General Honors (GH) courses are the heart of the University Honors Program curriculum and feature small class sizes, dedicated faculty members, interdisciplinary perspectives, active learning and an exciting array of topics. These classes can be accessed by searching under University Honors in the catalog. The following is an example of a General Honors (GH) course that has been offered in the past. This course may or may not be offered again.
NOTE: THIS COURSE IS OPEN TO MUSIC MAJORS & MINORS ONLY, AND YOU MUST BE ABLE TO READ MUSIC.
This course is designed to provide students with a variety of skills paramount to their development as musicians, listeners, and those who simply wish to learn more about music, its purpose, and its effects on people and culture. We will introduce and review the basic fundamentals of music in order to begin to develop listening skills and basic score study and reading skills as well. This review will serve to assist us in forming an elementary understanding of the evolution of musical style over time and as a cultural expression.
This course will also serve as a basic introduction to the disciplinary and intellectual conventions of writing and conducting research in the field of music. In part this will involve learning about library resources. However, the main focus will be to learn to consider various strategies for not only listening to music, but also to thinking about how music “works”, its purpose in various historical contexts, and its effects on people socially and emotionally.
These skills and concepts are essential to grasp in order to form ways of thinking about music. This in turn is necessary in order to begin the process of writing about music, using musical concepts and appropriate terminology. We will also gain a basic understanding of what it means to study music from a musicological perspective—moving beyond the compiling of facts, dates, and biographical details—in order to make informed decisions about the historical, cultural, and aesthetic significance of individual composers, works, and artistic movements. Although the student’s prior ability to read music would indeed be a significant asset, it is not essential for success in this course. Music notation per se will not be taught but will be discussed in various contexts and the student is urged to learn the basics of musical notation in order to have a more satisfying experience in the course.