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Columbia College
Evening Campus
1001 Rogers Street
Columbia, MO 65216
(800) 231-2391


16 / 36 - Late Summer Session
June - August 2017

Course Syllabus

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Course Syllabus
16 / 36 - Late Summer Session
June - August 2017
Evening Campus
1001 Rogers Street
Columbia, MO 65216
(800) 231-2391

Course Prefix and Number: MUSI 323 A
Course Title: Music of the United States
Semester Credit Hours: 3
Class Day and Time: Thu 
Additional Notes:

As this is a hybrid course, a portion of the course is conducted in a traditional classroom setting and a portion is conducted online.

See the Instructional Methods section below for more specific details related to course layout.


Catalog Description

Overview of the various types of music that have evolved through folk, popular, and classical traditions in America from the Pilgrims to the present.


America’s Musical Landscape 7th edition
Author: Ferris, Jean (McGraw-Hill)
ISBN: 9780078025129
Audio CD set for use with America''s Musical Landscape 7th edition
Author: Ferris (McGraw-Hill)
ISBN: 9780077519216
Category/Comments - This should be a bundle with the textbook

Course Objectives

· To relate American music to its foreign roots where appropriate.
· To understand the interaction of “content” (musical structure, procedure, aesthetics versus agendas, biographies, and writing) and “context” (times-places-peoples) from which musical idioms and cultural phenomena originate.
· To develop familiarity with a range of social, cultural, historical, economic, and biographical factors which have shaped American music since the first European colonization.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

· Summarize the major traditions and schools of American music distinguishing them from other music.
· Identify composers, compositions, and other significant names and terms as they relate to the music studied.
· Identify the studied compositions by sight or ear.
· Discriminate among the various styles of music studied.
· Summarize the careers of major American composers and musical figures.
· Display general knowledge of major events and trends in American music and describe how American solutions to various issues reflect American cultural and musical contexts.
· Synopsize and critique writings by composers about music.
· Encounter new American music and categorize it into the general context of the history of American music.

Special Course Requirements

Participation in this course requires the basic technology that is required for all hybrid classes at Columbia College:

  • Computer with reliable Internet access
  • Web browser
  • Acrobat Reader
  • Microsoft Office or another word processor such as Open Office

Find more details about standard technical requirements for our courses on our site.

All work for this class must be original; no work is accepted if it was originally composed for another class.

Out of Class Activities

Students are expected to complete readings, listening, online discussions, online quizzes, and essays outside of class.

Graded Activities

Online discussions80 Points16% of grade
Description -

Online discussion assignments are worth 10 points each. I encourage you to read all the discussions and the responses each week. Original postings are worth 9 points and the required reply is worth 1 point.
In addition to your own discussion, you must give a meaningful response to at least one of your classmates in each discussion. (Although comments such as "I agree" or "Good post" are good to support your fellow students, those alone are insufficient to earn points.) You may respond to as many posts as you wish, but you must respond to at least one. 

Online quizzes60 Points12% of grade
Description -

Quizzes are due in weeks 3, 5, and 7 should be completed by Sunday at 11:59 pm Central Time. Each quiz will consist of 40 multiple-choice questions and is worth 20 points. You will find practice quizzes in the course that will help you review the material.

Essays60 Points12% of grade
Description -

Essay assignments are due in weeks 1, 2, and 6 and are worth 20 points each. Each essay should be at least 450 words in length, properly cite any borrowed language or ideas, and cite relevant examples of composers and works to help illustrate your argument. Essays should be posted to the appropriate Dropbox folder by the due date and be submitted as a Word .doc. 

Presentation20 Points4% of grade
Description -

One 3 to 5 minute presentation is required in-class in Week 6 of the course. The general topic will be assigned, but the specific content (musical example) will be selected by each presenter. 

Midterm and Final Exams280 Points56% of grade
Description -

Exams: The midterm and final exams are not cumulative.  Each exam consists of two parts. These two major exams are essentially expanded, in-depth weekly essays; they should represent the new knowledge and perspective you have gained over the preceding weeks by participating in the discussion and through your weekly readings.
Week 4 Midterm Exam: Part 1 consists of two (2) expanded, in-depth essays. Completed essays should be submitted to the Midterm Exam Dropbox by Saturday at 11:59 PM Central Time. Part 2 will consist of 60 multiple choice questions completed in the Quizzes area of the course. Part 2 is due by Sunday at 11:59 PM Central Time.
Week 8 Final Exam: Part 1 consists of two (2) expanded, in-depth essays. Part 2 will consist of 60 multiple choice questions completed in the Quizzes area of the course. Both parts are due by Saturday at 11:59 PM Central Time. 


Grading Scale

90-100 A
80-89 B
70-79 C
60-69 D
0-59 F

Schedule of Activities and Assignments

Week 1
Introduction, Music Basics and Native American Music
  • Introductions/Overview
  • Framing the study
  • Traditions of music
  • Music basics
  • Resource review

Introduction, Prelude, Part 1 Introduction (pp. 12-19) Chapter 1 (pp. 20-27), Chapter Summaries 
Listening: CD 1 tr. 1 - 3


Online Discussion 1
What are the characteristics of Native American music that make it so distinctive? Use examples from the listening and any Internet sources you may find. (Initial post due Thurs. at 11:59 pm CT, replies to classmates due Sun. at 11:59 pm CT).
Essay 1
It is important that we have an understanding of the purpose of our study. So, why study Classical music? Check the links provided in the Content area Week 1 module for some Internet sites that contain opinions on the matter. (450 - 600 words, due Sat. at 11:59 pm CT in the online dropbox).

Week 2
Music in Early North America
  • Performance practice
  • Acculturation
  • Early Sacred and secular music

Reading: Chapters 2 - 4
Listening: CD1 tr. 4 - 16 


Online Discussion 2
Discuss the folk tradition you were assigned (covered in Chapter 2) and describe it in detail. Include discussion of the examples provided on the CDs. (Initial post due Thurs. at 11:59 pm CT, replies to classmates due Sun. at 11:59 pm CT).
Essay 2
Describe the differences and the similarities between American Indian chant and early American folk music. Remember to include the elements of music that we discussed during the first week of class. (450 - 600 words, due Sat. at 11:59 pm CT in the online dropbox).

Week 3
The Nineteenth Century
  • Early Sacred and secular music cont.
  • Classicism v. Romanticism
  • Concert music

Reading: Chapters 5 - 7 (including Part 2 Overview)
Listening: CD1 tr. 17 - 28 


Online Discussion 3
The differences between the European and African American performance practices are evident in the American religious and popular music from the early Nineteenth century through the Civil War. Select one track from Chapters 5 and 6 and explain how it exemplifies the African American tradition and select another and explain how it exemplifies the European American tradition. (Initial post due Thurs. at 11:59 pm CT, replies to classmates due Sun. at 11:59 pm CT).
Online Quiz 1: Due Sunday by 11:59PM Central Time

Week 4
The Growth of Vernacular Traditions
  • Sousa and Joplin
  • Jazz

Reading: Chapters 8 - 10 (including Part 3 Overview)
Listening: CD1 tr. 29 - 32 and CD2 tr. 1 - 12 


Online Discussion 4
While composers of art music continued to emulate European traditions, vernacular music developed characteristic American traits. Sousa's marches and Joplin's rags aroused enthusiasm abroad as well as at home. Tin Pan Alley produced songs to order, many of outstanding quality and seemingly endless appeal. Why was American vernacular music able to express characteristics of the culture that produced it before art music achieved an American sound? (Initial post due Thurs. at 11:59 pm CT, replies to classmates due Sun. at 11:59 pm CT).


Midterm Exam
Complete your proctored midterm exam between Monday and Sunday of this week. The midterm exam consists of a sixty-question quiz and two essays of 3 to 4 paragraphs in length. Detailed information about the essay portion of the exam is available in the Content area of the course under Week 4. You should review this information before arriving to complete your proctored exam. The essays are due by Sat. at 11:59 pm and the quiz portion is due by Sun. at 11:59 pm.

Week 5
Vernacular Music continued
  • Country and Western
  • Rock and Roll

Reading: Chapters 11 - 13 (including Part 4 Overview)
Listening: CD2 tr. 13 - 23 


Online Discussion 5
Select one of the styles covered in Chapters 11 and 12 and describe it using the vocabulary you learned in the Performance Practice audio lecture. In your response to another student, try to discuss a CD track you did not select for your initial post. (Initial post due Thurs. at 11:59 pm CT, replies to classmates due Sun. at 11:59 pm CT).
Online Quiz 2: Due by Sunday at 11:59PM Central Time.

Week 6
Vernacular Music continued
  • Presentation 1
  • The Latin Tinge
  • Hip Hop

Reading: Chapters 14 - 1
Listening: CD2 tr. 24 - 25, CD3 tr. 1


Presentation 1
Your turn to be the DJ. Find a video or audio file to share with the class. Let us know why you selected this particular group or performance and describe it using the terminology from the course. Please keep it at most PG-13 (language and images). (In class presentation).
Essay 3
New technologies have altered the business of music. After reading the textbook on this matter, what is your understanding of sharing and marketing music today? (Due Sun. at 11:59 pm CT).

Week 7
Music for Theater and Film
  • Music theater
  • Film music
  • Opera

Reading: Chapters 17 - 19 (including Part 5 Overview)
Listening: CD3 tr. 2 - 9


Online Discussion 7
From the earliest days of commercial films, live music has introduced and accompanied a movie. With the advent of sound films, the film score emerged as a new form of dramatic music, underpinning the movie's emotional effects while serving innumerable practical functions as well. Pay close attention to the score of a film you view on video. Mute the sound to re-view scenes in which music had significant impact and consider the difference in effect. Try playing different, unrelated music, while viewing the same scene. Describe your impressions. (Initial post due Thurs. at 11:59 pm CT, replies to classmates due Sun. at 11:59 pm CT).
Online Quiz 3: Due by Sunday at 11:59PM Central Time.

Week 8
Tradition and Innovation in Concert Music
  • Avant-garde concert music
  • Mainstream concert music

Reading: Chapters 20 - 23 (including Part 6 Overview)
Listening: CD3 tr. 10 - 22


Online Discussion 8
Many composers of the twentieth century stretched the definition of music. How does this all-inclusive view of music relate to the social changes during the 1940s-1970s? Can you find an example similar to the John Cage clip shown in class? (Initial post due Thurs. at 11:59 pm CT, replies to classmates due Sat. at 11:59 pm CT).


Final Exam
The Final Exam will be in two parts, essays and a test. The essays require 600 - 700 words each. Topics will be posted in the Content area of the D2L course environment. The test will be taken online in the Quiz area of the D2L environment. Both will need to be completed by Saturday at 11:59 pm CT.


Library Resources

Columbia College Resources - Online databases are available at the Columbia College Stafford Library.  You may access them using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

Course Policies and Procedures


Columbia College Policy - Columbia College students are expected to attend all classes and laboratory periods for which they are enrolled.  Students are directly responsible to instructors for class attendance and work missed during an absence for any cause.  If absences jeopardize progress in a course, an instructor may withdraw a student from the course with a grade of "F" or "W" at the discretion of the instructor.  For additional information, see the Columbia College policy on Student Attendance.

Academic Integrity

Columbia College Policy - Columbia College students must fulfill their academic obligations through honest, independent effort.  Dishonesty is considered a serious offense subject to strong disciplinary actions.  Activities which constitute academic dishonesty include plagiarism, unauthorized joint effort on exams or assignments, falsification of forms or records, providing false or misleading information, or aiding another in an act of academic dishonesty.  For more information, see the Columbia College Academic Integrity Policy and Procedures.

Class Conduct and Personal Conduct

Columbia College Policy - Students must conduct themselves so others will not be distracted from the pursuit of learning.  Students may be disciplined for any conduct which constitutes a hazard to the health, safety, or well-being of members of the College community or which is deemed detrimental to the College's interests. Discourteous or unseemly conduct may result in a student being asked to leave the classroom.  For more information, see the Columbia College Student Code of Conduct and Student Behavioral Misconduct Policy and Procedures.

Cancelled Class Make-Up

Columbia College Policy - Classes cancelled because of inclement weather or other reasons must be rescheduled.  For more information, see the Columbia College Inclement Weather Policy.

Make-Up Examinations

Columbia College Policy - Make-up examinations may be authorized for students who miss regularly scheduled examinations due to circumstances beyond their control.  Make-up examinations must be administered as soon as possible after the regularly scheduled examination period and must be administered in a controlled environment.

Campus Policy - Make up examinations are scheduled on designated Saturday mornings 9am in 103 Buchanan. Students must present a picture I.D. in order to be admitted to the testing session. Students must arrange with the instructor to take the exam before or after it is given in class and permission to take a makeup examination (or any graded activity) is granted at the discretion of the instructor.

Adding, Dropping, or Withdrawing from a Course

Columbia College Policy - Students may add a course through Wednesday of the first week of the session and drop a course without academic or financial liability through close of business on Monday of the second week of the session.  Once enrolled, a student is considered a member of that class until he or she officially drops or withdraws in accordance with College policy.  An official drop/withdrawal takes place only when a student has submitted a Drop/Add/Withdrawal form.  A failure to attend class, or advising a fellow student, staff or adjunct faculty member of an intent to withdraw from a class does not constitute official drop/withdrawal.  The drop/add/withdrawal periods begin the same day/date the session starts, not the first day a particular class begins. If a student stops attending a class but does not submit the required Drop/Withdrawal form a grade of "F" will be awarded.  For more information, see the Columbia College Registration Policy and Procedures.

Withdrawal Excused

Columbia College Policy - A student may request an excused withdrawal (WE) under extraordinary circumstances by submitting a Drop/Withdrawal form accompanied by a complete explanation of the circumstances and supporting documentation to the location director.  The WE request must include all classes in which the student is currently enrolled.  The Vice President for Adult Higher Education is the approving authority for all WE requests.  A student who receives approval of their WE request may still be required to return some or all of the federal financial assistance received for the session.  For more information, see the Columbia College Withdrawal Policy.


Columbia College Policy - A student may request that the instructor award a grade of "I" due to extraordinary circumstances (unforeseen or unexpected circumstances beyond the student's control) that prevent a student from completing the requirements of a course by the end of a session.  An "I" will not be given because a student is failing, negligent or not meeting requirements.  If the instructor believes an "I" is appropriate, the instructor will specify the work needed to complete the course and the time allowed to complete the work.  Work missed must be made up within two subsequent sessions unless the instructor specifies an earlier date.  Extensions beyond two sessions must be approved by the Vice President for Adult Higher Education.  If the work is completed during the specified time period, the instructor will change the "I" to the grade earned.  If the work is not completed during the specified time, the instructor may allow the incomplete to remain on the student's permanent record or change it to any other letter grade.  For more information, see the Columbia College Undergraduate Grading Policy.

Grade Appeal

Columbia College Policy - A student may appeal any grade given if it is believed to be in error or in conflict with Columbia College policy and procedures.  The student must state in writing to the location director why the grade awarded is believed to be in error and request a desired remedy.  The faculty member who awarded the grade will be given the opportunity to comment on all student allegations.  If the issue cannot be resolved at the location the appeal will be transmitted through the location director to the Vice President for Adult Higher Education.  A grade appeal must be received for review by the Vice President for Adult Higher Education prior to the end of 60 days from the date the grade was awarded.  For more information, see the Columbia College Undergraduate Grading Policy.


Columbia College Policy - Course prerequisites are established to ensure that a student has adequate academic preparation to succeed in a particular course.  Staff members will attempt to ensure that students meet prerequisite requirements.  However, it is the student's responsibility to closely examine the course descriptions to determine if prerequisites exist and to enroll in courses in the proper sequence.  In some exceptional cases it may be apparent that the student possesses the required skills and knowledge to succeed in a particular course, even though they have not taken the prerequisite course.  In this case the prerequisite course may be waived by the location director.  Waiver of a course as a prerequisite does not remove the requirement to complete the course if it is a requirement for the student's degree program.


Columbia College Policy - The College provides all students access to CougarMail (the official means of e-mail communication for the College), online resources from the Stafford Library, and their Columbia College records (transcripts, grades, student schedules, etc.) through CougarTrack.


Columbia College Policy - The official student email address (also known as CougarMail) will be used for all official correspondence from faculty and staff.  Students are responsible for the information received and are required to monitor their CougarMail account on a regular basis.  Students may forward their CougarMail to another email account but will be held responsible for the information sent over CougarMail, even if there is a problem with the alternate mail service.

Cell Phones

Columbia College Policy - Cell phones can be a distraction to the learning process.  Location directors or course instructors may require that cell phones be turned off or set to vibrate during class periods.  Students requiring special arrangements to receive a cell phone call during class should make prior arrangements with their location director or course instructor.

Bookstore Information

Columbia College Policy - As part of Truition, students will receive their course materials automatically as described below. 

eText Information

If a course uses an eText, (see Textbook information above) the book will be available directly in Desire2Learn (D2L) and through the VitalSource eText reader the Friday before the session begins, if registered for courses prior to that date.  Students will have a VitalSource account created for them using their CougarMail email address.  Upon first login to VitalSource, students may need to verify their account and update their VitalSource password.  More information about how to use the VitalSource platform, including offline access to eTexts, can be found in D2L.  Students that would like to order an optional loose-leaf print-on-demand copy of eligible eTexts can do so through the VitalSource Bookshelf at an additional cost.  Once orders are placed, it can take approximately five to seven business days for students to receive their print-on-demand books.

Physical Course Materials Information

Students enrolled in courses that require physical materials will receive these materials automatically at the address on file with Columbia College.  Delivery date of physical materials is dependent on registration date and shipping location.  Please refer to confirmation emails sent from Ed Map for more details on shipping status.

Returns:  Students who drop a course with physical course materials will be responsible for returning those items to Ed Map within 30 days of receipt of the order.  More specific information on how to do so will be included in the package received from Ed Map.  See here for Ed Map's return policy.  Failure to return physical items from a dropped course will result in a charge to the student account for all unreturned items.

Students who opt-out of having their books provided as part of TruitionSM are responsible for purchasing their own course materials.  Visit for details.


Columbia College Policy - The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records.  For more information, see the Columbia College Family Education Rights and Privacy Policy.

Student Accessibility Resources

Columbia College Policy - Students with documented disabilities who may need academic services for this course are required to register with the office of Student Accessibility Resources.  Until the student has been cleared through this office, accommodations do not have to be granted.  If you are a student who has a documented disability, it is important for you to read the entire syllabus as soon as possible.  The structure or the content of the course may make an accommodation not feasible.  Student Accessibility Resources is located in Student Affairs in AHSC 215 and can be reached by phone at (573) 875-7626.  For more information, see the Columbia College ADA and Section 504 Policy for Students.

Alcohol and Other Drugs: Columbia College Policies & Resources

Columbia College Policy - Columbia College recognizes the negative health effects associated with the use, possession, and distribution of controlled and/or illicit substances, and their detrimental impact on the quality of the educational environment.  Therefore, all members of the College community share in the responsibility of protecting the campus environment by exemplifying high standards of professional and personal conduct.  For more information and resources, see the Columbia College Alcohol and Other Drugs Policy.

Tobacco-Free Policy

Columbia College Policy - The following policy goes into effect on August 21, 2017.  Columbia College values and is concerned for the health and well-being of its students, employees and visitors. The College is committed to providing a healthful and productive educational and employment environment for members of the College community. Consistent with this commitment and in the interest of the general health and welfare of the College community, the College prohibits the use of all tobacco products and related devices on all College property and premises.  For more information, see the Columbia College Tobacco-Free Policy.


Columbia College Policy - Discrimination, harassment, and retaliation on the basis of protected status (see Notice of Non-Discrimination and Equal Opportunity for a definition of "protected status") are strictly prohibited. Persons who engage in such conduct are subject to discipline up to and including termination or dismissal.  For more information, see the Columbia College Non-Discrimination and Equal Opportunity Policy and Complaint Resolution Procedure.

Columbia College Policy Library

Columbia College Policy - The policies set forth in the Online Policy Library are the current official versions of College policies and supersede and replace any other existing or conflicting policies covering the same subject matter.  The Online Policy Library is currently under construction with new policies being added on a frequent basis and the policies currently listed are not comprehensive of every College policy.  Questions regarding the Online Policy Library should be directed to the Office of the General Counsel.  For more information on policies applicable to students, see Student Policies.  For more information on policies applicable to the entire Columbia College community, see College-Wide Policies.

Technical Support

Columbia College Policy - If you have problems accessing the course or posting your assignments, contact your instructor, the Columbia College Technology Solutions Center, or the D2L Helpdesk for assistance.  If you have technical problems with the VitalSource eText reader, please contact VitalSource.  Contact information is also available within the online course environment.

        - Columbia College Technology Solutions Center:, 1-800-231-2391 ext. 4357

        - D2L Helpdesk:, 1-877-325-7778

        - VitalSource:, 1-855-200-4146


Course Evaluations - All students are encouraged to complete the online course evaluations. Students are notified by way of CougarMail when the evaluations are available. The evaluations are used to help instructors improve their teaching techniques. They are reviewed carefully by the Evening Campus Director, Assistant Director, and several AHE Administrators. Student should know that all responses are completely confidential, instructors only view results after grades are posted. Your input is valued and appreciated.

Late graded assignment/activity policy - All graded assignments or activities are due when stated in the syllabus or by the instructor. Graded assignments or activities submitted after the stated due date/time will not receive any credit unless the instructor has specifically stated that full or partial credit may be awarded to late submissions.


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