dixieland Jazz, Swing, Bebop, Cool Jazz, Latin Jazz, Free Jazz, or Jazz Fusion.
  17. If programs like welfare or WIC didn’t exist, what do you think would happen to the families that depend on them?
  18. How did women help support the economy and war effort during WWII?
  19. Many people regard the 1950s to be the greatest period of U.S. history, the Golden Age. Why? Do you agree?
  20. Define “The American Dream”. What does “The American Dream” mean to you
  21. List some female musical groups that have emerged since the 1960s (e.g. Destiny’s Child). What impact have they had on female audiences?
  22. Select your favorite Aretha Franklin song from class (“Do Right Woman”, “You Make Me Feel”, “Dr. Feelgood”, or “Respect”). Why is this song your favorite?
  23. What words would you use to describe this performance (“Hold On, I’m Comin'” by Booker T and the MGS)? What emotions do the musicians convey? How has your understanding of this music changed since you learned more about the Memphis community in which it was created?
  24. Complete the Exit Ticket regarding the freedom riders and songs.