Music 105OL: Understanding Music (Online)

Summer 2012 Syllabus


Introductory Letter

Dear Music 105OL Student,

Welcome to Understanding Music (Online)! This introductory letter is designed to give you an orientation to the expectations of this course.

There are a couple of basic steps that you need to take before the course begins:

  1. Make sure that you have access to your CSUN Gmail account. I will send critical information to that email regularly. You can access your CSUN email through this link.
  2. If you would prefer use a non-CSUN email account (for example, yahoo, or hotmail, etc.), you must forward your CSUN Gmail account using the Settings option in Gmail. When I send you official class email, I will send it to your CSUN account and you will be responsible for receiving that email
  3. Please read this excellent summation of online etiquette. You must use appropriate language and tone at all times in this course. Please also note this course's online etiquette policy.
  4. Please read these requirements for the course (this includes both technical and personal requirements).

Taking an online class requires diligence and focus. It's not necessarily more difficult, but there's no lecture to drag yourself off to, nobody reviewing for quizzes, etc. In other words, you have to motivate yourself and you have to pay attention to assignment deadlines, quiz dates, etc. The key to this is to visit the website several times each week—checking once each day is a good idea. You also have to be comfortable learning through reading. There will be no real "lecture" for this course, so you will need to derive the necessary information from the reading. I have created a number of audio mini-lectures to help clarify some issues, but they will not cover all of the material.

The website (which can be found at is home base for this course. What am I supposed to read this week? Check the website. When are the concert reports due? Check the website. How do I get in touch with my instructor? Check the website. When is…OK, I think you get the picture.

With some effort and lots of communication, I believe that this course can be a rewarding experience.


Dr. Dan Hosken

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Basic Information

Instructor: Dr. Dan Hosken
Office: Cypress Hall 235
Office Phone: (818) 677-3161
(email sent to me during the week will be answered within two days—usually earlier—and email sent on Friday will be answered the following Monday)

Office Hours:

By Arrangement

Snail-mail ("regular" mail):

Prof. Dan Hosken
Music Department
California State University, Northridge
18111 Nordhoff St.
Northridge, CA 91330-8314

Course Webpage: Accessed through Moodle:

The Enjoyment of Music: Essential Listening Edition by Forney/Machlis (ebook)


Norton Online Listening Lab ("streaming plus")

[Get your materials here]

For Technical Support:

Moodle training is available by logging into Moodle, clicking on the "CSUN Moodle Community" course and clicking on Moodle docs links or training links

Information Technology Resources Helpdesk: (818) 677-1400

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Course Description

History of Western music traditions, examining musical style and structure, relationships with other art forms, and aspects of their roles in Western culture. Lecture, listening, discussion, outside concert attendance. (Available for General Education, Arts and Humanities)

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Your grade will be based on the following:

Six (6) Quizzes At the end of each unit there will be an online quiz that will take approximately 45 minutes and will consist of multiple choice and true/false questions based on the reading assignments, the listening assignments, and the StudySpace activities. These are graded by percentage according to the scale below. The lowest score will be dropped. 45%
A Final Exam This longer exam will be cumulative over all of the material covered in the course. 15%
Three Written Assignments

For each of these assignments, I will post a series of questions on a particular topic that you will respond to based on the required reading and listening. Answer these questions fully and to the best of your ability, demonstrating your understanding of the information that you are learning in the course.

One Concert Report

You are required to attend a live classical concert at some point during the course and report on the musical features of the music on the concert. I will post some possibilities, but if you would like to find one yourself (or you are outside the area), contact me ahead of time by email so that I can approve the concert.

You will download the report form from the link in Moodle, fill out the report, and upload it to using the link in Moodle. You need to scan or take a picture of the ticket stub and send it to me by email (the grade will not be complete until I get the ticket stub). See schedule for specific due dates. This is graded according to the following rubric.:

  • A ( 100%): Excellent, insightful, and substantial report in the correct format that reflects both the knowledge gained from the course and a significant amount of thought given to the topic.
  • B (85%): Good report that reflects the knowledge gained from the course. This will likely be the most common grade if the assignment is done with integrity.
  • C (75%): Report inadequately reflects the knowledge gained from the course and/or is missing a component and/or is in the wrong format.
  • D (65%): Report is poor and/or missing several components.
  • F (0%): Report is missing or is too poor to warrant credit.

Grade Ranges:

93–100      A

90–92        A-

87–89        B+

83–86        B

80–82        B-

77–79        C+

73–76        C

70–72        C-

67–69        D+

63–66        D

60–62        D-

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Extra Credit

No Extra Credit will be given.

Late Work

No late work is accepted unless you provide a doctor's note verifying that you were too ill to do the work or there is some other extraordinary, unforeseen circumstance (this determination is made by the instructor; any exceptions are granted at the discretion of the instructor).

Make-up Quizzes

There will be no make-up quizzes unless you provide a doctor's note verifying that you were too ill to do the work or there is some other extraordinary, unforeseen circumstance (this determination is made by the instructor; any exceptions are granted at the discretion of the instructor).

Academic Dishonesty

Any case of academic dishonesty is unacceptable. You are expected to do your own work and take your own tests without help from someone else. You are welcome to study with other students and discuss assignments, but you must complete all of this work on your own. Online quizzes and tests are by necessity open-book/open-note. However, the time limits on the quizzes and tests require that you have mastery of the material—if you have to look everything up, you won't complete the quiz/test on time. Your concert reports must be in your own words and represent your own work.

Online Etiquette

It is essential for the learning experience of all students in the course that basic online etiquette be used regularly. Please read this excellent summary of online etiquette (another useful site is The Core Rules of Netiquette). Inappropriate language or tone will result in an email warning by the instructor. Two such warnings will result in a grade of F for the current online assignment and three such warnings will result in a grade of F for the course. This is not meant to be stifling and I intend to give the benefit of the doubt wherever possible, but it is essential that we all take responsibility for maintaining a positive learning environment

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Course Objectives and Student Learning Outcomes

In this course students will learn to:

The course meets the following Student Learning Outcomes for General Education Subject Explorations
section 6. Arts and Humanities:

1. Explain and reflect critically upon the human search for meaning, values, discourse and expression in one
or more eras/stylistic periods or cultures;

2. Analyze, interpret, and reflect critically upon ideas of value, meaning, discourse and expression from a
variety of perspectives from the arts and/or humanities;

5. Use appropriate critical vocabulary to describe and analyze works of artistic expression, literature,
philosophy, or religion and a comprehension of the historical context within which a body of work was
created or a tradition emerged;

6. Describe and explain the historical and/or cultural context within which a body of work was created or a
tradition emerged.

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