[Smt-talk] Written papers in first-year courses?

Mitch Ohriner mohriner at gmail.com
Wed Dec 22 08:23:51 PST 2010

Dear collected wisdom,

Now that the semester is over and many of us are thinking about next
semester, I had a question regarding pedagogy:

Do you assign written papers in first-year theory classes?  What paper
assignments have you found useful in recent years?

I’m planning a first-year, second-semester course at a liberal arts
college.  In the first-semester course that just ended, I assigned two
1000-word papers because I want first-year students wrestle with musical
prose.  My assignments were:

1.  After completing a 3-week counterpoint unit, discuss the connections
between Fuxian species counterpoint (a version of which we studied) and
Shostakovich’s Fugue No. 1 in C major from Op. 87.

2.  At the end of semester, having surveyed diatonic harmony (up to Unit 14
in Aldwell/Schachter), choose a song of your choice from any repertoire and
compare the harmonic progressions contained therein with the practices we’ve
seen observed in 18th-century Western music (I got mostly American pop music
and jazz, but also Eric Whitacre choral music and Chinese pop music).

Responses off list are fine, but perhaps others are interested as well.

Best regards,

Mitch Ohriner
mohriner at gmail.com
PhD Candidate, Indiana University
Lecturer, Washington University in Saint Louis
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.societymusictheory.org/pipermail/smt-talk-societymusictheory.org/attachments/20101222/5f9a6adf/attachment-0002.htm>

More information about the Smt-talk mailing list