Department of Music

Music History

About the Program

Music History encompasses a wide range of subjects, including the study of different musical styles, the situation of music within social, cultural, and intellectual milieus, the development of musical instruments and playing techniques, and the analysis and criticism of compositions. Music students at Missouri Western gain valuable stylistic knowledge which in turn helps them to compose and analyze; additionally, they engage with music as an artistic discipline contextualized within other subjects and the world at large.

The music history program at Missouri Western has several unique strengths. First, all music theory classes are taught by a full-time professor, not a graduate student or adjunct faculty member. Second, classes are small (typically 10 to 20 students) in order to encourage close student/faculty discussions and engagement. Third, every music major at Missouri Western takes the full sequence of music history classes. These classes include Music History I, Music History II, and Music History III.

Course Descriptions

Music History 1

Music History 1 is the first course in a multi-semester sequence. In this class you will focus on Western musical styles, techniques, composers, and culture from the ancient world through the year 1700. Several different skill sets will be gained in this course. First, students will learn historical information about composers, instruments, places, and musical works. Second, students will master the art of the “musical styles listening exam”: they will learn to identify unknown works by likely composer and year based upon prominent stylistic features they hear. Third, they will gain the basic research skills necessary to conduct music research. Students will become familiar with a variety of music research sources, both in print and online. They will learn how to write about music with appropriate terminology, abbreviations, and bibliography.

Music History 2

Music History 2 is the second course in a multi-semester sequence. In this class you will focus on Western musical styles, techniques, composers, and culture from around 1700 to about 1850. You will further your historical knowledge about composers, instruments, places, and musical works, and will continue to master the “musical styles listening exam” by learning to identify unknown works by likely composer and year based upon prominent stylistic features. Finally, you will continue to hone the skills necessary to write a research essay in music. You will study additional music research sources and will continue to learn how to write about music with appropriate terminology, abbreviations, and bibliography.

Music History 3

Music History 3 is the third course in a multi-semester sequence. In this class you will focus on Western musical styles, techniques, composers, and culture from around 1850 to the present day. You will further your historical knowledge about composers, instruments, places, and musical works, and will continue to master the “musical styles listening exam” by learning to identify unknown works by likely composer and year based upon prominent stylistic features. Finally, you will continue to hone the skills necessary to write a research essay in music. You will study additional music research sources and will continue to learn how to write about music with appropriate terminology, abbreviations, and bibliography.

Diagnostic Exam

Diagnostic Exams for Music History are only offered in rare circumstances. Students interested in taking such an exam should contact Dr. Harrelson (rharrelson1@missouriwestern.edu) during the first-year of study.

After College

Missouri Western music students are well equipped for graduate studies in music history. They will be prepared for graduate entrance examinations at top tier music schools and conservatories, and will be able to undertake graduate classes and special topics courses in a variety of music historical topics. Students choosing to pursue advanced music history degrees may consider careers as a professor, music publisher, or music editor.

Faculty

Dr. David McIntire

Dr. David McIntire

Director of Music Technology Studies
Potter Hall 201

Dr. Matthew Edwards

Dr. Matthew Edwards

Director of Keyboard Studies
Potter Hall 222